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NY Times Worries About WSJ’s “Integrity”

From a deeply concerned for the fate of journalism New York Times:

Notes About Competition

August 2, 2007

If we were in any other business, a risky takeover of a powerful competitor might lead to celebration. Not in our business. Good journalism, which is an essential part of American democracy, thrives on competition.

More than anything, competition makes our work better — more ambitious, more in-depth, more honest. When Americans are served by many different, responsible, competing news outlets, they can make more informed judgments. That is why we, and so many others, are paying such anxious attention to Rupert Murdoch’s purchase of Dow Jones & Company and its crown jewel, The Wall Street Journal.

As newspapers have contracted, or simply disappeared, news organizations like The Times and The Journal have not celebrated. We have mourned sharp reductions in national and foreign coverage by virtually every American newspaper, including such formerly formidable competitors as The Los Angeles Times. The exodus of American news organizations from Iraq, for example, means more Times exclusives from the war zone, but Americans need and a healthy democracy demands as broad a view of the war as possible.

For years, The Journal has been the model of a responsible and challenging competitor, not just in business news but also in its investigative reporting and its coverage of politics, international affairs and culture. Just this year, The Journal won two Pulitzer prizes: for its reporting on business executives unfairly enriching themselves with backdated stock options; and for articles on the high social and environmental costs of China’s unregulated rush into capitalism. Coverage like that drives us all to work harder and better.

The Times and The Journal have reported extensively about Mr. Murdoch’s meddling in his media properties: How he reneged on his promise of editorial independence for the Times of London and how, to curry favor with China’s leaders, his satellite broadcaster, Star TV, stopped carrying news from the BBC. Now, Mr. Murdoch has bought one of the greatest newspapers in the world, with one of the most sophisticated readerships in the world. Those readers, and all of us who care about journalism, will be watching for any sign that news coverage is being slanted to curry political or economic favor.

The best way for Mr. Murdoch to protect his $5 billion investment is to protect The Journal’s editorial quality and integrity. That will mean continued high-quality competition for The Times and other news organizations. And that will be good news for all Americans.

Never mind that up until 2005 the executive Washington editor of the Wall Street Journal was that famously objective Al Hunt (husband of the equally objective Judy Woodruff).

Unlike its editorial pages, the news reporting in the WSJ has slanted left for a very long time. The New York Times is only afraid that this will end.

The best way for Mr. Murdoch to protect his $5 billion investment is to protect The Journal’s editorial quality and integrity.

Testify!

Clearly “Pinch” Sulzberger hasn’t been protecting “editorial quality and integrity” of The Times for the past five years.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 2nd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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