Alan Sipress spends his days at The Washington Post examining the politics of the Middle East, but when he looks closer to home, he sees the future of American democracy tied to the fate of local news.
Newspaper closures and consolidations across the country are a threat because the powerful stand to gain more power when there are fewer reporters watching, said Sipress during a free event on the future of journalism hosted by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting and Pine Tree Watch at Rising Tide Brewery in Portland last Thursday.
Sipress has worked as a reporter and editor with The Washington Post for the past 20 years and took over as the Middle East editor in January 2018, less than 10 months before contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018. CIA officials have since reported that the assassination was ordered by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
In the video below, Sipress and Pine Tree Watch reporter Samantha Hogan discuss ongoing and emerging conflicts in the Middle East, how he keeps his correspondents safe and the importance of continuing to report stories in the region.