Archive of ‘Archives’ category

“I am the Captain now”

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It is difficult for one to describe the inner culture of a company as an outsides, but what I can describe is the dramatic power switch within The Washington Post after it was purchased by Jeff Bezos. As the video describes, after the purchase and sale of the old headquarters, The Washington Post had been expected to change toward a more modernized and technology driven medium of news reporting. This is a great video for my research because it directly explains how the new owner will transform the historic previously family owned business and what that could mean for the readers.

It’s Always Political in DC

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Here in the Google Satellite Image you can see the exterior of the new headquarters of The Washington Post.  Often times it is described as high end real estate housing some of the biggest business players. Before The Washington Post put up their grand logo, on three different parts of the building, Reed Smith had theirs. Reed Smith is a worldwide law firm, yet The Washington Post managed to overpower.

Katherine Graham and What the Washington Post is About Now

 

Davis, Deborah. Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and her Washington Post Empire. 3rd ed., Sheridan Square Press, 1991.

Background and Argument: In Deborah Davis’ biography, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and her Washington Post Empire, she tells the story of Katharine Graham and how she built The Washington Post to be the nation newspaper we known it today and argues that it is the sole strength and confidence of Katherine Graham that represents the reputation of the Washington Post.

As a background source, this biography gives me an accurate representation of Katherine as a person and what the Washington Post was like when she ran it. This biography is also an argument piece displaying a perspective to my research of how the move to the new headquarters marks a new transition/evolution for the company within the internal organization and mission.  

 

“About Us.” Washington Post, 15 July 2014.

Exhibit: On the Washington Post’s public relations page, they exhibit a page solely focusing on explaining what is the reason for the company; in tern this page sets up the rhetorical conversation for the readers to understand their logos, pathos, and ethos. Conventional wisdom has it that in today’s businesses must have a clean mission and vision statement that is well comprehended by the consumer, therefore this webpage is built to provide their readers with the clear statement of the newspaper’s purpose.

This website is beneficial for my research because it provides me with the information which is fed to the press and the people of what they want people to think of the newspaper. As an exhibition piece, I will be analyzing this page in order to pick up clues on what the intentions are and how they differ from the company virtues back in the Graham days. 

The Washington Post Needed to Upgrade

Looking at the images of the new headquarters of the Washington Post, I can’t help but wonder if the newly installed interactive technology enough to make up for the atmosphere of the old, yet monumental, headquarters? In some way it is understandable to renovate the floor plan of the headquarters into a more technologically advanced one, because today most media is distributed through electronic gadgets and the internet. I personally believe the new composition of the headquarters mark the beginning of a new stage in the development of the newspaper, in the age of digitalization.

The Washington Post: Exterior Design

As you make your way down the street, it may feel like the building to you left are a giant endless wall of structures that all look alike. In a way it feels like they are trying to keep you away from the parallel street. Then you approach The Washington Post headquarters is a monumental building trimmed in marble from top to bottom, which evidently signals the solidarity and professionalism of the establishment. The simple and limited design sets the environment which would be characterized as official yet intimidating. As you can see in the image, the size plaque is the only indication of what this building represents, but the you see the revolving doors. The gold revolving doors stand out from the rest of the building, as if they are indicating the entrance and welcoming the visitors through the portal and into the world of media.  

The Old and New Washington Post, Transition Through the Eyes of the Reporters

Achenbach, Joel. “Hello, New Washington Post, Home to Tiny Offices but Big New Ambitions.” The Washington Post; Washington, D.C., 7 Dec. 2015. ProQuest.

Must have been the thoughts of Bezos when purchasing the Washington Post.

Exhibit: In Joel Achenbach’s article, “Hello, New Washington Post, Home to Tiny Offices but Big New  Ambitions,” he gives a visual description of the new headquarters allowing the readers to better understand the built environment, focusing on how it differs from the previous one. Achenbach begins by announcing to the newspaper readers that the headquarters of the Washington Post are moving a couple blocks down and into the grand One Franklin Square Building. The reporter reflects on what he got to see of the installation process and provided the readers with verbal plan of the building, describing the space floor by floor. Reflecting back to the old building Achenbach said “Now the old building is on its way to the wrecking ball. The move was announced, and the headquarters put on the market, even before the sale to Bezos.”

I plan to use this piece of evidence as an exhibition piece because Achenbach has a unique perspective on the matter as an inside reporter. I picked this article in particular because it is written by a Washington Post writer, therefore I believe that the information coming from the inside of the newspaper is more genuine than what others may have to say on the matter of the history and current occurrence of the establishments. I find it interesting that he mentions that the old headquarters was on the market even before Bezos purchased the newspaper. As an exhibition piece, this is something I plan to analyze and take into account for what were Katherine Graham’s intentions and how different are they from Bezos’?

 

Fisher, Marc. “Goodbye, Old Washington Post, Home of the Newspaper the Grahams Built.” The Washington Post, 7 Dec. 2015. washingtonpost.com.

Exhibit: In Marc Fisher’s, “Goodbye, Old Washington Post, Home of the Newspaper the Grahams Built,” tells the story of the traditions in the old headquarters, but more importantly exposes why the building had to be torn down, revealing his perspective on why they chose to relocate. The article also includes a great video about the memories and the archives people have kept in the old building. Yet now they are packing up and are ready to move even closer to the Capitol and therefore closer to all the news.

https://giphy.com/gifs/wait-reading-newspaper-gWFTXUNVs7YGY

Though I will be using this article as an exhibit piece to analyze what the reporter, with the first person point of view, has to say about the way the newspaper was run before and how it will change with the move and the new owner. I was especially intrigued by his direct claim that “the Post, like most American newspapers, is moving to a sleeker, cleaner place, part of a cultural and industrial pivot, from paper to screen, from daily to constant, from hand delivery to social sharing.”

 

The Washington Post: the public

As I stood outside the headquarters of The Washington Post, I noticed the types of people who strolled by and in and out of the building. Most of them were security or office workers and others were off in a hurry somewhere. Yet then I remembered that it is just the type of people who inhabit the capital. It is a city of democrats, businessmen, government officials and the homeless population. Walking around you are bound to witness that businessman who is running late to meeting or that secret service officer who is ensuring the safety of the surroundings or that old homeless man who curses his drug infested past. None of these separated social groups interact with one another, I wonder why that is.

The New Washington Post Headquarters

After visiting the old headquarters, I made my way to the current one, 1301 K Street. Even though it was only an 8 minute walk, the area was much more lively and prominent mostly due to the proximity of the White House. As you approach the building you notice the classic marble exterior and then you look straight up to read the grand sign reading The Washington Post. Enormous and overwhelming, were the first words that crossed my mind when I looked up at the grand monument like building.

The Old Washington Post

Strolling down L street, past offices buildings and embassy consulates, I noticed numerous newspaper boxes labeled The Washington Post, which is not something I noticed before going on this exploration. Reading newspapers is not something I do a lot, too political for my taste, yet I am always intrigued by the concept of one. When I first looked up The Washington Post headquarters, I was given two addresses, which at first threw me off but then I realized that one was the old one and the other was the current one. As I navigated to the first one, I discovered that the building was completely redone and I could no longer witness the original 1105 15th street headquarters.