Ben Freed Fired From DCist

By Betsy Rothstein Comment

DCist Editor-in-Chief Ben Freed has been fired after fighting with his employer about publishing a story for BuzzFeed. The news was first reported by WaPo‘s Erik Wemple.

Wemple writes that Freed was given the axe after he freelanced a story for BuzzFeed on the impact of the $250M WaPo sale on local D.C. news. The part of the story that is still a mystery, and we don’t get why Wemple didn’t ask this, is that Freed’s Publisher, Jake Dobkin, told him to spike the story. BuzzFeed said they would be amenable to spiking the story, but also thought it would bring attention to DCist.

And yet… it still ran.

We’ve reached out to BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith on whether he’d hire Freed as well as the details of why the story was not spiked. Unfortunately Smith is on vacation until Aug. 12 so we’re reaching out to other BuzzFeed sources.