NYT: Blogging Site Tumblr Makes Itself the News

So here’s a really excellent thing: Chris Mohney (from BlackBook) and Jessica Bennett (from NewsBeast) will be joining my team at Tumblr. From the NYT:

Chris Mohney, a senior vice president for content at BlackBook Media, will be the site’s editor in chief. Jessica Bennett, a senior writer and editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast, will be the executive editor and, she said, a kind of Tumblr correspondent.

“Basically, if Tumblr were a city of 42 million,” Ms. Bennett said, referring to the number of Tumblr blogs that exist, “I’m trying to figure out how we cover the ideas, themes and people who live in it.”

Andrew McLaughlin, a vice president at Tumblr, said that in telling stories about its users, the company wanted Mr. Mohney and Ms. Bennett, the only two hires for the time being, to “do real journalism and analysis, not P.R. fluff.”

“Of course, it’s obviously in our self-interest as a company to surface more compelling stories about creators on Tumblr; at the same time, though, we think Chris and Jessica will be able to do so in ways that embody professional rigor and first-rate writing,” he said in an e-mail message.

There are many Tumblr blogs that could be covered, and some have already won broad attention. Last fall, for instance, a blog that posted stories of hardship and titled itself “We Are the 99 Percent” was widely cited in the media as Occupy Wall Street protests spread across the country. Other blogs have chronicled health scares, political campaigns and foreign conflicts. Many brands have set up Tumblr blogs to attract interest and show a more lighthearted side of their corporate owners.

Mr. Mohney said that the forthcoming content will market Tumblr by highlighting how the site is being used, but, he added, “fun, cool, compelling and organic creation will go a lot further towards demonstrating the potential of this nascent creative population than simplistic or forced attempts at corporate boosterism.”

Quickly, before they delete all the embarrassing past posts on their personal Tumblrs:  Chris Mohney;  Jessica Bennett.