Skip to main content

The Washington Post Has Already Been Gutted


The act of buying a newspaper in order to gain access to a "content creator" is a fanciful idea:
Jeff Bezos's latest move helps expand his role as one of the most influential content creators in the United States. 
Amazon's e-book publishing unit recently scored its first million-copy hit when sales of the Hangman's Daughter series crashed through the seven-figure mark. Last week, Amazon Studios announced five new video-on-demand programme pilots. Meanwhile, its new video games wing is currently advertising for more than a dozen posts. 
The Washington Post is different though, as Mr Bezos will personally own the business outright and has said Amazon has no role in the purchase. He has written a memo to the Post's staff saying he will not lead the paper's day-to-day operations, but his note was striking for the emphasis he placed on its need to "invent" and "experiment". Business as usual is clearly not an option.
The Washington Post doesn't really create content anymore--it repurposes the content that gets yanked from the newswires and from suburban Washington D.C. and then fills a fair amount of space. People who consume the media product currently being created end up with a lot of material that wasn't actually created by the Post. Through attrition and deep cuts, the Post is yet another newspaper that slashed costs primarily by making the amount of original content created by the paper smaller and smaller year after year.

Far too many of the talented "content creators" are long gone. Remember Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon? They created vast amounts of content for the Washington Post, much of is consumed at the national level. They created that content for decades and now they do it for ESPN. Bezos should have purchased the newspaper before they left, not long after.

I think that this was a vanity purchase and will serve as a mouthpiece for Amazon. They will probably create a free app or service that will help sell Kindles that will deliver the Post to Kindle users; in turn, Amazon will sell ads and then be able to claim that readership for the Post is equal to however many Kindles carry it (for free, of course). This will allow Amazon to claim that everybody is reading the Post even when they are simply carrying the wirelessly downloaded versions on each device. The Kindle, being a content curation device, needs a few free or giveaway services; look for Bezos to buy a cable channel or a package along those lines so that he can drop that content onto the devices as a further enticement. Or will he just buy a slew of dying magazines and make them Kindle only?

There won't be a hell of a lot of content, just a vastly expanded audience counted by the number of Kindles that feature the Washington Post service or app. And, thus, Bezos will claim victory over all of the other failing and fading media companies that have slashed content creation to the bone.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Democrats Are Trying to Save America

Never forget that Trump is a bum. A cheating, lying, stealing bum. He's the kind of bum that gives actual bums (who are usually down on their luck and doing the best they can) a bad name. He's a bum on purpose, you see, and that's the kind of bum that the American people want to see thrown out of office. He's never going to be presidential because he's just a goddamned bum, you see.

But, sometimes, I think the media is worse:
As Washington braces for this week’s expected vote to impeach President Donald Trump, partisan battle lines hardened on Sunday, with Democrats defending impeachment even if Trump isn’t removed from office and Republicans denouncing the integrity of the constitutional process.The Democratic-controlled House planned to vote Wednesday on two articles of impeachment against the Republican president, and the decision whether to make Trump the third U.S. president in history to be impeached was expected to play out along party lines. There is some d…

Spoiler Alert

Tulsi Gabbard is going to work very, very hard to re-elect Trump:
Tulsi Gabbard has been slowly edging toward leaving the Democratic Party and, it now seems more likely than not, launching a spoiler candidacy to peel disaffected left-wing votes away from the Democrats. Her “present” vote on impeachment, followed by a disavowal of what she called the “zero-sum mind-set the two political parties have trapped America in,” sets the stage for Gabbard to play the role of 2020’s Jill Stein.Left-wing anti-anti-Trumpism played an important role in the bizarre 2016 outcome.Die-hard Bernie activists, fired up with anger at the release of DNC emails stolen by Russians that purportedly showed the party had rigged the primary, demonstrated against the party outside its convention hall and tried to drown out the speakers inside with boos. Stein attacked Hillary Clinton from the left, then audaciously staged a grift-y fundraising scheme supposedly to hold recounts in the states she had labored to flip…

Trump Will Burn it All to the Ground

It is difficult to see how the latest war in the Middle East will end. I don't have any answers, and, really, no one else does, either.

Here's what people should pay attention to--this happened just as evidence of Trump's orders to the Department of Defense landed on the front page. This happened after the major holidays and just as we are beginning the 2020 primary season in earnest on the Democratic side (the GOP has decided to prevent another Pat Buchanan moment, circa 1992, from happening).

Every life that is lost is because of Trump's decisions.

Every penny that this increases the price of gas is a tax on the poor and allows people who regularly have access to Trump to maximize their profits.

Every American traveling overseas is less safe.

Everyone who cares about peace will be shouted down and marginalized because that is the media's job.

Every attempt to hold Trump accountable will probably fail because the GOP is complicit in all of his crimes.

Everyone ch…