Thursday, October 13, 2005
The Latest From WashingtonPost.com
BYU students attended
tonight's keynote address by Washington Post.com Executive Editor James M. Brady.
James Brady would love for me to link to his website, WashingtonPost.com. The executive editor of the online sister to The Washington Post says when bloggers link to an article on his site, he links right back to the blog.
It’s part of the new age of audience convergence Brady spoke of during an address to a packed auditorium of mostly Brigham Young University students and attendees at the convergence conference tonight.
“The rise of blogs has begun to turn the media business from a lecture into a conversation,” said Brady, who returned to Washington Post.com nine months ago after working several years at America Online.
Not only is his web site linking to blogs, but it’s creating them too. According to Brady, WashingtonPost.com has created more than 20 blogs just in the last nine months.
The influence of blogging was just one many topics he covered in an address focused mostly on changing audience habits and challenges for his site.
“People have subject loyalty rather than brand loyalty,” he said.
When Brady leaves the newsroom of the WashingtonPost.com, he never knows when big news will break.
Earlier this summer, minutes after explaining to a class at American University what the website’s strategy would be in the event Pope John Paul II passed away, news broke of the late Pope’s passing.
Almost instantly, the website changed displaying a menu of news offerings on the story including live chats and photo galleries.
“They were so fascinated by the way when that story happened we were not limited by the ways we were able to tell that story,” he said.
More recently, Brady is proud of his site’s coverage of the recent hurricanes and how he was able to send his own crew of videographers to gather content for both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.
Before becoming the executive editor of the site, Brady worked for AOL.com.
The Washington Post site, which launched in June 1996, is now competing head-to-head with other news websites that provide both national and local content.
With an editorial staff of 100 including 14 people devoted to multimedia content, four videographers and a half-dozen employees who take in video, Brady readily admits most of his content still comes from what he calls the “print parent” The Washington Post.
The two are part of the larger Washington Post Company, which includes Washington Post Newsweek Interactive (WPNI) of which the newspaper and magazine’s websites along with Slate.com are subsidiaries.
According to Brady, Washington Post had 2.3 billion page views in 2004 and WPNI made a profit, something not many online news sites can say.