August 6, 2013
By Jenny Li Fowler, HKS Communications
The recent sales of two prestigious newspapers has many wondering about the direction of the journals. Boston Red Sox owner John Henry bought the Boston Globe from the New York Times Company for $70 million. CEO of Amazon.com Jeff Bezos just agreed to buy the Washington Post Company for $250 million.
Alex Jones, director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy and and Laurence M. Lombard Lecturer in the Press and Public Policy, gives us his perspective on the sales of these important institutions and what it means for print journalism.
Q: Do the two sales make you encouraged about the future of these two large newspapers?
Jones: I think it would be stretch to find these sales encouraging. They both are at prices that are vastly below what the newspapers would have been sold for in the 1990s. On the other hand, both found buyers with deep pockets and an apparent wish to preserve the news mission, which is the most important thing. So, I shall be cautiously optimistic about the future of both news organizations in a digital age. They will need to adapt, but I think they may well survive as important institutions.