NOT long after Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, said he would pay $250m of his own money for the chronically loss-making Washington Post, in August 2013, he sat next to the newspaper's editorial-page editor, Fred Hiatt, at a dinner. It was a perfect opportunity to influence the Post's line, but Mr Bezos reportedly preferred to talk about other things on his mind, such as exploring the dark side of the moon.
Technology, not journalism, is Mr Bezos's passion. So far he has been the sort of proprietor newshounds dream of, with a light touch on editorial matters and a willingness to finance experimentation and bear losses. After years of shrinking ambitions and cost-cutting under its old owners, the Graham family, Posties are experiencing a period of expansion and excitement under Mr Bezos. As other American papers have continued to cut staff, the Post has hired more than 100 newsroom employees since the takeover was announced.