Honestly, who cares? Newspapers are dying, and everyone knows it. Why should we give a flying fig?
Oh, yeah - that:
As always, bravo to the great Lee Fang for reporting on this. I just have one addendum:There's one area where Bezos has been hyper-active, but largely unknown to the general public: education reform. A look at the Bezos Family Foundation, which was founded by Jackie and Mike Bezos but is financed primarily by Jeff Bezos, reveals a fairly aggressive effort in recent years to press forward with a neoliberal education agenda:—The Bezos Foundation has donated to Education Reform Now, a nonprofit organization that funds attack advertisements against teachers' unions and other advocacy efforts to promote test-based evaluations of teachers. Education Reform Now also sponsors Democrats for Education Reform.—The Bezos Foundation provided $500,000 to NBC Universal to sponsor the Education Nation, a media series devoted to debating high-stakes testing, charter schools, and other education reforms.—The Bezos Foundation provided over $100,000 worth of Amazon stock to the League of Education Voters Foundation to help pass the education reform in Washington State. Last year, the group helped pass I-1240, a ballot measure that created a charter school system in Washington State. In many states, charter schools open the door for privatization by inviting for-profit charter management companies to take over public schools that are ostensibly run by non-profits.Other education philanthropy supported by the Bezos Foundation include KIPP, Teach for America, and many individual charter schools, including privately funded math and science programs across the country.But will Bezos' interest in changing education policy affect his control of the Post? Only time will tell.
The best mainstream media education journalist working today is Valerie Strauss - an employee of the Washington-Bezos Post.
Strauss is one of the very few journalists working for a corporate media outfit who is willing to call out reformy-types when they spew the latest Gates-appoved platitude. She does more than just report the objections to the corporate reform agenda; she takes the time to understand them. Strauss stands head-and-shoulders above almost any other education journalist in her commitment to giving both sides of the reform debate a chance to be heard.
If Jeff Bezos wants the Washington Post to remain a credible source of news and opinion, he must keep Valerie Strauss in her position.
Perhaps we could let him know how we feel - politely, of course.
Jeff Bezos, please remember: it doesn't get any better than Valerie Strauss.