Satirist Andy Borowitz joked that Jeff Bezos didn’t really want to buy the Washington Post. He was browsing their website, but clicked the wrong button and the whole paper ended up in his shopping cart. And of course, he couldn’t delete it.
It is the biggest journalistic enterprise he’s invested in, but certainly not the first.
He’s also put money into Business Insider, whose CEO Henry Blodgett, couldn’t be happier.
“He is a perfect investor for somebody who wants to build a business over the long term, who is trying to create services that people love,” says Blodgett.
And the Washington Post, like every newspaper, is a long-term project. And the tendency of journalists to print what they consider important may be on a collision course with Bezos’ passion for letting customers call the shots.
“That’s something that the news media has been very reluctant to embrace. The idea that readers can tell you want they want and that that’s OK. Sites that have been successful are the ones that let the readers dictate that and Amazon has been incredibly focused on customer satisfaction and delight, but that will be a big change for a big organization like the Washington Post,” Blodgett adds.
Some reporters at the Post seemed shocked, but they’re better off than a lot of other reports who aren’t reporters anymore.
Bezos hasn’t said how he’ll change the Post, but somebody has to make journalism pay again. You can only read so much about the funny things that cats do and how bad they spell.
Boy, would I love to see Bob Woodward expose those damn cats.