In a memo to staff sent earlier this month, Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan announced that 2016 brought profitability to the Post, and with it, plans to add more staff.
According to what Ryan told Politico’s Ken Doctor, the new hires for 2017 will include “dozens of journalists.” While declining to provide a specific number, he did tell Doctor that there will be more than 60, which will bring the newsroom up to at least 750 staff members.
One of the areas in which the Post will expand, as many newsrooms are planning to following the election, is in investigative journalism:
Then, there’s the addition of a “rapid-response” investigative team of about a half dozen, which will work alongside the Post’s existing investigative team of more than a dozen. Clearly, given the pace of news, the goal here is to produce more stories of depth, and data, in time spans of days or short weeks, as well as the ones that take months.
The newsletter and breaking news staff are also getting a boost, but it may be the expanded investigations team that is most heartening. Investigate work is time intensive and resource heavy (even at the faster pace under which the new team will be breaking stories) and it appears the additions there have more to do with staying true to the Post’s roots than the hires being a good business proposition, although that may be the case as well. It was after all, Doctor reports, the expanded opinion section that drove the most subscriptions, and many publications have bulked their opinion offerings for similar reasons. But, as Ryan told Doctor, “Investigative reporting is central to our DNA. Readers expect it.”