Vox Media backs new Ezra Klein publication

The Verge | BuzzFeed | The New York Times

Ezra Klein announced Sunday that Vox Media will fund the new publication he and two other journalists left The Washington Post to start. (Job ads for “the world’s first hybrid news site/encyclopedia” here.)

Today, we are better than ever at telling people what’s happening, but not nearly good enough at giving them the crucial contextual information necessary to understand what’s happened. We treat the emphasis on the newness of information as an important virtue rather than a painful compromise.

The news business, however, is just a subset of the informing-our-audience business  —  and that’s the business we aim to be in. Our mission is to create a site that’s as good at explaining the world as it is at reporting on it.

Vox publishes The Verge, Polygon and SB Nation, among other publications.

[I]t’s important to remember we’re not reinventing the wheel here,” Klein told BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel. Vox was an attractive partner because of Chorus, the platform its sites are built on, Klein wrote in his announcement. Vox appealed because “we needed technology and design partners not just to help us make what we’re thinking a reality but a better reality than the ones we were dreaming up,” he told Warzel.

I was intent on only partnering with somebody who could make the product better than I ever could. Otherwise we should just go the startup route. We ended up being so sure that teaming with with Vox would give us a far better site.

(In November, Felix Salmon wrote that “It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of the CMS when it comes to the question of who’s going to win the online-publishing wars.” Chorus, he wrote, “does everything well, from video to real-time storytelling to sophisticated ad integration.”)

David Carr writes that the Klein/Vox marriage shows that in digital media, “How something is made and published is often as important as what is made.”

“It is not as simple as journalists going to a digital site and doubling their salary,” said Jim Bankoff, chief executive of Vox. “Many of these people, including Ezra, have a vision of creating something remarkable. There is a better way of doing things and we like to think that we are using technology in service of creativity, journalism and storytelling.”

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