paper trail

Danielle Belton named new editor of HuffPost; the latest round of Substack discourse

Danielle Belton. Photo: D. Finney Photography

The New Republic is returning to Washington, DC. The New York Times also reports that Michael Tomasky, editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas will take over as the new editor. Chris Lehmann will stay on as editor at large.

At New York magazine’s Intelligencer, Eric Levitz writes about the latest round of Substack discourse, as the newsletter platform was recently in the news again because of its Substack Pro platform. The company was criticized for offering pay guarantees to high-profile writers (some of whom have written anti-trans rhetoric), which, Levitz observes, some people thought was a “scam.” Levitz disagrees, or, rather argues that if Substack is a scam, then all of the media is one, too, as many writers labor for next to nothing while a few, often the benfieres of unfair advantages, take the spoils: “These particular problems are nearly ubiquitous throughout the journalism industry and do not reflect pathologies peculiar to Substack.”

In her newsletter, Emily Gould Can’t Complain, Gould writes about the flawed default position Substack has found itself in, as it tries to have it both ways: a publisher that selects and pays writers and a value-neutral platform for “free speech”: “ Under the guise of having no editorial strategy, they are choosing to have the worst kind of editorial strategy. . . . The people who are capable of turning their existing writing platforms into a large paying audience aren’t all inflammatory demagogues who sell their audience a simplified worldview that confirms their fucked-up preconceived notions, but a lot of them—inevitably—are.”

The Daily Beast writes that Danielle Belton, the editor in chief of The Root, will be named as the editor of HuffPost.

In the New Republic, Alex Shepard writes about how the DC press is manufacturing a partisan conflict over the migrants at the southern border: “All that really matters is that Republicans are criticizing Biden’s immigration stance. The Beltway press is back to doing what it does best: being a laundering mechanism for Republican talking points.”

LitHub has announced a new five-part podcast, Finnegan and Friends, a consideration of the James Joyce novel, which will begin on April 1st.

For Vanity Fair, Joe Pompeo speculates as to who might take over editorship of the Washington Post following Marty Baron’s departure almost a month ago. An inside source noted the possibility that Jeff Bezos, who owns the paper, might add a candidate of his own choosing to the mix.