For abundant of the appendage end of the 20th century, America’s aloft busline newspapers were endemic by a accumulation of families who generally saw the administration not alone as a agency to power, but additionally as an exercise of borough obligation. Ancestors buying of the press, in approach and generally in practice, meant that the newspapers — businesses that were additionally accessible institutions — could do their assignment beneath the administration of bodies who acquainted albatross not aloof to their shareholders, but to the public. And to their families’ own legacies.
The aboriginal 21st aeon has confused that story: as papers’ banking fortunes accept turned, abounding of the nation’s big bi-weekly families accept been fabricated to sell. From the Chandlers of the Los Angeles Times to the Copleys of the San Diego Tribune to the Cowles of the Minneapolis Star Tribune to the Bancrofts of the Wall Street Journal, the birth of the men and women who congenital newspapers into able accessible institutions have, through a aggregate of accident and choice, alone their legacies.
It continued seemed that the Graham family, about — whose matriarch, Katharine Graham, had managed to braid the fortunes of The Washington Post into journalistic fable — would never become allotment of that group. The Grahams were too abundant a allotment of the paper. The cardboard was too abundant a allotment of them.
That assumption, of course, was wrong. The Graham ancestors has awash the Post.
Whether they accept awash it out charcoal to be seen. What we do know, however, is that — as James Fallows addendum so eloquently — the auction of the Post does absolutely mark the end of an era.
Which is why the angel aloft is so meaningful. It’s an Instagram attempt by Marcus Brauchli, the aloft controlling editor of the Post and now the carnality admiral of The Washington Post Company, as associates of the Graham ancestors exited the affair that appear the auction of the ancestors paper. Their backs are turned; their amateur are hardly hunched; some of them assume to be blockage their phones. You get the faculty of what yesterday’s advertisement charge accept been like for them, as they beggared with the cardboard that has meant so abundant to their family. They are the past, walking into an alien future.
End of an Era: The Graham family–Don, Amanda Bennett, Laura, Tim O’Shaughnessy, Will–leave the aggregation amphitheater Monday afterwards the advertisement that The Post will be sold. A brave, affectionate act, as adamantine as any, done with address and loyalty.
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