Bari Weiss Is Used to Controversy, Takes on the Education Industry

Over a year after resigning from The New York Times, writer Bari Weiss decided to take on the education industry.

Ade Hennis - Author

Nov. 9 2021, Published 2:20 p.m. ET

Bari Weiss
Source: Bari Weiss Twitter

Over a year after leaving The New York Times, Bari Weiss is looking to take her journalism expertise to the education industry. The writer will be joining a board of advisers to help launch a new university—the University of Austin. Not to be confused with the University of Texas at Austin, Weiss says that the University of Austin will be dedicated to the “fearless pursuit of truth.” Why is Weiss known for being controversial?

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Weiss has faced controversy multiple times throughout her career, whether it was during her tenure at The Wall Street Journal or when she was working for The New York Times. With the new launch of the University of Austin, Weiss wants the school to offer a different approach to education. She noted that the current education system is outdated.

Bari Weiss and Joe Rogan
Source: Bari Weiss Twitter
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Who is Bari Weiss?

Weiss is an accomplished writer and editor. Tablet, one of the first major publications she worked for, is one of the largest daily online magazines in the world that covers Jewish news, ideas, politics, culture, and more.

The Columbia University graduate has held many positions in the journalism industry but her two most notable positions were being an Op-ed editor at The Wall Street Journal from 2013 to 2017 and being a staff writer and editor for The New York Times from 2017 to 2020. Having a lot of experience in opinion-based editorial pieces, Weiss hasn't been shy about voicing her opinions on various topics around the world.

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Also an author, Weiss published her book How to Fight Anti-Semitism in 2019. The book won multiple awards including the 2019 National Jewish Book Award. Weiss also went on an international tour after the book’s release. Until July 2020, Weiss was working at The New York Times. She resigned and said that she was the victim of unlawful discrimination, constructive discharge, and harassment. Weiss also said that the work environment was hostile.

In January, Weiss launched her own newsletter and podcast, Common Sense, on the Substack platform. This allowed Weiss to write freely about various topics.

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What is Substack?

Launched in 2017, Substack is an online platform that gives writers the freedom to publish their own newsletters and cover as many topics as they wish. The platform gives writers the option to make a profit off of the pieces they publish through a subscription system. Even though the platform is free for writers to use, if a writer wants to charge a subscription for their newsletter, Substack takes 10 percent of the revenue the writer accrues.

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Based in San Francisco, Substack has received multiple investments since it launched. The company has reportedly received over $80 million in total fundings from investors over the years, including a Series B funding round that raised $65 million in late March.

Investors include YCombinator, a startup accelerator company, as well as Andreessen Horowitz, one of the biggest venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. Substack has drawn comparisons to platforms like Patreon and the two are major competitors.

How much does Bari Weiss make at Substack?

Weiss has a large following on Substack with over 100,000 subscribers. Some of them are paying subscribers and some aren't. In August, MarketWatch reported that Weiss has at least 14,000 paying subscribers who pay $5 per month and her yearly revenue is over $800,000 a year. With the possibility that she has or could raise subscription prices more, Weiss might be making over $1 million in revenue by the end of 2021.


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