The Washington Post

MORNING SKETCHBOOK: When family newspapers draw buyer interest

JEFF BEZOS’s fresh purchase of The Post helped spark a curious side order of speculation. Namely, news of the sale by one storied newspaper dynasty — the widely liked Graham family — rippled right up I-95 and surfaced prominently in Manhattan in the form of a specific follow-up question:

Does the Ochs-Sulzberger family have any foreseeable plans to sell the Times?

By Wednesday night, the reverberations prompted Times patriach Arthur Sulzberger Jr. to respond in a statement that noted: “There has been much speculation and understandable concern about what this could mean for us.”

Amid the broader context for such speculation, there’s a particularly interesting strain running through all this. Immediately on the heels of the Post and Boston Globe sales, many wonder whether the family-owned newspaper will become a financial relic.

If nothing else, this sub-narrative reminds me of something that everyone from the Brothers Karamazov to the Sisters Pointer have long known: No matter the industry or endeavor, the presence of kin packs an elemental and emotional depth-charge. At our most hard-wired, right down to the very word, we are forever fascinated by “family.”

And out of all that, somehow, emerged today’s “Morning Sketchbook” line-musings. (Who can explain the cartoonist’s brain?)

To wit:



Journalism and the seat of power. (MC CANVAS/Comic Riffs)

Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.

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