In one of the more disturbing things you'll hear from someone in charge of one America's best papers, it appears that Washington Post President Steve Hills has a solution to the paper's circulation problems: more slideshows. At least that's what he proposed during a secret meeting on April 17, according to Adweek's Lucia Moses.
"Hills was said to have shocked with remarks that awards 'don’t matter,' urged more traffic-driving slideshows, over original Post photos and compared the Post to Ohio’s Dayton Daily News, a paper with one-fifth the circulation of the 508,000-circ Post," wrote Moses. Obviously, the thought of trading a Weingarten Pulitzer for traffic-pushing slideshows like Kentucky Derby Hats breaks our journalistic hearts--even more than the cuts and layoffs which have plagued the paper in recent months.
What's more disconcerting is if Hills's solution of "MORE SLIDESHOWS!" might actually work (and effectively turn the paper into Business Insider), and help the floundering Post out of its massive financial woes--woes that include a 8 percent decline in revenue, a 17 percent decline in print advertising revenue, and an 11 percent decrease in online advertising revenue. For now, at least, The Post is still in the journalism business, but according to investigative editor Jeff Leen, that's not cheap. As Leen told Adweek's Moses: “We’re still doing very ambitious, expensive, risky work.” That's great, but we're just afraid we'll have to click through 50 slides to read it.