Jeff Bezos, Can I Have a Word?

We cut the cord last year – we replaced cable TV with streaming services. There’s only one thing I really miss since making this decision: Morning news. Getting news from television while I have my breakfast (in one long show, with all the editorial choices made for me so I don’t have to make decisions before I’ve had my coffee) is an old habit.

These days, my only choice is an over-the-air broadcast from the local CBS affiliate. The on-air personalities are inoffensive, chatty and reasonably diverse. But the content is, I estimate, one third news and two thirds commercials (chiefly for prescription drugs, personal injury law firms and the CBS affiliate itself). As a source of news and insight, the experience is truly awful.

But it’s all I’ve got, because the major streaming services don’t do news. That’s a real shame.

I would love it if Amazon Prime created an on-demand, recorded but almost-current, not-last-night’s news program every morning that I could stream instead of subjecting myself to the watered-down chitchat I get on network TV. The show I envision would run two hours every morning, and be closer in concept to the PBS NewsHour than the network morning shows. It would have a ratio of 8:1 or 10:1 news to advertising instead of the infuriating mix I see now.

It might be pieced together and kept up-to-date by recording in 10-minute segments, quickly posting them for streaming, from about 5 am on, until there’s a two-hour sequence that I can select for streaming in one click.

Why do I single out Amazon? Because the biggest obstacle to creating a new vehicle for news is the huge expense of staffing a newsroom. But Jeff – you own the Washington Post. You already have a newsroom. Surely you could make a deal with one of the big networks to source five-minute local news streams from all over the US so people can get their weather and traffic a couple of times an hour. If all the national news and commentary came directly from the Post – edited from the day’s print news stories and editorials, read by professional on-camera personalities, and interspersed with interviews with Post reporters, first-hand news sources and guest op-ed authors – I’d be more than happy with that.

I trust the Washington Post to provide objective and professional journalism, and couldn’t care less what Donald Trump thinks of it.

How about it, Jeff?

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