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Opening Arguments

Post America

Boy, I certainly do wish him well:

Jeff Bezos wants to turn the Washington Post into a national publication, and he’s going to use his other company—Amazon.com (AMZN)—to help achieve that goal.

For the past few months, a group inside the Post has been working on a new application that will offer a curated selection of news and photographs from the daily newspaper in a magazine-style, tablet-friendly format. The application will come preinstalled on Amazon’s newly updated Kindle Fire tablet, expected to be launched later this fall with the larger 8.9-inch screen, according to people with knowledge of the Post’s plans.

The app will be free for owners of the larger Kindle, at least at first. It will eventually be available for download on other Kindles as well as to owners of Apple’s (AAPL) iPad and various Android devices, and it will carry a monthly subscription fee.

We all know paper is going away. If newspapers are going to survive and keep doing what they've been doing, we need a new platform that will be embraced by a large number of readers. I think Bezos has as good a shot as anybody at making it work. The Kindle experience is awesome, and people who refuse to read anything but "real" books are missing the boat. 

Speaking of the WaPo, here is a very flattering article in, of all places, The New York Times:

Nothing in God’s creation is ever as good as it once was, but The Washington Post is coming pretty close.

The once-embattled newspaper is in the middle of a great run, turning out the kind of reporting that journalists — and readers — live for. That includes coverage that played a role in the resignation of the director of the Secret Service and investigative work that eventually led to the conviction of a former governor of Virginia on corruption charges.

The people who work at The Post have been clobbered for decades for not matching the glory days of Watergate — it’s doubtful anyone ever will — but more recently, after a series of buyouts and some management blunders, the decline in ambition and quality was there for all to see. The Post became seen as more of a basket case than best in class.

That's encouraging. If the Post wants to become a national newspaper, fine. Give me the good stuff, and I'll even put up with the liberal bias.