The latest news is Elon Musk who is buying (based on his back and forth statements on social media) the social network Twitter. It caused a sensation. Everything Elon does is causing a stir. In this case, it seems the move was made for no specific reason, except he loves Twitter and uses it a lot to communicate.
In fact, we all know very well how much the father of Tesla and SpaceX is a visionary. He never does things by accident or on a whim.
The very rich and powerful Italian Agnelli family who already owned the Economist magazine (political-economic information weekly in English, focused on global news, international trade, politics, and technology), became the owner of the publishing group last year. The most important in Italy.
It is the Italian entrepreneur John Elkann, the successor of Gianni Agnelli, who is the one who owns the safe company Exor, who has made this editorial move.
He is also the president of Stellantis (also Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), Ferrari, and also the one who commands the Juventus football team which had also bought Cristiano Ronaldo.
Here is the second example. Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post and is doing a great job.
But the real question is: why do men who are already so powerful need to buy a publishing group, a weekly magazine. or a newspaper?
Let’s find out …
Companies and great men of power have always paid a lot of attention to communication.
Since ancient times, those who wanted to get noticed and show off, whether for personal or professional reasons or for their own company, understood the importance of propaganda and advertising.
Because the media was (and is) the best way to get your message across to as many people as possible.
Initially, the great men of power used only the press.
They bought advertising space and had articles placed in their favor.
Many Italian politicians have done, and continue to do, the same thing.
But with the advent of television and then the internet, the way of communicating has changed radically.
The media have evolved and the communication between companies and men of power has also changed.
The importance of the media today is still very high, but it has evolved.
The great men of power no longer limit themselves to buying advertising space but are buying the media directly.
There are several reasons why they do this.
Even if Bezos or Elkann do not point directly to the published information, they subtly dictate the line by choosing men to manage.
These men must guarantee him fairly balanced information. What matters is that they are the owners of that medium.
It gives more authority. You can show up at the doors and public offices of governors and politicians of a higher caliber.
They perceive you as a publisher and not just as an entrepreneur. At least as someone who in any case is the owner of an information outlet that will also talk about you as a politician or minister.
Many powerful men are influenced by what others do and by fear of criticism.
First of all, owning a means of communication has always been a status symbol.
Owning a newspaper or magazine represented the pinnacle of wealth and power.
This is still the case today, even if in many cases it is not printed paper but websites and social media.
However, the status remains. Just think that even Berlusconi struggled to convince his family to accept this new hobby as a billionaire when he bought Milan.
But in the end, he did and he performed well, although not everyone agrees.
Berlusconi had already bought television, the three of the approximately 7 most important and followed television channels of the 80s, 90s, and 2000s.
He also bought a newspaper. He blatantly did it to influence public opinion.
The cases I am talking about today are totally different. These are not people who actively engage in politics.
So they have other, deeper reasons.
Elon actually wanted to do everything that I wrote above. But with his avant-garde and futuristic style. He understood the strength of the network and social networks.
He understood that social media is now the most powerful way to communicate what you think and want to do with the whole world.
In the past, this was only possible if you had a large means of communication available.
Now with social media, you can do it even if you have nothing. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.
With a social network in hand, speaking as the owner of one of these (such as Mark Zuckerberg, even though he emerged by founding Facebook), he has a greater sounding board.
The same thing could not be achieved without conflicts of interest like a newspaper or television owner.
Here as usual Musk has been able to do well like the greats of the past, but with his visionary style. Going beyond what his predecessors had done.
By taking on a tool that has no equal in direct and influential communication skills with the public.
The only thing is that Twitter will have to grow a little bit more. But it is still more powerful than an Economist or any newspaper.
Bezos instead chose another type of reasoning. He knows that Amazon is a giant and his project is to make it the largest company in the world.
He is not satisfied with owning only Amazon. He also wants the press and the media. Because he knows that people’s perceptions are very important for doing business and growing further.
He also understood that having your own means of communication is important to be able to defend yourself.
In fact, Amazon is always under the magnifying glass and under attack by traditional media and also by social media.
In this case, Bezos did like Musk but with his own style. He bought the Washington Post. An important newspaper that does not have the disruptive power of social media.
But it’s a good start and Bezos has already said he won’t stop there.
He will continue to search for other media to strengthen its power and people’s perception of Amazon.
If this continues who can blame him?
In the world of traditional media, many people wonder how long it will be before Amazon buys a television network.
But I am just guessing.
I am an Italian entrepreneur who is almost a millionaire and I pay a lot of attention to what is explained in the newspapers, to the interpretations they give from time to time to world affairs.
By the way… This is me below…
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