Jeff Bezos Is Bad News

Draper's Den

Writing in The New Republic Senior Editor Alec MacGillis takes an informed and critical stance against the purchase of The Washington Post by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

…let’s not kid ourselves here: The company that made him one of the richest men in the world has had a less than benign impact on our nation. It has devastated the publishing industry, from the big presses to the small booksellers. It has exacerbated the growth of the low-wage economy, to the point where the president feels the need to celebrate an increase in warehouse jobs that will pay barely more than minimum wage. (Fun fact uncovered by the Morning Call in Allentown, Pa. two years ago: Instead of paying for air-conditioning at some Pennsylvania warehouses, Amazon had just stationed paramedics outside to take the inevitably heat-stressed workers to the hospital.)

More generally, Amazon has embodied, more than any other of the giants…

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Content Matters: Jeff Bezos, the Washington Post, and the Future of Journalism

Sean Ketchem, PhD

The surprise announcement that the Graham family is giving up control of the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos seems to signal another tolling of the bell in the death knell of journalistic content: lack of readers and relevance in the commercially all-important 20-30 demographic segment. But in fact, it is a sign that content is healthier than ever: it’s the financial model behind newspapers that is in need of tinkering.

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The Amazon Post or Why Print Was Already Dead

HighTalk

AmazonPost2

One of my PR colleagues had this reaction to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, buying the Washington Post.

“This really is the end of an era for print media as we know it.”

My reaction?

Where have you been?

Print media, particularly print newspapers, official kicked the bucket in 2009 – after a long and agonizing death. In fact, 2009 was so painfully grim for print media that I dubbed it the year of the Great Media Collapse.

It was epic.

2009 ended with more than 14,000 journalism jobs gone forever. It ended with circulation rates at 1940s levels. It saw the end of dozens of newspapers including mainstay dailies in Tucson, Seattle, Detroit, Baltimore and Denver. Heck, in 2009, Businessweek was sold for less than the price of a really nice condo in Manhattan.

The situation has continued to deteriorate at a startling rate.

The Pew Research…

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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to buy Washington Post

Phil Ebersole's Blog

Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, will buy the Washington Post for $250 million.  I suppose it is not as bad as the Post being bought by the Koch brothers or Rupert Murdoch.  We’ll see.

Bezos’ politics might be described as Silicon Valley liberalism.  He is a champion of gay rights, but not in the right of his employees to decent working conditions.

I worked on newspapers for 40 years, and liked to believe that journalism was a calling and more than just a way for journalists to earn a salary and owners to earn a profit.

Most (not all) of the historically great American newspapers were owned by families who believed in the newspapers’ mission, rather than by corporations whose main business was elsewhere.

Bezos will own the Washington Post as an individual and incorporate it into Amazon, so he doesn’t fall into either category.  It…

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