The lions of the internet are taming the lions of newspaper publishing in the wake of the announcement that Amazon founder and Capricorn businessman Jeff Bezos has purchased the venerable Leonard-and-Bernstein-famed Washington Post. News is readily available for free online from some very reliable sources so Jeff sees the paper industry as one stream of information that will be disseminated via tablet and smartphone. Amazon, of course, is the undisputed 800-pound gorilla of online commerce and it’s now primed to get into the content business with its production offshoots. Just look at Netflix — its content is licensed movies and TV shows but it would ultimately like to preclude the need for the middle man. Home grown content, after all, can be the most lucrative of all.
What would Citizen Kane have to say about the newspaper industry yielding to the jungle of eCommerce king Amazon?
The once all-powerful newspapers are adapting in an era of digital information that runs freely and openly, as it should. I actually liked getting the daily newspaper, especially when I was a kid and I’d read my aunt’s paper that she’d mainly subscribed to for the Sunday coupons.There is just something nice and tangible about actually holding on to a paper, especially when seated for periods of time, whether on a subway or toilet. Now, all things will be distributed via tablet. I think paper newspapers will endure and not just be a stuffy formality. The newspaper will not go the way of the telegram but it will invariable change to keep up in the digital age of awesome and instant. The paper version of publications and namely newspapers should not be used only as birdcage liner yet. Well, not until AFTER you’ve read it, of course, but the point is this: humans have a voracious appetite for information and entertainment and neither will ever go out of style. Distribution is one thing and content is simply what is fed along the pipeline to you and me. Each element makes our lives more convenient. Convention? Leave convention to nostalgia.