In its first Super Bowl ad ever, The Washington Post celebrated the important role journalists play in society, and the risks they take to do so.
The ad, narrated by Tom Hanks, showed footage of major world events since World War II as well as images of three journalists who have been killed or kidnapped in the course of their work, Austin Tice, Jamal Khashoggi, and Marie Colvin.
Jeff Bezos, the owner of The Washington Post, welcomed the ad on Twitter, echoing its sentiment of gratitude for journalists. Bezos has been wary of advertising in the past but is believed to have changed his mind late last year. CBS reportedly charged $5.25 million for 30 seconds, making the 60-second commercial an expensive one, though the Post has not confirmed how much it paid for the spot.
Not everyone welcomed the commercial though. Fredrick Kunkle, a writer for the Post, argued on Twitter that the money spent on the ad would have been better invested in the newspaper’s journalists, highlighting the paper’s policies on parental leave, pensions, and benefits. In September 2017, Kunkle also tweeted that Bezos should focus on paying his workers before giving money to charity.