Arianna and Ron Reagan discuss what's wrong with Washington as seen through Leibowich's #1-selling This Town: Money/media insiders? Radical right who hate Obama and government? Can Bezos's money & tech be a WashPo life-preserver? And did you know about Orion's big supernova?
If economists add so little value to markets, why do markets pay economists so much for their advice?
This week brought the further merging of new and traditional media when Amazon's Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for $250 million. The prevailing sentiment from media observers was one of hope -- hope that someone as innovative and entrepreneurial as Bezos can save this valuable part of America's cultural infrastructure. With all the talk this week about preserving great journalism, it's also a valuable opportunity to ponder what's missing from our media landscape. If the purpose of journalism is to give people a better sense of what's happening in their world, reporting only on what's broken isn't enough. How about more on what is working? At a time when our government is deeply dysfunctional, showing how people are having a positive impact in their communities -- and how others can too -- is essential. Let's just hope Bezos succeeds in reviving his new purchase before his 10,000-year clock runs out.
It is an irony that The Washington Post, which decimated its book section presumably for purposes of cost-cutting, has now been bought by Jeffrey Bezos, the pioneer entrepreneur who might have sold more books than any person in history through the company he founded.
Money talks in Washington, not words. If Bezos wanted influence he could have used the reported $250 million he paid for the newspaper to buy one or two lobbyists.
I am excited and curious and interested in seeing how Jeff Bezos will be applying his brilliant intellect to the newly-purchased paper. It will be a wild ride, you can be sure. And we all will be reading about it.
Mr. Bezos' embrace of invention, his almost neurotic attention to detail, his patience and investment in the long view, give the Washington Post and the industry the best shot at relevancy and survival.
Bracknell, currently in the third grade at Don LaFontaine Elementary, was vague about his plans for the venerable publication, noting only that he would replace the editorial page with "stuff" and immediately "increase dinosaur coverage."
If the billionaires can save newspapers by buying them and nudging them in the digital direction, more power to them. If they can write the checks that will send reporters to Damascus, Detroit and into the halls of Congress and the state legislatures, bless 'em.
Information, after all, is an infinite as book titles. If Bezos can make its navigation easy, people will come. But can he afford the labor to tap it from meager newspaper revenues? We'll see.
I've noticed a few things about Jeff over the years. He thinks things through carefully. He's not impulsive. He's not driven by ego. He develops a strong theory of the case for every new endeavor.
The newspaper industry might have dodged the 8 ball if they had skipped the salons where they talk to each other and instead realized that they are a service industry (yes, like a lawn service or even cable news) and thus evolved to meet the needs of their customers.
Although the Internet may have destroyed the newspaper's old business model, we can use it to create a new decentralized system that may generate an even more vibrant marketplace of ideas for the twenty-first century.
As the Post changed hands to a computer king, its ink-stained wretches, past and present, shed a virtual tear. Although I never worked in its newsroom, one of those ink-stained wretches was me.
When you say "The values of the Post do not need changing," you may want to consider that some of them do. Valuing the monetary and journalistic value of diversity more greatly could be a great change in values.
From my desk in a downtown office roughly equidistant from the Post and the White House, I felt a silence muffle the capital at 4:41, the very moment I was reading the breaking news of the Graham-to-Bezos handoff.