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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