Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The Graham family’s sale of the
Washington Post to Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos has
prompted intense discussion of the future of journalism. That
discussion has yet to focus on a remarkable feature of the Post
and other old-fashioned newspapers: They provide people with a
great deal of content that they wouldn’t have chosen in advance.
Newspapers create what we might call an architecture of
serendipity, in which readers encounter all sorts of stories,
facts, ideas and opinions that they didn’t select. Much of what
they encounter seems boring, irritating, wrong or offensive, but
on occasion it turns out to be surprising, delightful, alarming,
important and even life-changing.