OLD Media Moves

How The Information was built on good journalism

March 21, 2017

Posted by Chris Roush

Jessica Lessin
Jessica Lessin

Jessica Davies of Digiday writes about how former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin started The Information and built the tech news site on good, strong journalism.

Davies writes, “Three years ago, Lessin, 33, took that single-minded focus, along with family money and connections to the tech elite (Mark Zuckerberg was a groomsman at her wedding) to start The Information, a subscription-based tech news site. With no name recognition and an output of just two stories a day, the site was asking people to pay $399 a year, a figure on a par with the Journal, a journalistic giant with a more than 120-year history and global newsgathering resources.

“But having covered media and tech convinced her there was an opening for a different kind of media company.

“‘I had simply interviewed too many media companies that I felt were rushing to give away their tech content to Google and Facebook without thinking through their long-term business objectives,’ she says. ‘Without the editorial experience of hundreds of interviews and stories on this space, I wouldn’t have seen the opportunity to build a different type of media company and start The Information.’

“At a time when media owners increasingly see connecting directly with readers — and getting them to pay for online content — as critical to their survival, Lessin’s model is attracting attention. Ever the journalist, she approached building a business in the same way she would have written a story about how to launch a startup: interviewing people, drafting plans in Google Docs. She’s an active presence in the twice-weekly news meetings. She’s on stage at The Information’s events. Other times, she’s talking to subscribers on a dedicated Slack channel.”

Read more here.

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