“I’m excited and optimistic about the opportunity for invention.” – Jeffrey Bezos to Washington Post employees. (August 5, 2013)
Today, The Washington Post Co., announced it would sell its iconic newspaper brand, The Washington Post, to Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos for $250 million in cash. Amazon will have no part in the purchase and Bezos plans to take the newspaper private following the sale. For those of us who remember the era of journalism, sans pundits, we may be seeing a reemergence of unbiased, fact-based reporting.
The Washington Post remains an beacon in breaking big, investigative stories like Watergate. It was the Post that broke the story in June about the NSA surveillance operation code-named PRISM. The story also outed nine Internet companies that knowing played a part in the surveillance. Amazon was not one of them.
Bezos sent an email to Post employees acknowledging the newspaper’s legacy:
“So, let me start with something critical. The values of The Post do not need changing. The paper’s duty will remain to its readers and not to the private interests of its owners. We will continue to follow the truth wherever it leads, and we’ll work hard not to make mistakes. When we do, we will own up to them quickly and completely,” wrote Bezos.
He went on to perhaps hint about how he planned to transform the newspaper as well as the industry as he did retail:
“The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, and enabling new kinds of competition, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs. There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment. Our touchstone will be readers, understanding what they care about – government, local leaders, restaurant openings, scout troops, businesses, charities, governors, sports – and working backwards from there. I’m excited and optimistic about the opportunity for invention,” concluded Bezos.
Is it just me, or are you getting butterflies, too?
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