Dan Froomkin is the Senior Washington Correspondent for the Huffington Post. He previously wrote a column for the online version of The Washington Post called White House Watch. On June 18, 2009 it was reported that his blog would cease to exist and his employment at The Washington Post was terminated. In July, 2009, he was hired by the Huffington Post.
Personal history and career
Froomkin was raised in Washington, D.C. In 1997 he joined washingtonpost.com as a senior producer for politics. From 2001 to 2003, he was editor of washingtonpost.com. His column launched on January 12, 2004. In a career in journalism spanning over 20 years, he has also worked at The Winston-Salem Journal, The Miami Herald, and The Orange County Register. He was a Michigan Journalism Fellow and editor of new media for Education Week.
White House Watch
Froomkin's column White House Watch was a critical daily anthology of White House-related items from news Web sites, blogs and other sources, in which he "scrutinizes" what people in the White House are doing "with an attitude". Before the end of January 2007, it was entitled White House Briefing.
From White House Briefing to White House Watch
In her editorial "The Two Washington Posts", published on December 11, 2005, Washington Post Ombudsman Deborah Howell observes that the print newspaper The Washington Post and the website washingtonpost.com are two different entities; although "The Post Web site is owned by the Washington Post Co....it is not run by the newspaper. It is a separate company called Washington Post-Newsweek Interactive, or WPNI, with offices in Arlington." Whereas "The Post provides the vast majority of the Web site's content...the Web site has its own staff of 65 editorial employees and its own features.... [Moreover,] [t]here are cultural differences between the two newsrooms, which could be expected between a traditional newspaper and the more free-wheeling Web site....The two Posts interact every day.... [but] political reporters at The Post don't like WPNI columnist Dan Froomkin's "White House Briefing," which is highly opinionated and liberal. They're afraid that some readers think that Froomkin is a Post White House reporter."
- John Harris, national political editor at the print Post, said, "The title invites confusion. It dilutes our only asset—our credibility" as objective news reporters. Froomkin writes the kind of column "that we would never allow a White House reporter to write. I wish it could be done with a different title and display."
- Harris is right; some readers do think Froomkin is a White House reporter. But Froomkin works only for the Web site and is very popular—and [Executive Editor of the website Jim] Brady is not going to fool with that, though he is considering changing the column title and supplementing it with a conservative blogger.
- Froomkin said he is "happy to consider other ways to telegraph to people that I'm not a Post White House reporter. I do think that what I'm doing, namely scrutinizing the White House's every move—with an attitude—is in the best traditions of American and Washington Post journalism."
- On the other hand, Chris Cillizza, a washingtonpost.com political reporter, appears in The Post frequently. When he writes for the paper, he works for Harris, who is happy to have him.
There was some support from reader for Froomkin in editorial correspondence about the matter.
On January 30, 2007, White House Briefing was renamed White House Watch.
Nieman Watchdog: Questions the press should ask
Froomkin is also deputy editor of Nieman Watchdog: Questions the press should ask, a blog hosted by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University that, according to his account of it, "seeks to encourage more informed reporting by soliciting probing questions from experts."
Firing from the Washington Post
On June 18, 2009, it was reported that Froomkin was being fired by the Washington Post. Froomkin confirmed this in a June 19 entry on White House Watch: "As Washington Post ombudsman Andy Alexander and others reported yesterday, The Washington Post has terminated my contract. So sometime in late June or early July, I'll be writing my last blog post here."
- Dan Froomkin, "About White House Watch", 26 May 2004, accessed 27 April 2007.
- For Huffington Post, left is right, Politico, July 10, 2009. He now works for First Look Media.
- "About White House Watch".
- Deborah Howell, "The Two Washington Posts" 11 Dec. 2005, accessed 27 Apr. 2007.
- "Ombudsman 'Briefing'", Letter to the Editor, The Washington Post 17 Dec. 2005, accessed 27 Apr. 2007: A21. [Abstract; 484 words; online subscription or fee required for full text].
- "About Washington Watch".
- Salon - The Washington Post fires its best columnist. Why?, June 18, 2009
- Politico - Dan Froomkin Fired, June 18, 2009
- Froomkin, Dan (June 29, 2009). "Froomkin Watch". White Hose Watch (The Washington Post Company). Retrieved June 21, 2009.
- Nieman Watchdog:Questions the press should ask Blog hosted by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University edited by Dan Froomkin.
- The Washington Post official website.
- White House Watch Dan Froomkin's column and blog hosted by Washingtonpost/Newsweek Interactive.
- About White House Watch.
- Dan Froomkin's personal website.
- Archive of posts at Huffington Post