Top WaPo journalist pens open missive to Jeff Bezos

Pulitzer Prize winning veteran journalist Gene Weingarten has penned an open letter to Amazon boss and new Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos that urges him to recognise the quality staffers of the WaPo.

Welcoming Bezos to the post, he said he presumes that – despite the relative “chump change” he spent buying the paper – the Amazon executive plans to roll up his s leeves and “be the guy who finds a way to make conventional journalism succeed financially”.

Weingarten presents an anecdote from his days editing the Tropic where publishes exerted pressure on editorial to run positive stories about corporate masters Knight-Ridder, “inevitably uncritical, nakedly celebratory, and drenched in self-promotion”. He and his colleagues declined, as they were “trying to establish a feisty, pugnacious identity, and being a corporate suckup toady lickspittle didn’t fit in with our plans”.

He says he has “high hopes” for Bezos’ stewardship, especially as WaPo group CEO Don Graham said it was the right thing for the paper.

“You have bought a place filled with enormously talented and dedicated journalists who are, at the moment, terrified at the prospect of change we don’t really understand,” Weingarten said.

“You are obviously a good businessman,” Weingarten writes. “I hope you have a clear vision of where to take this remarkable enterprise”.

Read the full letter at the Washington Post here.

There’s another open letter in the comment section from FriendsDontLetFriendsVoteRepublican: “Dear Mr. Bezos — Thank you for not allowing the Kochroaches to get their hands on the Post. Sincerely, Intelligent People Everywhere”.