Ben Smith, the scratchy “New York Times” columnist

The journalist who brought down the boss of “Bild”

“I love scoops, I’m addicted to scoops. ” With his revelations, the media columnist of New York Times, Ben Smith, 44, caused the fall of the editor of the German tabloid in October Image, Julian Reichelt. The latter was thanked by his employer, the Axel Springer group, for having abused his position in order to maintain sexual relations with young journalists or interns. He got away with a simple call to order in February. Ben Smith succeeded where the German press had failed, by giving extensive details on the case of a journalist. “If they find out that I have a relationship with a young intern, I’m fired”, Reichelt said in 2016 to a 25-year-old journalist, who was subsequently promoted. “This is always how it goes at image », she told investigators according to the revelations of Ben Smith. “Those who sleep with the boss get a better job. “

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The whistleblower of the deception Ozy

Just before, Ben Smith had told the incredible story of Ozy, a Silicon Valley outlet founded by charismatic African-American Carlos Watson, who was supposed to raise $ 40 million from Goldman Sachs. For this, it was necessary to show that the firm had good audiences on YouTube: in February 2020, one of the representatives of YouTube thus praised the performance of Ozy during a fundraising meeting. Until we discovered the pot aux roses: the interlocutor at the end of the line was not an employee of YouTube, but the co-founder and CEO of Ozy, Samir Rao. Goldman Sachs withdrew this winter. After the revelations of Ben Smith, the 1is October 2020, the supervisory board announced that“Ozy was closing its doors”.

Emmanuel Macron’s criticized interviewer

Ben Smith made himself known in France by interviewing Emmanuel Macron in November 2020, after the assassination of Samuel Paty, in the midst of the controversy over the treatment of French secularism by the Anglo-Saxon media. “Emmanuel Macron therefore called me from his golden office at the Elysée Palace to submit a complaint to me”, wrote Ben Smith at the time. Drama of the setting in scene, which causes an outcry on the French social networks: it would have rather been necessary to write “recalled”, Ben Smith having previously requested an interview with the president. “I was completely surprised by this fury”, explains the journalist. The Americans reacted a lot to the content of the French president’s remarks on secularism, some were for, some against. The French, for their part, debated the way he wrote his column.

Former editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed

Ben Smith arrived at New York Times after nine years as editor of BuzzFeed, online media. His first column, the 1is March 2020, was a provocation: “Why the success of New York Times can be bad news for journalism ”. He then noted that the insolent health of the Times masked the impoverishment of the rest of the press. His switch to a dominant media was a shock for him: “It’s so weird. It can make you lazy if you’re not careful. “ As early as March 2020, Ben Smith had fired a warning shot against Ronan Farrow, journalistic icon of the New Yorker which largely exposed the Weinstein affair, wondering how he would embellish certain stories for dramatic purposes. To escape this syndrome, Ben Smith says he tries to resist the times and not write what people want to believe.

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