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Bloomberg Media CEO steps down to start news outlet

Bloomberg Media chief executive Justin Smith is stepping down to start a new venture alongside New York Times columnist Ben Smith targeting educated English-speaking readers around the world.

Bloomberg Media CEO steps down to start news outlet

Justin Smith said in a tweet that it was a “personal dream and a market opportunity” to launch a “new kind of global news media company that serves unbiased journalism to a truly global audience”.

“The news industry is facing a crisis in consumer trust and confidence due to the distorting influence of social media and rising levels of polarization and parochialism,” Justin Smith said in an email on Tuesday. “My plan is to launch a premium news business that serves unbiased journalism to a global audience and provides a high-quality platform for the best journalists in the world.”

He has recruited Ben Smith (no relation), a columnist for the New York Times, to be the new outlet’s editor-in-chief.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Ben Smith said: “I think that there’s a big audience that wants journalism that respects their intelligence.” When asked about the differences between the start-up and his current employer, he responded: “The New York Times has a 150-year head-start on us.”

Ben Smith said he would be a shareholder in the new outlet, which would tap into the trend of individual journalists building audiences over a variety of platforms.

“There’s been a change in the relationship between journalists and institutions in the same way there’s been a change in the relationship between talent and institutions in the entertainment industry,” Ben said.

He added that the new outlet would break news and avoid partisanship by adding nuance to stories. “The pressures of social media and polarization have a lot of news organisations talking down to their audience,” he told the New York Times.

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