Saturday, March 2, 2013

Warren Buffett Bets on Newspapers

In his latest letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, investor Warren Buffett explains why the company spent $344 million last year to acquire 28 daily newspapers. The Sage of Omaha writes that even though "the world has changed" due to the quick and efficient delivery of national and international news online and that "newspapers have therefore lost their 'primacy,'" he still foresees a vital role for daily newspapers that produce quality local news reporting. 

Buffett argues:

"Newspapers continue to reign supreme, however, in the delivery of local news. If you want to know what’s going on in your town – whether the news is about the mayor or taxes or high school football – there is no substitute for a local newspaper that is doing its job. A reader’s eyes may glaze over after they take in a couple of paragraphs about Canadian tariffs or political developments in Pakistan; a story about the reader himself or his neighbors will be read to the end. Wherever there is a pervasive sense of community, a paper that serves the special informational needs of that community will remain indispensable to a significant portion of its residents."

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