The Washington Post is expanding its coverage of the technology industry, including a focus on Jeff Bezos’ other company.
The Post posted openings for 12 jobs this morning for editors, reporters and video producers. Coverage areas include Seattle’s technology industry — with a primary focus on Amazon — consumer electronics, artificial intelligence, tech company culture, automation in transportation and technology in day-to-day life.
The expansion of tech coverage from the Post comes amid growing concerns about the industry’s impact on society in a variety of areas. Amazon hasn’t faced the same questions about personal privacy that have dogged Facebook and Google, given the differences in its business, but the company’s growing influence on all areas of commerce, ascendance in the advertising market and its ambitious expansion plans make it a common target of criticism.
Bezos, who purchased the Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million, has said that big tech, including Amazon, deserves scrutiny.
“My own view on this is that all large institutions of any kind whether they be government agencies, nonprofits, universities, and certainly including big corporations, deserve to be inspected and scrutinized,” Bezos said at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in May. “It’s normal.”
Bezos said he talks about this inside Amazon. “I say, ‘Look, we are a large corporation. We deserve to be inspected. It’s going to happen. Don’t take it personally.’ Because when you take it personally, you start to do things that are counterproductive.”
He added, “I think it’s a natural piece of being a large corporation. I tell you how we handle it. There’s only one way to handle it, and that is that we have to conduct ourselves in such a way that when we are scrutinized, we pass with flying colors.”
Bezos’ comments echo those of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a Washington Post interview earlier this month. He said that “having the scrutiny is actually good, I think,” in regard to the extra attention being placed on tech companies.
Microsoft has “dodged the bruising that its peers have taken this year,” according to the Post, thanks to heightened attention on security. Nadella told the Post that Microsoft learned from earlier cyberattacks during the Bill Gates era and has since designed products and services with revamped security protocols.