If you're an avid consumer of print and digital journalism, then there's a pretty good chance you've already heard about the dramatic four words now included in the Washington Post's masthead. Namely: "Democracy Dies in Darkness." Feels rather appropriate, right? And, just like you might expect, it's generated a fair amount of reaction on social media. Here are some reactions to the Washington Post's new slogan ― as it turns out, a lot of people have opinions on the statement about democracy and journalism.
The change was made on Tuesday, Feb 21, and it didn't take long for people to notice its striking new motto splashed across the masthead. Some have interpreted it as a strictly anti-Trump message, which isn't surprising ― it's now taking center stage just one month into the Trump administration, and the new president is nothing if not hostile to the press. The quote itself is reportedly a favorite of journalist and author Bob Woodward, who comprised one-half of the Post investigative duo that helped exposed the Watergate scandal in the early 1970's, and brought down former president Richard Nixon.
According to The Hill, Washington Post spokesperson Kris Coratti described the new motto as "a good, concise value statement that conveys who we are to the many millions of readers who have come to us for the first time over the last year." Here are some reactions it spurred on Twitter.
1. Democracy Dies In Darkness
2. Nice Try
3. The Bee, Of Course, Flies Anyway
Everyone's saying the new Washington Post tagline is really dark, but I find it sort of optimistic actually. pic.twitter.com/ZUGsX7Go9Z— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) February 22, 2017
4. Gave Away The Ending
Pretty rude of WaPo to give away the ending. pic.twitter.com/uLrWsKTt92— Jeff B/DDHQ (@EsotericCD) February 22, 2017
5. Wow, Pretty Dark
wow, the washington post’s new slogan is pretty dark pic.twitter.com/6yxzZ2EC5G— Tom Phillips (@flashboy) February 22, 2017
6. Excellent New Slogan
Excellent new slogan from the Washington Post. Transparency and independent journalism make democracy possible. "Democracy dies in darkness" pic.twitter.com/VbkOwh8lby— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) February 22, 2017
7. You Need To Rethink
.@washingtonpost: if your new slogan could've been written by an early-2000s George Lucas, you need to rethink.— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) February 22, 2017
8. A Strange New Respect
The Washington Post's new motto is kinda edgy and is being criticized by many, but I've got a strange new respect for them. pic.twitter.com/fqfH5MpA19— Welcome To The Oort (@ClarkHat) February 22, 2017
9. Poor D.C. Sports Fans
Good to see WaPo also updated the Sports page slogan to accurately reflect DC teams. pic.twitter.com/UB2IlD4Cnl— Elliott Schwartz (@elliosch) February 22, 2017
10. The Best Thing
The best thing about the Washington Post's new "Democracy Dies in Darkness" slogan is the story about Lindsay Lohan directly under it pic.twitter.com/8hH0FhZCeU— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) February 22, 2017
11. It's Awesome
12. Pay It Now
Woah check out the Washington Post's new slogan. pic.twitter.com/DQN0ue1iLa— Caleb Ecarma (@calebecarma) February 22, 2017
13. Episode 1
BREAKING: Washington Post unveils it latest masthead. pic.twitter.com/6j5xjcpsEZ— Seymour Sludgeworth (@SSludgeworth) February 22, 2017
14. There's No Chance
15. Delays Both Ways
16. Heavy Metal
The Washington Post's new tagline is pretty good. pic.twitter.com/W922lcvzim— neontaster (@neontaster) February 22, 2017
18. How Bow Dah?
new company tagline is lit pic.twitter.com/jX5ASBq0C6— Tanya Sichynsky (@tanyasic) February 22, 2017
19. A Lot Of Feelings
Simply put, a whole lot of people responded to this new, firmly serious-sounding slogan with jokes galore ― more than one person compared it to late-career George Lucas dialogue, which is not exactly a ringing endorsement. Although some, like investigative journalism outfit ProPublica, clearly received it well.
For what it's worth, a great number of Trump supporters have also derided the slogan in non-humorous terms, viewing it (perhaps correctly) as a statement about the president and his well-demonstrated disdain for press scrutiny, and voicing anger over it. Unfortunately for those people, however, they don't have any say-so over the content of the paper's masthead, nor are such criticisms likely to dim the Post's penchant for critical reporting.