We also have a recognition that not all journalists are going to be videographers in the field. We have some who are really good at that, and work across platforms, but we’ve allowed people to go to the form of storytelling that they’re most passionate about. If you care about the storytelling, you’re going to do a better job at it. We’ve learned that you can’t have a cookie-cutter approach; you can’t demand everything of everyone. And you can’t consider each correspondent someone who you can pay a flat rate and expect them to just keep churning the stories out. We want to be able to go deep into some stories, and pay for them, where necessary, allow reporters more time to make those extra phone calls, or go that extra day of reporting, to really deliver the story.
Every corner of the world where we have a correspondent, we have a different situation, of course. In some places, we’re actually going to pull back the level of coverage, but we’re going to step up our coverage in other places that we think have a stronger story to tell, whether because of emerging economies, or ongoing conflicts, or other themes that really cut across a region. In general we’ve peeled back in some quieter European and Asian countries; we’ve pushed forward in Brazil, Russia, India, and China, and we have increased fourfold our coverage in those countries, and increased the budgeting to our lead correspondents there. We also want to put a marker down on Southeast Asia, with a correspondent in Bangkok, and in Africa, with a correspondent in Kenya. We’re hoping to expand this into other regions as we see that we’re getting success in this more concentrated form of coverage, but this is something that’s really just starting to take shape.
What went into your decision to create a nonprofit arm in addition to the for-profit structure?
I think we’ve recognized that some of the stories where we get noticed the most and are then able to drive traffic to the site are the in-depth stories. Those stories, where we break new ground, are the ones that get us on television, allow us to work through our editorial partnerships with PBS NewsHour, CBS News, and NPR Digital, push those stories out there, and they really resonate. There’s a recognition that we need to do special projects in a more ambitious and focused way. We think we can really do great journalism with these special projects in the field, and we’re going to need funding to do that. Two years into a start-up website, it’s hard for us to put together the money we need to give our reporters the opportunity to do the kind of stories they’re capable of doing, which are in-depth, investigative stories. We’ve already been funding these special projects, and we’ll continue to fund them, but we’ve also had a lot of interest from foundations in supporting our reporting, and so we should really take them up on that.