We got some very bad news

47 journalists were laid off at the award-winning news site HuffPost.




Earlier this year, news broke that I had been bracing against for years: 47 journalists at HuffPost — many of them former colleagues of mine at a news organization where I’d spent the better part of my professional life — were being laid off.

And as bad as that news was, perhaps the most terrifying part was that when the news landed, many of us were relieved that it wasn’t worse.

The fear had been that many more would be on the chopping block. Still, veteran reporters with decades — maybe centuries — of combined experience were suddenly taken off their beats.

The Intercept isn’t immune to the financial pressures affecting the entire industry. The same trends driving down revenue at for-profit newsrooms are causing a decline in the donations that nonprofits... like us depend on.

To keep The Intercept strong over the long haul, we must keep growing reader support for our journalism. That’s important for our long-term sustainability, and it also strengthens our independence from any single donor. This month is our biannual fundraising campaign, and we have a big goal of raising $400,000 by June 30 — but so far we still have almost $175,000 to go.

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I worked for HuffPost for nine years before joining The Intercept. And while winning a Pulitzer Prize is a nice industry validation, it wasn’t the thing we did that I was most proud of during my time there.

Instead, I relished every moment that Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi would complain publicly that we were hitting them too hard, that it wasn’t fair to demand so much of politicians. “If you read the Huffington Post, you'd think I was some right-wing tool of Wall Street,” Obama told a group of college students in 2011.

I came to The Intercept because it proudly embraces the tradition of adversarial journalism, one of the few respites left for such reporting.

But with the nation no longer in a constant state of panic about what Trump might do or tweet, new donors to our site have plummeted by 30 percent.

Journalism is the lifeblood of democracy, and those laid off at HuffPost are just the most recent casualties of the crisis our industry is facing. I’m grateful that The Intercept has provided me a home to continue doing this work. If you value journalism like I do, please make a donation to support our work.

Democracy simply cannot survive without strong, well-funded investigative journalism holding the powerful accountable. Reader support helps us take on this ambitious work and preserve our editorial independence.

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Obama, in his talk to those college students, mused that we would probably have attacked Abraham Lincoln for leaving too many carveouts and loopholes in the Emancipation Proclamation, guessing at the banner headline: “Lincoln Sells Out Slaves.”

I don’t know about that, but I do know that adversarial journalists at the time hammered away at Lincoln for years, urging him to move faster and be bolder, reminding him of the stakes.

They were not wrong. As William Lloyd Garrison, one of his chief supporters and critics, said of such an obligation: “Little boldness is needed to assail the opinions and practices of notoriously wicked men; but to rebuke great and good men for their conduct, and to impeach their discernment, is the highest effort of moral courage.”

Help us meet that challenge.

Ryan Grim D.C. Bureau Chief

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The Intercept is an award-winning nonprofit news organization dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism. Our in-depth investigations and unflinching analysis focus on surveillance, war, corruption, the environment, technology, criminal justice, the media and more. Email is an important way for us to communicate with The Intercept’s readers, but if you’d like to stop hearing from us, click here to r0 from all communications. Protecting freedom of the press has never been more important. Contribute now to support our independent journalism.

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