華盛頓郵報（Washington Post）可說是一間在美國、甚至世界知名的傳統媒體，不過在美國時間星期一下午，這份美國三大報章之一終於易手，而新「東家」就是 Amazon 的 CEO 兼創辦人 Jeff Bezos，他以個人名義以 2.5 億美元天價將郵報及旗下資產收歸己手。完成收購後 Bezos 向郵報員工大派「定心丸」，指郵報辦報方針不會隨他入主而改變，人員亦不會改動，但會繼續注資令郵報未來發展更符合今日的互聯網發展趨勢。
華盛頓郵報可說是美國三大報章之一（其餘兩份為紐約時報及華爾街日報），在 1877 年創立，而在 1933 年曾經瀕臨破產，及後被當時的美國聯邦儲備委員會的其中一位成員 Eugene Meyer 收購旗下，帶領郵報返回正軌。及後在 1946 年，更由他的女婿 Philip Graham 繼承，令郵報走向成功之路。在過去 80 年間，這份享負盛名的報章曾奪得 47 次普立茲獎（Pulitzer Prizes；新聞界的奧斯卡獎項），直至香港時間昨日，格拉咸家族最後一位持有華盛頓郵報的持有人 Donald E.Graham（他是 Philip Graham 及 Katherine Graham 的兒子，而 Katherine Graham 則是 Eugene Meyer 的女兒、Philip Graham 的妻子），終於以天價 2.5 億美元將郵報售予 Jeff Bezos。
Jeff Bezos 表示他未來會繼續注資公司，令公司更具活力，但辦報的「核心價值」不會轉變，而郵報最新任命的新 CEO 及發行人 Katherine Weymouth、主席及總經理 Stephen P.Hills、主編 Martin Baron 等高層會全部留任。Bezos 更表示，他不希望改變華盛頓郵報的文化，亦不會對日常操作「指手劃腳」，他會很開心地生活於「另一個華盛頓」繼續做他每日喜歡做的工作。而今次 Jeff Bezos 收購華盛頓郵報，只是他以個人名義收購，而非以 Amazon 公司名義。
以下為 Jeff Bezos 向華盛頓郵報員工上下發出的公開信：
To the employees of The Washington Post:
You’ll have heard the news, and many of you will greet it with a degree of apprehension. When a single family owns a company for many decades, and when that family acts for all those decades in good faith, in a principled manner, in good times and in rough times, as stewards of important values – when that family has done such a good job – it is only natural to worry about change.
So, let me start with something critical. The values of The Post do not need changing. The paper’s duty will remain to its readers and not to the private interests of its owners. We will continue to follow the truth wherever it leads, and we’ll work hard not to make mistakes. When we do, we will own up to them quickly and completely.
I won’t be leading The Washington Post day-to-day. I am happily living in “the other Washington” where I have a day job that I love. Besides that, The Post already has an excellent leadership team that knows much more about the news business than I do, and I’m extremely grateful to them for agreeing to stay on.
There will of course be change at The Post over the coming years. That’s essential and would have happened with or without new ownership. The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, and enabling new kinds of competition, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs. There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment. Our touchstone will be readers, understanding what they care about – government, local leaders, restaurant openings, scout troops, businesses, charities, governors, sports – and working backwards from there. I’m excited and optimistic about the opportunity for invention.
Journalism plays a critical role in a free society, and The Washington Post — as the hometown paper of the capital city of the United States — is especially important. I would highlight two kinds of courage the Grahams have shown as owners that I hope to channel. The first is the courage to say wait, be sure, slow down, get another source. Real people and their reputations, livelihoods and families are at stake. The second is the courage to say follow the story, no matter the cost. While I hope no one ever threatens to put one of my body parts through a wringer, if they do, thanks to Mrs. Graham’s example, I’ll be ready.
I want to say one last thing that’s really not about the paper or this change in ownership. I have had the great pleasure of getting to know Don very well over the last ten plus years. I do not know a finer man.