When it comes to the United States’ media, few outlets have as much influence as The Washington Post. Founded in 1877, the newspaper has been an essential source of news and opinion for more than 140 years.
The Washington Post was founded in 1877 by Stilson Hutchins, a former newspaperman from the Midwest. Hutchins had previously worked for the Cincinnati Gazette and had moved to Washington D.C. to start his own paper. After receiving a loan from a local bank, Hutchins launched The Washington Post on December 6, 1877.
The first edition of The Post was a four-page paper with a mix of local, national, and international news. The paper also featured a few columns of opinion and commentary, which were the forerunners to the paper’s current opinion pages.
The Post quickly established itself as one of the preeminent newspapers in the nation’s capital. By the turn of the century, The Post had become a leader in investigative reporting and political coverage.
In 1933, Hutchins sold the paper to Eugene Meyer, a financier and former head of the War Finance Corporation. Under Meyer, The Post continued to expand and began to focus more on investigative journalism and political coverage.
In the mid-1950s, Meyer’s son-in-law, Philip Graham, took over as publisher. Graham was a dynamic leader who pushed the paper to new heights. He recruited talented journalists such as Ben Bradlee and Meg Greenfield, who would go on to become some of the most influential figures in American journalism.
The Watergate Scandal
The Washington Post’s most famous moment came during the Watergate scandal. In 1972, reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein began to investigate a break-in at the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters. Working with their source, “Deep Throat,” Woodward and Bernstein uncovered a wide-reaching political scandal that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
The Post’s coverage of Watergate won the paper a Pulitzer Prize and established it as one of the most important newspapers in the country.
The Modern Era
The Post continued to grow and expand throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. In 2013, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, purchased the paper in a move that surprised many in the media industry. Under Bezos, The Post has continued to innovate and has become a leader in digital journalism.
Today, The Washington Post is one of the most respected and influential newspapers in the United States. Its impact on American journalism is undeniable, and its influence is likely to continue for many years to come.