Playbook’s Jake Sherman interviews Atlantic’s newest editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, on his plans for the publication, transitioning from writer to editor and the decision to make a presidential endorsement this election cycle.
“I don’t anticipate writing a huge amount of anything in the next year or two,” Goldberg tells Sherman as he anticipates pivoting from the often hubristic act of writing to the more humble work of editing, as well as learning and “relearning” what The Atlantic is. “When you’re an editor, it’s not about you anymore. It’s about your people and it’s about the larger cause and the glory that they achieve does reflect on the editors and the ownership … and I’m fine with that. I suppose there are moments where I’ll like to weigh in on Syria policy or the Middle East peace process and the pivot to Asia and I won’t be able to because I’m worried about content distribution networks.”
Goldberg also gets into the story of how he got the job offer, a classic bait and switch in which one day you’re helping a publication search for its next editor and next thing you know you get asked to do the job. “I was helping think through names of people and so on and then all of a sudden, one day the conversation shifted to, ‘Do you want to do it?’ and my first answer was, of course, ‘You gotta be kidding.’ … It went from you’re kidding, to ‘huh,’ to a lot of questions, to, ‘That sounds like a pretty good job,'” he said.
You can read the entire interview here.