Following rumors and then a confirmation that the popularWashington Post blogger would be leaving the company for a new web venture, Ezra Klein announced today that his new site would fall under the Vox Media umbrella. Vox is the owner of sites like SB Nation (sports), The Verge (tech), and Polygon (video games).
In a post explaining the new site, Klein wrote that the goal was to provide greater context to the news, and that even now, the way news is presented online is suboptimal.
Today, we are better than ever at telling people what's happening, but not nearly good enough at giving them the crucial contextual information necessary to understand what's happened. We treat the emphasis on the newness of information as an important virtue rather than a painful compromise.
The news business, however, is just a subset of the informing-our-audience business — and that's the business we aim to be in. Our mission is to create a site that's as good at explaining the world as it is at reporting on it.
Klein also stressed that the tech powering the operation was just as important as the editorial strategy guiding it, hence the move to a web-only company like Vox rather than a rival newspaper. David Carr explained as much in his reaction to the news:
Great digital journalists consume and produce content at the same time, constantly publishing what they are reading and hearing. And by leaving mainstream companies, journalists are often able to get their own hands on the button to publish, which is exciting and gratifying.
In a Q&A with Charlie Warzel at BuzzFeed—who predicted the move days ago—about the new site, Klein said that he did not intend to make Wonkblog 2.0. "We will be in as many issue areas as our revenue model will openly support," he said. "This is not just Wonkblog or policy news. This is a much broader product. It’s a completely different product."
Klein's announcement did not specify a launch date but the venture as of now also includes Melissa Bell, Dylan Matthews, and former Slate columnist Matt Yglesias, whose high-profile exit was announced last week.