Ezra Klein has finally found a new home. He announced yesterday a plan to strike out into the wild frontier of digital media and establish a news outpost aimed at revolutionizing journalism as we know it. Ambitious, no?
The new website, ominously named “Project X,” will be housed within the fast growing Vox Media empire. Vox, best known as the parent of The Verge, SB Nation, and Eater, is a small but potent little web company that clearly hopes to make a play for mainstream appeal with the addition of Klein to its roster.
“Early last year, Melissa Bell, Matt Yglesias and I began wrestling with a question that had bugged all of us for a long time,” Klein wrote in a post at The Verge yesterday, “Why hadn’t the Internet made the news better at delivering crucial context alongside new information? This year, we’re founding a new publication at Vox Media in order to do something about it.”
Klein says he intends to pursue a new form of journalism that better leverages communications technology and prioritizes contextual explanations over newness of information. And he will not be alone in his endeavor. Along with Bell, Dylan Matthews is coming on-board from WaPo, and Yglesias is joining from Slate. They are also currently looking to hire “writers who are obsessively knowledgeable about their subjects,” if you’re interested.
It now falls on Klein and his merry band of journalistic rebels to realize their vision for Project X, and to prove that it can be made into a sustainable -and profitable -model for reporting the news. And they better be ready to do it under the full glare of the public spotlight. After a high-profile courtship with the Post to fund the project that ultimately failed, and with such lofty stated ambitious, you can be sure this will be one of the most scrutinized media adventures of the year.