Always lead with the news: I’ve decided to leave my position at Newsweek and accept a job at Tumblr. Though this is cliche, it is indeed true that this has been a difficult decision for me. I have been and continue to be a loud and persistent defender of Newsweek, and this is not (mostly, anyway!) simply because they sign my checks; I very much believe in the people and publication, and think they’ll be doing really great work for many years to come.
But this decision isn’t about the future of Newsweek; it’s about the future of Tumblr, and what I believe is a really interesting and great opportunity to help shape and grow a community, and to guide publishers into a new and better way of connecting with their readers. One of the reasons I’ve long been interested in online journalism is in the ways it can be, in a way no other medium can, a two-way communication between writer and reader; Tumblr is one of the best ways I’ve seen to accomplish that.
My new job, basically, will be to take the lessons I’ve learned at Newsweek and bring them to other media outlets. The mission is to show how this platform can be key to connecting journalists and readers, making the process more engaging and conversational. The approach will be the same that I’ve taken in creating the Newsweek Tumblr: That the most important thing for any publisher is to first be a full, participating member of the community, and that the main focus should be on meeting the needs of that community, not self-promotion.
And it’s that community to which I owe a tremendous debt. I’m so thankful for every one of Newsweek’s Tumblr followers. To Justine, an early champion and reader of Newsweek’s Tumblr that I have never properly thanked—your encouragement really meant something to me. To Meaghan, who emailed me the same day I started the Newsweek Tumblr with offers of help (and our beautiful theme, from Peter); to David, who has been smart and great; to John, who made this all happen; thank you all, and I’m ready to get to work.
Today in Transitions.