Dean Starkman of Columbia Journalism Review writes Wednesday that former Wall Street Journal managing editor Marcus Brauchli would bring questions about his tenure at the paper if he became the Washongton Post’s executiev editor because of his failure to use the agreement designed to protect the Journal from interference by News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch.
“Okay, but hereâ€™s the problem. If Brauchli believed the new ownersâ€™ ideas were good, he could have implemented them himself. If he believed they were bad, he could have gone to the committeeâ€”a committee unique in the annals of American journalism set up expressly for him.Â But he didnâ€™t do either.
“One could argue, I suppose, that there was no principle at stakeâ€”that it was merely a question of new ownersâ€™ wanting their own format, style, aesthetic, what have you, that it really wasnâ€™t a question of the basic editorial direction of the paper. But thatâ€™s not right. It was all about editorial direction.
“Then one could argue that editorial direction doesnâ€™t matter, but that would be a strange thing for an editor to say.”
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