Testy Copy Editors

Bow before your king!
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Author:  J Kaufman [ Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:54 am ]
Post subject:  Bow before your king!

"Courted"? Isn't it the other way around?

The Washington Post’s new owner, Jeffrey P. Bezos, long wary of journalists, courted the paper’s editors and reporters in a series of meetings Wednesday, saying that he is optimistic about the future of journalism and wants to create a “daily ritual bundle”[*] that would appeal to a variety of readers.

Bonuses: 1. He did a swell job. 2. Robert Kaiser, bless him, threw that "new golden era" nonsense back into Bezos' face, knowing well that if Bezos had to pay all the severance to which Kaiser is entitled, Amazon would have a new owner.

Bezos seemed relaxed, said several people who attended the meetings. He didn’t prepare any remarks. He gave long, thoughtful, nuanced answers to the questions, punctuated with a “dramatic, forward-leaning laugh,” as one attendee put it. Many of the people who attended the morning meeting said they were relieved and reassured by his answers. In the larger afternoon session, Bezos proved equally deft at projecting a combination of humility, self-confidence and purpose.

In the afternoon, Robert Kaiser, who joined the paper six months before Bezos was born, asked him what “a new golden era” would look like for a paper that once had many more staffers and foreign and domestic bureaus.

“How many foreign bureaus in a golden era? I don’t know,” Bezos said. “We can’t go backwards. We also can’t think small. We need to think big and lean into the future. The death knell for any enterprise is to glorify the past no matter how good it was, especially for an institution like the Washington Post which has such a hallowed past.” He said “it is super clear to me already that people are eager for a golden era… What it means we still need to figure out.”

[*] Does he mean, in English, a news-paper?
[Washington Post]

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