Newsweek

Covering Newsweek's Owners

The Newsweek brand is a powerful one, conveying that our journalism is authoritative and fair, produced with integrity and independence. I know that maintaining and strengthening the trustworthiness of the Newsweek name is enormously important to everyone in the newsroom, as it is to me.

We've been accused of being a partisan actor in the shareholder dispute because we've committed resources to covering a little-known Christian sect whose latest troubles have drawn scant attention from other media outlets. If these controversies had no connection to Newsweek's owners, we'd likely not cover them either. But it's crucial for us to report on our proprietors. We absolutely cannot be in the position of knowing about law-enforcement activity related to the company and failing to report on it.

In 2017, the company's then-owners were under investigation by the Manhattan DA for fraud. We learned this only when investigators raided the newsroom in January 2018 — but other news outlets did know, and they were staked out in front of our office to record the event. The newsroom's insistence on covering the case prompted the firing of my predecessor, another editor and a reporter. In protest, Dayan and I, and the other editors and reporters on the story, agreed to resign; we stayed on only after receiving assurances that the newsroom could report and publish freely on any subject whatsoever, and we published the story in question.

Since then we have rigorously covered developments related to our owners, and we will continue to do so. This is a standard ethical practice in U.S. newsrooms. To ignore the story would be passive if not complicit.

No one outside the newsroom has any influence on these stories. We are here to serve Newsweek's mission and our readers, and I believe our ongoing coverage is clearly the product of an independent newsroom, and that it demonstrates our commitment to honest, transparent journalism and the highest professional standards.

Nancy Cooper, Global Editor in Chief