On the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos and good content

August 5, 2013

The massive news that broke this afternoon that the Washington Post is being sold to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has the entire media world -- especially people like us who work here -- wondering what it all means.


The Washington Post is being sold to Jeff Bezos.

Short answer: We don't know. Long answer: We don't know. (WonkBlog's Neil Irwin had a smart take on the business logic behind this move.)

That doesn't mean, of course, that we don't have any thoughts. (This is a blog after all!)

The simple fact is that, for us at The Fix and Post Politics, the only thing to do is keep doing exactly what we have been doing for the past eight-plus years.

Don Graham, the chairman of the Washington Post Company, said it best when he announced the sale to employees this afternoon: Journalism is still journalism, he told the crowd. (We are paraphrasing since we didn't write the exact quote down. Click here for the full letter from Don to the WaPo staff.)

And that's the point.  We have operated for the better part of the last decade under the belief that despite the drastic changes happening in journalism good content -- whether it runs in a blog, in the newspaper, on a Twitter feed or on a web television show like "In Play" -- is good content. That is as true today as it was yesterday. And it will be just as true tomorrow.

The Internet has largely leveled the playing field for journalists and media companies, creating a massive meritocracy of content. That reality has forced everyone in journalism to think harder and smarter about how to do our jobs every day. That's especially true for The Fix, which began as an experiment in digital journalism eight years ago and remains one today.

Jeff Bezos' digital bent and willingness to invest in long-term strategies for success at Amazon are heartening. But, in truth, we don't know enough about him and his overall philosophy for the Post to make any sort of reasoned analysis.

What we do know is that tomorrow the Fix and the broader Washington Post -- blogs, print newspaper, new web TV operation and all the rest -- will have a a ton of fresh, new content for people to consume. Some will soar, some will stagger. We'll try to learn from what did well -- and what didn't. And the next day we will bring you more content. And then more.

The only way we know to deal with the issues facing journalism is to, quite simply, do journalism. Write, report, think. Who owns the company we do that for matters far less than the people -- all of you -- that we do it for.

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.
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Chris Cillizza · August 5, 2013