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Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos surprised many media watchers when he bought The Washington Post this week. Reporters and critics had a variety of takes. Some think Bezos could shake up the newspaper industry and find new ways to turn a profit in the 21st century. Others fear he could bring the same devastation to the news industry that Amazon.com brought to the publishing industry. Bezos spent $250 million on the paper, which amounts to one percent of his net worth.
Until now, Bezos’s public purchases have skewed toward the eclectic, with a $42 million clock in western Texas that will run for 10,000 years, and a private spaceflight company called Blue Origin.
One question that remains unanswered: Why did Besos want The Washington Post? Is it to buy political influence? Is it just an experiment? Is it to let it die, actively kill it, or incorporate it into Amazonia? We’ll discuss.
What do you make of Bezos’s new purchase? What do you expect it will mean for the future of the Post and for print media?
- Jay Greene: Business reporter focusing on Amazon.com for the Seattle Times
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