Lauren Tousignant

The Role of Journalism: Reporting the Facts or Telling the Story


Lauren Tousignant

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What You'll Learn

  • The fragility and resilience of digital media publications.
  • The importance of aligning a publication’s values with its content, especially on contentious issues.
  • The delicate balance between journalism as a practice of objectivity and advocacy.
  • The significance of Jezebel’s unique editorial voice in the broader media sphere.
  • The commonality of today’s journalists’ evolving demands and challenges.

We Been Drankin'

Aperol Spritzes

Episode Details

About the Guest(s):

Lauren Tousignant is a seasoned journalist with a robust digital and print media background. Her career trajectory took her through various media landscapes, from her early aspirations of writing for a fashion magazine to tackling major societal issues. Notably, she served as the editor of Jezebel, a publication focused on female-oriented content with an unapologetic and candid approach. Lauren guided the publication through significant challenges during her tenure, including a shutdown and subsequent resurrection. Her work is characterized by a fearless willingness to tackle controversial topics and a deep commitment to shedding light on underreported issues.

Episode Summary:

In this revealing episode of Story and a Bottle, host Dan Maccarone sits down with Lauren Tousignant, the tenacious editor of Jezebel, to unpack her fascinating journey through the ever-tumultuous media industry. While sipping on Aperol Spritzes, they delve into the controversial shutdown of Jezebel and the rollercoaster ride leading to its revival under Paste magazine.

From the onset, Lauren’s storytelling illuminates the inner workings of a media company on the brink. Her recount of the days at Jezebel, the challenges of aligning journalistic integrity with profitability, and the painful yet transformative experience of the publication crumbling and rising anew capture a microcosm of today’s digital media landscape. The conversation is enriched with Lauren’s anecdotes, reflecting on early career aspirations, navigating the industry’s highs and lows, and cementing her martini order as a rite of adulthood.

  • The episode commemorates journalistic resilience and the relentless pursuit of a publication’s soul despite its existential threats. Lauren articulately discusses how, amid these tribulations, Jezebel’s voice became more crucial than ever, significantly as political landscapes shifted.
  • The dialogue transitions into an explorative discourse on the roles of journalism and objectivity. It is a timely reminder of the importance of storytelling that doesn’t shy away from taking a stance – a theme of Lauren’s professional evolution and belief system.
  • As evidenced by Lauren’s poignant reflections and Dan’s engaging narrative style, this episode is a testament to the vitality and indispensability of voices like Jezebel in an era where media narratives shape public consciousness and societal action.

Notable Quotes:

  • “I was a little disruptive, but I was a great writer.”
  • “I do not think anyone writing in college should publish anything on the Internet.”
  • “I don’t think there needs to be objectivity with those things (abortion and reproductive rights).”
  • “It does feel weird because I kind of was like, this was not. I don’t know, I just was. It was, yeah, it was a very bizarre feeling.”
  • “We cannot have the Comstock act. Just…That’s the first thing I was like, we need to write about the Comstock act every single day.”


We encourage our audience to listen to the full episode for an authentic and informative conversation that provides insights into journalistic integrity and media challenges. Stay tuned for more enlightening content from Story and a Bottle.


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