Values of Amazon Would Be ‘Sellout’ of Journalism (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany)

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Can Jeff Bazos, who built his fortune by ‘dominating the value-production chain without producing anything of value himself’, do justice to one of America’s journalistic icons? Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung columnist Michael Hanfeld has his doubts, and writes that the sale of the Post to Bezos ‘shifts America’s media landscape,’ and is likely to reduce Washington Post journalism to the level of ‘junk merchandise.’

For the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Michael Hanfeld writes in part:

Using newspapers as an example, with the global shift toward concentration that online corporations now exhibit, we really must ask ourselves whether Lenin, with his theory of state monopoly capitalism, won’t perhaps turn out to be right: The world is governed by a financial data-online-oligarchy with excellent connections to the secret service.

[Editor's Note: The term state monopoly capitalism refers to an environment where the state intervenes in the economy to protect large monopolistic or oligopolistic businesses from competition by smaller firms.]

We will soon see how Jeff Bezos deals with the “values” of the Washington Post when his newspaper reports on Amazon. Bezos argues that the only reason he is buying the Post as a private citizen is to avoid antitrust issues. Otherwise, it means nothing – Bezos is Amazon. Maybe he really is the savior. He should go ahead and show us that he can do more than dictate throwaway prices. If Bezos really understood the ideals that give value to journalism, all would be well. Perhaps the Amazon CEO secretly knows that the things he hawks are worth much more than the price for which he offers them.

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Author: WILLIAM KERN (Worldmeets.US)

Founder and Managing Editor of Worldmeets.US

  • Jim Satterfield

    Many people only think of online retail shopping when they think of Amazon. In fact they do a few other things. One of these is Amazon Web Services. This service provides an easy way for startups to pay for data services as they go with an ability to scale up to match their growth rate far easier than if they were setting up their own data services. Personally I consider these services to be something of value in our modern world.

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    agreed Jim; much value put into place by Bezos and crew, one of which is books to people and kids who have no library or bookstore nearby, at a decent price, straight to one’s door. Many kids on tribal reservations, many kids out here on farms and ranches. You dont have to look far for the value, including hundreds of thousands of affiliates who earn a living or supplement income through AMZ. Not to mention authors who self pub and make ebks, and instead of 15% before agent’s cut w big five, make straight 35-70%. Lots of value. But maybe ears to hear, eyes to see, is a factor? Just my .02