Warren Buffet Plans to Buy Omaha Paper

Sunday, December 4, 2011

For years The Omaha-World Herald has been a employee owned paper. However Omaha native and billionaire Warren Buffet and his company Berkshire Hathaway are purchasing the paper.

Buffet told his shareholders two years ago not to buy newspapers because they face a possibility of unending losses. However Buffet believes that the World-Herald is doing it's job reporting to the community. In a meeting with with the company shareholders Buffet said, "I wouldn't do this if I thought it was doomed to some sort of extinction."

Buffet is offering the World-Herald $200 million for the paper. The final decision will be made by a vote by 275 employees and retirees who own World-Herald Stock.

The World Herald is excited about this. They believe that by being locally owned they will be able to continue great journalism.

One point that may come as a concern and has some employees skeptical is that Buffet may try to influence the news coverage, especially that about Berkshire Hathaway. With this as a concern the World-Herald is confident that he will not try to influence what is in the paper.


The New Town Hall

Michele Bachmann speaking to voters in Indianola, Iowa this past summer.
Social media has set a very different tone in the world, impacting numerous things- one of them being presidential campaigns. The Columbia Journalism Review reports that journalists, especially Iowan journalists in the caucus state, are being challenged by less and less personal access to candidates and are dealing with campaigns releasing the same amount of information to everyone. In past years, candidates held town forums, where local journalists and townspeople could go and listen to their arguments and policies concerning the presidency. Now, with the popularity of Twitter, news and announcements are so instantaneous that candidates have apparently felt little need to build grassroots campaigns from the ground up in Iowa.

One tricky side effect sneaking up on journalists is the retweet. Such widespread campaigning with little variety from state to state leads to retweets of candidates, or even competitors. Other uses of Twitter include livetweeting candidate's speeches during the event.

Twitter has definitely made an impact in the political bubble. Journalists need to be much more aware if what they are covering is real news or not. Losing personal addresses from candidates to voters should not fade away because of what technology has brought, but should instead be enhanced by the new technology.

Photo credit/Kate Hayden


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