David Sirota, the syndicated columnist and author, has joined International Business Times as a senior writer, focusing on the intersection of Wall Street and politics, IBT is announcing today.
Sirota himself was in the news last month when he was abruptly fired from Pando Daily. At IBT, he joins a growing editorial bench, which now includes global editor in chief Peter Goodman, Marcus Baram, both ex-Huffington Post; Nancy Cooper (formerly of Newsweek and WNYC) and Laura Hibbard (ex-Time, Huff Post).
Sirota talked about his plans to help establish IBT as a place for hard-hitting reporting.
A lot people never heard of IBT until they bought Newsweek last year. What’s your sense of IBT and its journalistic mission?
I think they’re a serious journalistic operation that wants to build out a bigger newsroom. There’s a lot of talk about a journalism bubble. They’ve been around a long time and are slowly but surely increasing their capacity. There’s less of a flash-in-a-pan feeling. They have a very clear sense of what they have to do business-wise. The people they’ve hired, like Peter, are not only supportive of investigative journalism, but that’s what they do.
There’s been some coverage of the parent company’s owners’ religious ties. Do you have any concerns about their editorial independence?
I am confident there is a real journalistic independence. I did my own due diligence, talked to people who have worked with their editorial team with the new Newsweek. They know what I do; they know my work very well. Peter and I had this very intensive back and forth. They want me to continue to do and expand on what I do.
Do they have a point of view?
In my discussions with them, it’s, “wherever the journalism leads you. If the story takes you to scrutinize a Democrat, you follow that story. If it takes you to scrutinize a Republican, you follow that story.”
We’ve seen some well-known journalists striking out on their own. How big is the opportunity to do that versus being associated with an established brand?
I think when you’re doing investigative journalism in particular, it really helps to be working with an institution. It takes a lot of effort and resources to do that kind of reporting. In this so-called journalism bubble, I do think there’s this desire to do analysis of other people’s original reporting because that’s an easier endeavor. I think the tradeoff is, those models won’t necessarily do something lasting or something of value.
You’re well established yourself, but given IBT’s low profile so far, do you think it’ll be hard to get access?
Pando was not a known entity at all and I was still able to report out the stories I wanted to in the political and financial realm. IBT, they’ll have no problem with that as well. One thing I’d say about this era is, if you do good reporting, you can establish yourself much more quickly.
It was suggested that you were fired at Pando because of complaints from investors that there was too much politics coverage and not enough tech. What happened?
I don’t really have a comment on the reasons of what happened, because I don’t have any information about it. They were extremely supportive of my work that I did with them, and it was pretty abrupt, in that there wasn’t any real warning. But the bottom line is, they were very supportive of my work, and I wish them well.
It must be frustrating to still have questions.
I mean, yeah. It was a surprise to me, and anytime a situation happens like that, it’s not particularly pleasant to go through. But this is the media business. It’s unpredictable.
Dentsu’s podcast celebrating Black empowerment tries to do its part to fill the advertising inequity gap
The Dentsu-backed More Than That with Gia Peppers kicked off season 3 last week, featuring several major advertisers (and Dentsu clients) including Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Kroger and Mastercard.
The Athletic’s Sebastian Tomich is looking beyond ads and subscriptions to reach profitability
The Athletic's path to profitability is set for 2025, and to achieve this goal, chief commercial officer Sebastian Tomich is focused on more than just selling ads directly to prospective advertisers.
How newsroom unions intervene when members get laid off
Amid the recent wave of media layoffs, here are some of the ways newsroom unions are intervening.
SponsoredAdvertising predictions that will shake up the media industry in 2023
Chris Kelly, CEO, Upwave Like many people, marketers and advertisers were ready to see 2022 come to a close. A year that started off promising was assailed by inflation, layoffs and the disastrous effects of RSV, the flu and additional COVID strains. Still, despite an uncertain outlook for 2023, there are plenty of reasons for […]
Despite Q1’s slow start, publishers are bullish about events revenue for 2023
Publishers like BDG and Apartment Therapy are banking on events revenue to give them a leg up in 2023.
Media Briefing: The case for and against monthly and annual subscriptions in the battle for retention
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for improving retention in a subscriptions business. While annual subscribers might stick around longer for some, other publishers will have better luck with monthly plans.