April 28, 2008

At W$J -- more international news

As a Johnny-come-lately fan of the news coverage and features contained in the Wall Street Journal over the past few years, I’ve been concerned about the 2007 acquisition of the Dow Jones Company (publisher of the Wall Street Journal) by business tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

No wallflower, Murdoch has a reputation for taking charge and meddling in the day-to-day activities of the various journalistic enterprises that he’s bought and controlled.

An unabashed opponent of big media consolidation, I didn’t much like the idea of the W$J having a new owner – especially Rupert Murdoch. I still don’t. But a feature story in the New York Times today, slugged as
Murdoch’s Head of Content, assuages my fears…..a little.

It seems that Murdoch’s top lieutenant, 47-year-old Robert Thomson, is making waves as publisher of the paper – and so far, they’re soothing waves. He says parent company News Corporation will plow some $6 million into the Wall Street Journal, allowing the paper to add four pages of international news.

At a time when newspapers are struggling to stay afloat financially, that’s a significant investment. It’ll be interesting to see how things unfold.

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