Critics Ramp up Murdoch Attacks as Dow Jones Sale Alleged
The journalistic assault on Rupert Murdoch continues amidst reports that Dow Jones & Co.â€™s board (NYSE: DJ) will accept Murdochâ€™s buyout offer of $5 billion.
Murdochâ€™s News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) reportedly will announce a deal on a $5 billion purchase next week. However, Dow Jones has issued a denial. Murdoch has been the focal point of scorn from media critics, reporters and editors â€“ even being labeled a â€śpredatory capitalist.â€ť
The Columbia Journalism Reviewâ€™s Dean Starkman has been leading a crusade against Murdochâ€™s efforts. Since the negotiations were originally announced in April, Starkman has written 16 stories criticizing the deal.
CJR, which labels itself as â€śa watchdog and a friend of the press,â€ť has published 18 altogether â€“ none favorable. A CJR editorial compared Murdoch to a â€śscorpionâ€ť its July/August editorial. â€śMemo from The Audit to the Dow Jones board and the Bancrofts: Donâ€™t do it,â€ť wrote Starkman in a June 26 post entitled â€śPitiful.â€ť
Almost the entire genre of professional media publications and watchdogs has been critical of the deal. Joe Strupp of Editor & Publisher called Murdoch a home wrecker. â€śPutting in controls for what Murdoch can do with the Journal is like selling a landmark house and stipulating that it can never be painted a certain garish color or get covered in aluminum siding,â€ť wrote Strupp. â€śIf Murdoch buys this house, donâ€™t be surprised if he replaces a few windows, knocks down couple of walls, and paints it a color the former owners will hate.â€ť
Some Wall Street Journal reporters, acting in the name of â€śqualityâ€ť journalism, demonstrated their bias against Murdoch by staging a half-day walkout on June 28 to protest the News Corp. deal.
â€śWe believe the the (sic) people who run Dow Jones got the message that an independent, high-quality paper and a fair contract go hand in hand, and that Dow Jones employees are committed to both. That was the purpose of our action, and we achieved it,â€ť said the Independent Association of Publishersâ€™ Employees Local 1096 on its Web site.