Jeff Bezos Describes How He’ll change the ‘Washington Post’

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who bought the Washington Post earlier last month, says he's eager to start "conducting experiments" and says his strategy will be that of an internet start-up, the paper reports:

2_bezos“We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient,” he said. “If you replace ‘customer’ with ‘reader,’ that approach, that point of view, can be successful at The Post, too.”

Bezos, 49, spoke via phone from Seattle on Friday, four days before he was scheduled to visit The Post for the first time since the announcement of its purchase from The Washington Post Co. and the controlling Graham family. The sale, which shocked the news industry, is expected to close in October.

Bezos says his main contributions will be his "point of view" and financial support over a lengthy period:

“If we figure out a new golden era at The Post . . . that will be due to the ingenuity and inventiveness and experimentation of the team at The Post,” he said. “I’ll be there with advice from a distance. If we solve that problem, I won’t deserve credit for it.”


  1. Randy says

    I hope he does a makeover. The Washington Post editorial board is a sham — supporting torture and never apologizing for all the run to up the two wars during the Bush administration. They never even covered the anti-way demos that drew thousands.

    Also, I can’t stand their Georgetown mindset. It’s like the reporters are all 80 years old and are just writing an article about this new fangled thing called the “internets”. Culturally, they are always several years behind everyone else.

    When it comes to an actual topic of news, they write about everything ELSE but the news! They’ll write about peopel’s reactions to events, they’ll write about their clothes and hairstyles, they’ll write about the guy’s horses and houses, but they won’t actually say what the news is.

    My final gripe is when there is an election. They start the coverage two years before the election, and every single day we are treated to a horse race of whose up and whose down, and what they have to do to win. Enough already! It’s boring and tiring.

  2. anon says

    An earlier Glenn Greenwald scoop for the Guardian was the revelation that the NY Times clears stories about espionage with the CIA. This sort of tied-at-the-hip approach to govt. reporting has weakened the credibility of major newspapers, but at least they are far less important and influential now. The major problem is news consolidation and confirmation, not editorial control and self-abasement. Bezos can move the news division towards more independence and decentralization if he wants, but he’s got to want it.

  3. Eric says


    I wouldn’t bet on it. His companies have a long history of working tightly with the US government. From shutting down WikiLeaks on their servers to just getting an $800 million contract from the CIA to host their data on Amazon servers a few weeks ago.

  4. Hagatha says

    A good start would be to hire actual copy editors who actually speak and write proper English. Enough with the “style book”, use an English book. Enough of the one sentence paragraphs. Enough of the quotations from persons who have not be introduced to the reader. Enough of this:

    “The fire is spreading quick.” , said Smith. “It’s a real mess.”

    Enough of the narrow columns.
    Enough of having to flip back and forth to finish an article.
    Enough of unsigned editorials.
    Enough of being a house organ for the Democratic Party and the Government.

  5. Caliban says

    Ironic that “Hagatha” is complaining about anyone ELSE being an organ for a political party, when “she’s” usually a voice for the GOP in Towleroad comments. The only question is which organ Hagatha is. Somewhere in the lower intestine I’d think, since they’re both full of sh!t.

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