August 6, 2013

Jeff Bezos rescues the Post from the Great Decoupling

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