Jeff Bezos has spent $250 mil of his own money to buy the Washington Post.
The LA Times discusses the possibility of Jeff Bezos creating a new business model for newspapers.
Washington Post buy: Can Jeff Bezos fix newspapers' business model?
Amazon's Jeff Bezos, buyer of the Washington Post, has shown success at experimentation and great patience about turning a profit.
I've worked on Publishing technologies way too long, starting in 1987 on displays, printers, fonts at Apple, then continued working on the publishing technologies at Microsoft. Back in 1997 Bill Gates was focused on winning the battle for publishing vs. Apple. Microsoft didn't win that battle. Google changed the game sucking the air out of print advertising model.
Jeff Bezos in 1994 started Amazon.com and has seen the transition of Books and DVDs to digital. While this all going on Jeff has got an insider's look at the business models of media companies. Jeff Bezos started college as a physicists and switched to computer science.
Bezos often showed intense scientific interests. He rigged an electric alarm to keep his younger siblings out of his room. The family moved toMiami, Florida, where Bezos attended Miami Palmetto Senior High School. While in high school, he attended the Student Science Training Program at the University of Florida, receiving a Silver Knight Award in 1982. He was high school valedictorian. He attended Princeton University, with an intention to study physics, but soon returned to his love of computers and graduated summa cum laude, with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in electrical engineering and computer science. While at Princeton, he was elected to the honor societies Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. He also served as the President of the Princeton chapter of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.
Jeff's love to understand how things work and make them better is what he did to retail. Why can't he do the same with newspapers. Once he figures out newspapers he can move on to other things that shape human perception.
Here is a progressive view of journalism.
So then what the hell is journalism?
It is a service. It is a service whose end, again, is an informed public. For my entrepreneurial journalism students, I give them a broad umbrella of a definition: Journalism helps communities organize their knowledge so they can better organize themselves.
Thus anything that reliably serves the end of an informed community is journalism. Anyone can help do that. The true journalist should want anyone to join the task. That, in the end, is why I wrote Public Parts: because I celebrate the value that rises from publicness, from the ability of anyone to share what he or she knows with everyone and the ethic that says sharing is a generous and social act and transparency should be the default for our institutions.
Is there a role for people to help in that process? Absolutely. I say that organizations can first help enable the flow and collection of information, which can now occur without them, by offering platforms for communities to share what they know. Next, I say that someone is often needed to add value to that process by:
* asking the questions that are not answered in the flow,
* verifying facts,
* debunking rumors,
* adding context, explanation, and background,
* providing functionality that enables sharing,
* organizing efforts to collaborate by communities, witnesses, experts.