Hello! I’m so glad you’re here.

Do you care about American democracy and do you wish that today’s journalism was better at serving the public? You’re in the right place.

You might have come by to listen to my new podcast which is called “American Crisis: Can journalism save democracy?” Or maybe you’re just looking for some commentary on our chaotic, and — let’s face it — pretty flawed, media system. I’ve been writing and thinking (and teaching) about all of this for a long time, and I hope I can offer you some insight — or at least some food for thought. And I’m interested in hearing your thoughts, too. So we’ll be having an ongoing conversation that should be informative and engaging.

You might know my work from my stint as New York Times public editor — the internal ombudswoman, or reader representative. I was responsible for holding the world’s most powerful media organization accountable to its readers. Or maybe you met me earlier as the media columnist for the Washington Post, where I tried to get my fellow journalists to cover the Trump administration differently, and where I chronicled the decline of local media. These days, I write a weekly column for the Guardian US and I teach at Duke University.

When my memoir, “Newsroom Confidential” came out in 2022, I was thrilled that Steve Coll (the New Yorker writer and the former Columbia University journalism school dean) called me “the critic American journalism requires.” I will try to show you here — in writing and on my podcast — that he was right. And I’m willing to bet that I’ll learn as much from you as you do from me.

I’m also interested in some fun stuff, like pop music, theater, and arts and culture generally. So don’t be too shocked if I ask you who did the best-ever cover version of a Beatles song…


Why subscribe?

I’m building a community here — people who care about democracy and how the media works within it — and I hope you’ll be a part of it. Any net proceeds I receive in the first four weeks will go to Committee to Protect Journalists or Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Full episodes of the podcast are available only to paying subscribers, so come along for the ride!

Subscribe to American Crisis

A podcast that explores whether journalism can help save democracy, seen through the lens of Watergate and Jan. 6, 2021.


I’m a pro-democracy media critic, an author and an occasional glass-ceiling breaker. You might know me as the former public editor of the New York Times, or now as a columnist at the Guardian US and the Egan professor at Duke University.