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Jeff Bezos says The Washington Post’s goal is to become the “new paper of record”

27 November 2015

From The Nieman Lab:

CHARLIE ROSE: You now own The Washington Post. Can you tell us where you’re taking it and what’s happening there?

JEFF BEZOS: Well, you know, what we’re doing with the Post is we’re working on becoming the new paper of record, Charlie. We’ve always been a local paper, and just this month The Washington Post passed The New York Times in terms of number of viewers online. This is a gigantic accomplishment for the Post team. We’re just gonna keep after that. The reason that that’s working is because we have such a talented team at the Post. It’s all about quality journalism. And even here in the Internet age, in the 21st century, people really care about quality journalism.

. . . .

ROSE: So define what you think The Washington Post is today.

BEZOS: Well, The Washington Post today is a bright light that helps shine light on all of our institutions in this country, and the political process. We know that some of the things that have happened in the past, we wish we had known more about our political leaders and our other powerful institutions in this country, and that’s been the role of the Post for a long time. And we’re just gonna keep doing that. We’re doing it now with more resources and we have a lot of patience for that job. We’re just gonna keep working at it and make sure that that institution stays strong, so that it can shine a light on all of these important players especially in Washington.

Link to the rest at The Nieman Lab and thanks to Julia for the tip.

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14 Comments to “Jeff Bezos says The Washington Post’s goal is to become the “new paper of record””

  1. I guess the newspaper war is now official. 🙂

    While the NYT takes cheap shots at Amazon, Bezos pours money into the Post to eat away at the rest of the NYT’s “credibility” as anything but a local paper for parrochial newyorkers.

    Shing light on other institutions, huh?
    Sounds like a plan.

    “I shall shed will my light upon dark evil, for the dark cannot stand the light…”

  2. …so that it can shine a light on all of these important players especially in Washington.

    I am so tired of seeing political spin regurgitated as news by those who should know better. It’s dangerous to our freedom and prosperity as a people and a nation. We need news that actually informs rather than serving as lazy echoes of the those whose words are intended to persuade, not enlighten.

    ETA: I hope Bezos can deliver.

    • +1

      We need news, not entertainment.
      We need facts, not fictions.
      We need honesty, not lies.
      We need bravery, not cowardice.
      We need rationality, not craziness.
      We need to be smarter, not dumber.
      We need hope, not despair.

      • Excellent list! Thanks, J.A.

      • We need facts, not the reporter’s opinions.

        The one and only time I watched Newsroom an editor was training cub reporters. She instructed them that their purpose was to “make the best argument.” I flipped the channel to something more intelligent. I think it was ‘Tom and Jerry.’

      • agree with JM, excellent list.Thanks

        I really dont care who is ‘the record’ … the prob is the word ‘the’

        there are many many points of view, not one, no ‘the’.

        However, if wapo or nyt or bglobe or lat or chitrib made massive investment in investigative reporting AS IS THE ONLY reason for a so called fourth estate, then I would subscribe, read, devour.

        As it stands WaPo has a bunch of op eds, dozens run daily. Sorry but lack of investigation and analyses of all sides is death to the newspapers. Unless one wants snappy op eds which are not reflective of the many many layers of culture in our nation.

        Apparently making moolah is far more important than bringing the news. Where did I go wrong…

  3. I can’t explain why (don’t know), but I have noticed that in recent weeks I go to the Post multiple times per day, and often not at all to the Times. Maybe it’s something about the Post’s new layout that I find more inviting. The one complaint I have about the Post is that they don’t post new material often enough for multi-times-visitors like me, and they often keep the same stories up for several days.

  4. In his quest to make the WaPo the newspaper of record, Bezos has a huge ally in the New York Times. The NYT has degenerated into a lifestyle guide for the slice of the population that still thinks Manhattan is the center of the Universe. Between its wildly inaccurate assault on the nail saloon business that threatens to put thousands of immigrants out of work to its endless supply of lentil recipes, it’s becomes a parody of itself. No amount of ranting about Amazon will change that.

    • Endless supply of lentil recipes?
      I thought there was only one way to make lentils edible: soup.
      😉

    • “Bezos has a huge ally in the New York Times.” Yep, I think it’s going to turn out to be a pretty stupid mistake that they keep attacking self-publishing. Tech savvy writers (who are all likely to love self-publishing) are also tech savvy readers. Between reading the Post, and writing about why they don’t read the Times anymore, that’s not a group you should piss off if you want to be a player in the digital age.

  5. Intense competition between these two papers sounds like probably a good thing.

  6. I avoid all news.

    I’m serious. All of it. Facebook. Google/Yahoo whatevers. Post, Times yada yada.

    I avoid all of it. I also don’t own a TV. No Fox, no CNN, no MSNBC, nothing.

    Yet somehow I still find out about all the big stuff that’s happening in the world. My life is not diminished in any way.

    I’m not a complete media recluse though. I listen to Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman once a week and The Joe Rogan Experience whenever he has someone cool on.

    And TPV and DWS’s site…those too. 🙂

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