The Washington Post is pumping its fist after a year of gushing accolades and record online growth, surpassing The New York Times’ number of monthly visitors for the first time this October. The triumph comes as competition for audience and influence is heating up between the two storied publications. But the 140-year-old Post is fighting as a website, not a newspaper.
The Post’s present incarnation of content is a mashup—Woodward and Bernstein meets BuzzFeed. Deep investigations and scoops sit alongside an expansive network of blogs geared for social media speed, like the Morning Mix, PostEverything, and WonkBlog, which are increasingly important traffic drivers. This storm of pithy content is altering The Post’s DNA from that of a legacy newspaper to something more like that of a digital native, but it’s unclear how the convergence of serious news and lighthearted, Web-friendly stories are affecting the brand.