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Q&A Excerpts

By Andy Alexander

From my online Q&A earlier today.

Greenville, S.C.: Andy -- Do you consider it your job to be an intermediary between the paper and its readers, or an apologist for the paper and its reporters?

Andy Alexander: I view myself as the internal critic of The Washington Post, as well as an advocate for readers. As newspapers (including The Post) struggle for survival, I think it's critically important to give voice to reader concerns and to hold The Post to its own high standards. In the end, it yields better journalism and makes The Post - both print and online - more credible.

It might interest you to know that I am not on the staff of The Post. Rather, I am an independent contractor with a fixed term (two years, with an option to extend my mutual agreement). My contract affords me extraordinary independence. In fact, I don't really have a "boss" at the Post. And as mentioned in my first column, it would be extraordinarily hard to fire me.

When I began my term, I sent a note to The Post's staff that made it clear that I don't consider myself an oracle. Rather, I told them, "I see myself as a veteran reporter and editor - like so many in the newsroom - who cares passionately about journalism and isn't afraid to raise uncomfortable issues in pursuit of excellence."

Read the full transcript

By Andy Alexander  | May 5, 2009; 12:00 PM ET
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