Murdoch has history of meddling
A group of four Wall Street Journal reporters have dissected News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch‘s career in media and discovered a number of cases where journalists at his newspapers and other properties felt forced to underplay or overplay news to fit his agenda.
The examination of Murdoch’s career comes as he’s trying to buy Dow Jones & Co., the Journal’s parent.
In a page one story, the reporters wrote, “A detailed examination of Mr. Murdoch’s half-century career as a journalist and businessman shows that his newspapers and other media outlets have made coverage decisions that advanced the interests of his sprawling media conglomerate, News Corp. In the process, Mr. Murdoch has blurred a line that exists at many other U.S. media companies between business and news sides — a line intended to keep the business and political interests of owners from influencing the presentation of news.
“Mr. Murdoch’s focus on News Corp.’s bottom line has often allowed market considerations to influence editorial moves, and different markets have led to starkly different approaches. In the U.S., Fox News has thrived by tilting to the right, filling a niche left open by its network and cable rivals. In Italy, a 24-hour television news channel launched by Mr. Murdoch in 2003 has positioned itself as a relatively reliable and objective source of news — in contrast to the political bias of Italy’s more-established channels.
“At all newspapers, owners have a say in broad editorial direction. Mr. Murdoch has a long history of being unusually aggressive, reflecting his roots as an old-fashioned press baron. From his earliest days, like some other newspaper proprietors of the last century, he ran his companies with his hands directly on the daily product, peppering reporters and editors with suggestions and criticisms.”
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