In the wake of the announcement that the Washington Post was being sold to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, roughly 1 kajillion tweets were sent. (This is an approximate number.)
Two stood out to us -- because of the people who sent them and what they said about the future of the Post.
The first came from James Bennet, editor-in-chief of the Atlantic.
Hard not to feel sad about the Graham era passing, harder not to feel excited about the new possibilities for the Post.
— James Bennet (@JBennet) August 5, 2013
The second came from Don Van Natta Jr., formerly of the New York Times and now an ESPN guy.
Jeff Bezos ushered the retail store into the 21st century. Maybe he can do the same for the newspaper.
— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) August 5, 2013
First of all, we are big fans of both James and Don. Second, both of their tweets point to the future while not forgetting the past.
What the Graham family has done for the Post -- and for journalism -- is a legacy that will never be forgotten. What Jeff Bezos has done for e-commerce is equally groundbreaking and has obvious and interesting corollaries to the generating and distribution of journalistic content. (Henry Blodget, the editor of Business Insider, another media product in which Bezos has a major stake, had a smart take on the similarities between what Bezos does at Amazon and what journalism aims to do.)
Everyone knows that the journalism business is changing. The sale of the Post is one of the most concrete examples of how -- and how much. But, change can be -- and often is -- a good thing. And, like James and Don, we are excited to see what the future holds.