Don Graham of Washington Post now on Facebook board of directors

We just saw the press release from Facebook announcing that Donald Graham, the chairman and CEO of the Washington Post company joined its board this month.  While it makes perfect business sense for the Post and Facebook to co-mingle, it’s bad for journalism.  Facebook’s work raises a host of policy issues–including privacy and consumer protection for online marketing–which requires a watchdoging independent press.  Mr. Graham’s new role sends the wrong signal to the already under stress reporters and editors who work for him.  We need tough investigative report on the digital marketplace–not some mutual-old-media-back-scratching-new-media relationship.  Here’s an excerpt from the press release announcing Mr. Graham’s new role:

“Don Graham understands how to build and manage an organization for the long term,” explained Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook. “He has made The Washington Post Company one of the most valued and respected education and media companies while making society more open and understanding. What I most admire about Don is his commitment to build around this purpose – and not just a business. His decision to join our board means that Facebook will benefit from this insight and experience.”

“Facebook has completely transformed how people interact by providing a compelling forum where millions and millions of people can connect and share,” said Graham. “Mark’s sense of what Facebook can do is quite remarkable.”

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

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