August 6, 2013

Jeff Bezos rescues the Post from the Great Decoupling

jeff-bezos
Jeff Bezos at the Web 2.0 conference in 2004 (Photo by JD Lasica).

Amazon chieftain may infuse journalism institution with much-needed tech innovation

JD LasicaHello, Jeff Bezos, and welcome to the Great Decoupling.

Over the past decade I’ve given a number of talks about the future of journalism and media, from a symposium at Princeton University to three panel discussions about the Future of Media in Silicon Valley. The common thread is what I’ve called the Great Decoupling —  the idea that the daily high-quality journalism cannot be sustained if it’s stripped from its moorings: the flotsam and fluff of newspapers (crossword puzzles, comics, horoscopes, advice columns) and magazines (Vanity Fair’s scented ads, which we put up with only because it supports great writing).

As a result of technology’s Great Decoupling, news has been decoupled from its containers, from its vessels. We want our news and media friction-free. We want it on our devices on our terms, in our preferred format, whether that’s via a website, tablet computer or, yes, a Kindle Fire. And that comes at a cost, as decades-old business models are upended. Continue reading