Bezos and the future of newspapers


The Graham family’s decision to sell the Washington Post to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos came as a bombshell pronouncement to the media world. The acquisition revived debate over the future of print media.

The fate of the Post is now in Bezos’ hands, but Phil Bronstein, the executive chair of the Center for Investigative Reporting, said Saturday on Weekends with Alex Witt that it “doesn’t mean that a guy who knows how to sell everything and sell it well, will know what to do with newspapers.”

Bronstein attributes the decline of newspapers not only to the failing business model but also to newsrooms and journalists becoming separated from the public they are meant to serve.

The purpose of selling of the Post, according to Bornstein, ought to be the preservation of “the adversarial relationship between the press and government and powerful institutions. That is what the press does the best.”

The longtime journalist suggests a philanthropic businesses structure as a solution to newspapers’ broken business model: “because of the public service aspect, that philanthropy is a way to go.”