Washington Post

Private equity's less-than-stellar track record in the legacy media industry

A grave for a newspaper.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The legacy media business hasn't seen an IPO for a very long time. Instead the big trend is the other way around: public companies being taken private.

The big success story is the Washington Post, which traded under the ticker symbol WPO before it was bought by Jeff Bezos for $250 million. Under his aegis, investments no longer need to generate an immediate improvement in the bottom line. The result is a revitalized property that's almost certainly worth much more than Bezos paid for it — were he to want to sell it, which he doesn't.

Chinese authorities censor Washington Post, Guardian websites

 in front of a fake tank on the Place de la Republique square in Paris to mark the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square crackdown in China
A member of a French NGO stands in front of a fake tank on the Place de la Republique square in Paris to mark the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square crackdown in China. Photo: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

The Washington Post and The Guardian websites appear to have been added to China's "Great Firewall" blacklist, blocking internet users from visiting two of the last English-language media outlets accessible from the mainland without a VPN, the Post reports.

The big picture: The Chinese government, which blocks more than 10,000 web domains, escalated its censorship efforts in the weeks leading up to the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, preventing WeChat users from using keywords or posting pictures related to the incident, the Post reports. It's not yet clear whether bans on the Post and other outlets that wrote stories about the anniversary will be permanent.

Go deeper: Where press freedom is eroding around the world