Can the people who almost brought down the news business save it?

"This is a start-up," Mr Marc Benioff said loudly over FaceTime, leaning in and out of the frame on a bumpy ride to the airport. "They have been opportunity constrained," he said, "But we are here to unshackle them."

Was the billionaire founder and chief executive of Salesforce, the digital enterprise hotshot of San Francisco, talking about a new bitcoin company he was interested in investing in? Or perhaps a big opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a cool artificial intelligence start-up? No.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2018, with the headline 'Can the people who almost brought down the news business save it?'. Print Edition | Subscribe