Thursday, July 19, 2007

Murdoch’s Arrival Worries Journal Employees

New York Times:
“There’s a real culture of passion for the truth, for shining lights in dark places and making the mysterious understood,” said a reporter, one of dozens of people interviewed at The [Wall Street] Journal and Dow Jones, nearly all of whom asked for anonymity, fearing a backlash from the current regime or the next one. “The overwhelming view here is that under Murdoch, that gets compromised from Day One, and that idea is devastating, heartbreaking, to people.”

At times, that heartbreak has been expressed in gallows humor...“Rupert has confirmed to me that we will have Page 3 girls,” he said, according to another person on the call. “But in a concession, they will be dot drawings...”[The Sun, one of Mr. Murdoch’s British tabloids, prints pictures of topless women on its third page. The Journal favors traditional hand-drawn portraits.]...

As the chances of an alternative have appeared to wane, more reporters and editors have polished their résumés and approached rival publications about jobs. Some have even talked of starting their own business news Web site.

Many voiced disappointment in the Bancrofts, the family that has owned the company for more than a century and taken great pride in it, for not playing a leading role in running it for more than 70 years.

We understand that for the Bancrofts this is a choice between getting much richer, and holding onto something because they believe in it,” a reporter said. “What they may not realize is that many of us in the newsroom have made the same choice. There are a lot of people here who could be traders or lawyers, people with M.B.A.’s, who could be making a lot more money. To us, this is not an abstract choice.”

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