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The Fifth Estate

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Jill Abramson

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Photo of Sally Warhaft and Jill Abramson on stage at the Athenaeum Theatre

Sally Warhaft and Jill Abramson on stage at the Athenaeum Theatre — Photo: Scott Limbrick

How should the media survive the current age? It’s a question that haunts the bones of many in the industry, and a through-line of Merchants of Truth, a bracing new account of American journalism’s moral crisis written by Jill Abramson.

A former executive editor of the New York Times, and a widely-respected media veteran, Abramson looks at fake news, click-bait and the commercial objectives of Facebook and Google. Her unflinching – sometimes bleak – investigations take readers to the front-line of the essential and existential decisions being made at the heart of four key outlets: BuzzfeedVICE, the Times and the Washington Post. Against Facebook virality and Google’s algorithm, can hallowed principles of objectivity and impartiality survive?

The first woman to hold many of the senior roles she’s occupied, Abramson shares what she’s learned through her celebrated career. She also addresses the criticism and controversy surrounding the book: she has been accused of being dismissive towards young, digitally savvy journalists and their readerships’ interests, and of factual errors and plagiarism – charges which she refutes.

With host Sally Warhaft, join us for a fascinating and frank discussion with one of modern journalism’s most experienced figures, and an exploration into the future of media.

The Fifth Estate

The important stories of the day – off the front pages.

Sally Warhaft hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs.