Friday, December 2, 2011

Should we all follow Warren Buffett's example?

The rule in the financial markets is to buy whatever Warren Buffett buys. So does his purchase of the Omaha World-Herald mean we should all buy newspapers? The Christian Science Monitor suggests that's not what his purchase of his hometown newspaper says. But it still is instructive for the rest of us.

Buffett himself was quoted as telling the World-Herald: ""I think newspapers ... have a decent future." But, he went on, in terms of profits, "it won't be like the past. But there are still a lot of things newspapers can do better than any other media. They not only can be sustained, but are important.''

I suspect that the purchase was for one of the oldest reasons in the book: power. Controlling newspapers means taking control of local agenda-setting, and rich people have done that since America was a tad. Still, I wouldn't be surprised to see others follow his example. After all, we don't have to look far to find rich guys who want more power.

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