Washington Post sold, Gannett Layoffs, Boston Globe sold; and why it matters

Over the past week, the journalism world has seen some major shifts to the media galaxy. Let’s recap:

  • The former owners of the Boston Globe, the New York Times, sold the paper to the owner of the Boston Red Sox for $70 million, compared to the $1.1 billion it was bought for.
  • Gannett laid off 244 employees, including reporters and editors from the Arizona Republic, in what many presume is a move to even the books in light of its recent media buys
  • And on Monday, The Washington Post was sold to the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, for $250 million.

Now, lets take a look at what each of these mean:

  1. The newspaper, which was once regarded as the goliath of the advertising world and the most viewed piece of media on the planet, is now worth a fraction of what it was worth just 20 years ago. It’s a sad moment but the ink and paper that our grandparents grew up reading every morning is going to become a shadow of a past world. Today, we access more content through our fingertips and cellphones then a copy of the New York Times or Wall Street Journal. That’s not to say we’re less informed, today’s content is easier to access, and more widely sought after. This generation’s hunger for content is greater than ever before, it’s just being desired at a much more rapid pace than before.
  2. With layoffs becoming an unfortunate reality for members of small to medium size media outlets around the country, and the average salary of the college-grad journalist plummeting like a rock, the journalism world is losing its sex appeal. This current generation of leaders in today’s media grew up seeing the likes of Woodward and Bernstein cracking the Watergate scandal, and Walter Cronkite comforting millions throughout the Cold War. Our generation, the supposed future of the media, watched cover-ups go untold and tweets delivering the news of the Osama Bin Laden assassination mission. We no longer have a hero to grow up wanting to be, because everyone has the opportunity to be the next Couric or Woodward.
  3. With digital tycoon, Jeff Bezo’s purchase of The Washington Post, there is still hope for the daily journalist. Maybe we’re not going to be looking at news stands in the future, but a future type of media platform: mobile and digital.

By 2016, there is expected to be 1 billion users on Tablets and smartphones worldwide.

First of all, that’s insane. Second of all, it shows us exactly where media companies need to focus their efforts. I’ve said it on this site time and time again, companies, if they can find a way to utilize a model like The Daily, which incorporated a newspaper style of reporting combined with a digital and social media style of communication, will prove to be successful.

These three media moves tell me one thing: The newspaper is not dying, it is evolving. It won’t be the page turner at the kitchen table that your dad used to read, but instead, it’ll be the finger swipe of the iPad that we’ve all become use to.

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About joemartin2014

J-student at Arizona State University, and pursing a minor in business as well.

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