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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Journalism demoted to junk status

The sale of the Washington Post to Amazon boss Bezos brings just as radical a shift to the media landscape as the Springer deal in Germany did, the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung comments: "The Springer group sold newspapers and magazines to the Funke group for 920 million euros. And it wasn't that the publications had dwindled into insignificance. They just didn't make enough of a profit any more. So journalism becomes a junk product and a publisher turns into a digital casino. The Springer sale was a turning point for the German newspaper landscape, just as the sale of the 'Post' to Bezos is for the US. But in view of the global moves towards concentration which online companies are now making with newspapers, we must ask whether Lenin wasn't perhaps right with his theory of state monopoly capitalism: the world is ruled by a financial data online oligarchy with top connections to the secret services. We'll soon see how Jeff Bezos treats the Washington Post's 'values' when his newspaper covers Amazon."

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