"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wall Street Journal Covers Parent Company, News Corp, and Murdoch 's Scandal with Facts

Since Murdoch and his News Corp was allowed to buy The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), their coverage of corporate  news has been sinking into more general news and less in-depth business articles we had come to expect on the front page.  Then we learn the facts from The Daily Beast that since 2007 only 12% of articles on The Wall Street Journal front page were about corporations.  The first question that pops in your mind is WHY?

 "Did Murdoch Costs The Wall Street Journal the Scoop on the Goldman-Sachs/SEC Story?"  According to the linked Daily Finance article it did.  Turns out that Murdoch bought the WSJ to compete with the New York Times for local news and politics which ended up bitting the WSJ on this story when the New York Times broke the full story and 20 minutes later the Journal went with a bare bones story.

Why would Murdoch have WSJ sit on the story?  Was Murdoch's purchase of the WSJ meant to help Obama when he took office with Murdoch's switch of the WSJ to more political news and less business news?  With only 12% front page stories being about corporate America, it left a big hole for those stories how corporate America was affected by the Obama Administration.  That may be a reach but in hindsight, that looks to be a possibility.   Makes sense with the bad economy that Murdoch, who supported Obama, would make the Journal into more of a regular newspaper ignoring what was happening in corporate America for the most part.

Murdoch's support of Obama was largely ignored by the loyal supporters of Fox News who turned even more on McCain.  If Fox News told them to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, some of them would probably do just that.

There you have it -- Murdoch supporting Obama and the Wall Street Journal goes more mainstream news and less corporate.  Connect the dots.

Why have most of the conservative pundits from the beginning been ignoring this huge story out of London on News Corps which has now reached inside the United States with the FBI investigation opened?  This should be big news to everyone.  It made our local papers and the broadcast news.

Murdoch Scandal Roils WSJ

Faced with sleazy corporate cousins, reporters at the august Wall Street Journal are grappling with how to cover their boss’s scandal—and their own survival 
By Nick Summers
Jul 14, 2011 10:24 PM EDT
On Tuesday, July 5, bureau chiefs and editors at The Wall Street Journal dialed into a conference call organized by Dennis Berman, the newspaper’s new editor in charge of corporate coverage. He trotted out some numbers: of the more than 1,200 front-page stories the Journal had run in the previous year, only 12 percent had been about corporations—formerly the paper’s bread and butter. 
Click here to find out more!Since its 2007 sale to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., the Journal had been steadily devolving, old-timers thought, into a general-interest daily—still a fine newspaper, but no longer the essential first read of corporate America. “We have to raise our ambitions,” Berman said, according to someone who listened to the call. And it wasn’t hard to believe that the Journal would. A week earlier, it had won three Gerald Loeb Awards, the highest honors in business journalism, after being shut out in 2010 for the first time in decades. 
At that moment, though, a long-simmering story in the British press was exploding, dictating that the next major corporation the Journal would be covering would be its own parent.
The bombshell admission by the News Corp.-owned tabloid News of the World that its reporters had hacked the voicemail of a murdered teen, giving her parents false hope that she might still be alive, has made the Murdoch company one of the most reviled on the planet, as more allegations of unethical practices at its various properties have surfaced. News Corp.’s hasty decisions to shutter the tabloid, as well as scuttle a $12 billion bid for complete ownership of a lucrative British satellite broadcasting company, have done little to stanch the outcry. In the sprawling story’s latest developments, the FBI opened an investigation into whether News Corp. outlets violated the privacy of 9/11 terror victims in America; Murdoch himself consented to testify before Britain’s Parliament; and Rebekah Brooks, the CEO of his U.K. newspapers, resigned. 
In the last week and a half, reporters and editors at the august Journal have had to come to terms with the fact that they share corporate DNA with publications that have paid police for news, paid large settlements to keep phone-hacking victims quiet, and provided Parliament with incomplete information, among other sins against journalism. The Journal's publisher, Les Hinton, has been widely discussed as a possible fall guy for their malfeasance. For the Journal, covering it all has been an awkward and frustrating challenge. 
“It stinks. It makes our stomachs churn, to be bizarrely held accountable for some dipshit tabloid guys from eight years ago. It’s absurd,” said a staffer who has been at the Journal since before Murdoch bought the paper. Another reporter, also speaking anonymously, described an end to the era of pretending away the Murdoch taint: “This slightly naïve notion that nobody really knows that we’re part of News Corp., that what they do, what Fox News does, what Rupert Murdoch does, doesn’t affect us—when something like this happens, it forces people to recognize that it does.” 
In covering the story, the Journal has walked a fine line. After running articles on page B1 and B3 on its first two days, the News of the World closure made the front page last Friday. The story was then relegated back inside—although Journal reporters Jessica Vascellaro and Russell Adams broke news Wednesday with a report that News Corp. was contemplating the sale of its remaining British newspapers. As the scandal has continued to explode anew each day, the Journal has, indeed, upped its game. Murdoch’s decision to revoke his bid for British Sky Broadcasting was fronted again Wednesday, and yesterday, the paper published the first extensive interview with Murdoch. 
It hasn’t been an entirely smooth process, especially because Journal staffers are acutely aware of who among their ranks might be termed “AM” and “PM”: after Murdoch and pre-Murdoch. Gossip flows freely in a newsroom, and spreading through the Journal grapevine now is the tale of a contentious moment last week between No. 2 editor Gerard Baker—a Murdoch hire—and Bruce Orwall, a longtime bureau chief now in London. During a conference call to plan stories, the journalists were discussing Rebekah Brooks, the News of the World editor at the time of the hacking of the teen murder victim’s phone. Baker, murmuring a word of support for the vilified Brooks, noted that she had been on vacation when the offense occurred. Orwall shot back quickly: “The last I checked, cell phones still work in Italy.” Orwall declined to comment; Baker, through a spokesperson, did the same. Journal Editor-in-Chief Robert Thomson also declined to comment. 
The Journal's competitors say the paper is performing admirably, under the circumstances. “We all know how tricky it is to cover your own company. I think the Journal has played it pretty much down the middle,” Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, emailed The Daily Beast. One Times reporter, who did not wish to be named discussing a competitor, agreed. “I think they’re doing the most they can with a very unpleasant and uncomfortable situation. No one ever wants to write about their boss,” he said. “And when you do, there’s always a degree of self-editing that goes on. Knowing that, it’s pretty impressive how they have been very tough on Murdoch and News Corp. at times.” 
Excerpt:  Read More at The Daily Beast
First time we heard of Rupert Murdoch was when we lived in the San Antonio area and he bought the San Antonio Light which was a very good newspaper -- lot of military news and facts.  The San Antonio Express at that time was more fluff.  Murdoch then got approval behind closed doors to buy the Express News promising the Light employees there would be little change.  That was one big fat lie.  Next thing we know we are down to one paper as he merged the papers and the Light employees were in the unemployment line.  Why was he allowed to buy the Express News to put the Light out of business is a question that was never answered.

Now in NYC he owns the cable Fox News, The New York Post, and now The Wall Street Journal.  The question remains of why he was allowed to buy different venues in the same city.  His aim is to put The New York Times out of business using The Wall Street Journal is failing miserably.  Journal reporters are not too happy being part of News Corp either.

If I don't like what a newspaper has to say, I don't read it and certainly will not buy it. There is Freedom of the Press along with my right to not read a particular paper if I don't agree with them.  The very idea that Murdoch bought the WSJ to put the NY Times out of business goes against everything I believe.  Don't want one sided news and that is what Murdoch seems to be after.  How long would it take him if he could buy the NY Times to merge the WSJ and lay off Journal employees in favor of the Times?  He has a track record that is not good.  Conservatives who buy into Murdoch are setting themselves up for an eventual fall because he is not conservative.  No conservative would hire Geraldo.

Very black eye for News Corp but since it is Rupert Murdoch, I am shedding no tears and consider it the beginning of payback for the San Antonio Light employees and their readers.

1 comment:

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