Jeff Bezos is showing early promise as the new owner of the Washington Post: he has a sound grasp of how to say something familiar in an arrestingly new way.
The other day, he compared printed newspapers to horses:
“I think printed newspapers on actual paper may be a luxury item. It’s sort of like, you know, people still have horses, but it’s not their primary way of commuting to the office.”
On one level, this is plainly true. As a medium for news, ink marks on squashed trees are economically inefficient, environmentally damaging and slow. Print, even for news, will not be replaced by digital. New media almost never completely substitute for older media; the newcomers shrink and shove to one side their predecessors. Just as the combustion engine became the standard way for people to get around without making horses disappear.