The Merchants of Truth

The Business of Facts and The Future of News

The Merchants of Truth

The definitive report on the disruption of the news media over the last decade. With the expert guidance of former Executive Editor of The New York Times Jill Abramson, we follow two legacy (New York Times and Washington Post) and two upstart (BuzzFeed and VICE) companies as they plow through a revolution in technology, economics, standards, commitment, and endurance which pits old vs. new media.

News is all the news these days. What is news? These days whether traditional, “fake,” print, or digital, the contest is about how news is rooted out, reported, sourced, delivered, and paid for. It is about depth, commitment, scoops, click bait, advertising, mobile, video, and entertainment. It is about expertise, investment, and the ever-popular leak.

Merchants of Truth takes us inside the pivotal decade, concentrating on four companies, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, and VICE, from 2006 to the present, as they map uncharted territory. The new digital landscape almost kills two venerable newspapers with aging readerships while creating two media behemoths with an expanding audience of millennials. Based on intensive research and broad reporting, Abramson introduces us to the veterans and the innovators fighting to save or build, such as Jeff Bezos (Washington Post), Arthur Sulzberger and Dean Baquet (New York Times), Jonah Peretti (BuzzFeed), and Shane Smith (VICE) and their reporters and readers.

Merchants of Truth caps the struggle for the future of news. It is an amazing scene, a lively playing field, and a crucially important plot.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501123207 | 
  • January 2019
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About the Author

Jill Abramson
© Simon Leigh

Jill Abramson

Jill Abramson is a senior lecturer at Harvard University. She also writes a bi-weekly column for The Guardian about US politics. She spent seventeen years in the most senior editorial positions at The New York Times, where she was the first woman to serve as Washington bureau chief, managing editor, and executive editor. Before joining the Times, she spent nine years at The Wall Street Journal. The author of Merchants of Truth, she lives in New York City.