Media Moves

Business journalism and the K-R bidding

November 19, 2005

In the letter sent to newspaper chain from Knight-Ridder alumns, a member of the business journalism community and SABEW — Washington & Lee’s Reynolds Professor of Business Journalism Pam Luecke — is among the signers who say they will nominate a slate of new directors for the company’s board.

The Knight-Ridder papers have been all over this story on their business desks. For example, The Miami Herald had a story this past Tuesday exploring the deal’s options. The Philadelphia Inquirer had a story in this morning’s paper about the letter sent by the K-R alums. You can read it here. The San Jose Mercury News also had a staff writer cover the letter. Its story can be found here. Note that all K-R newspaper Web sites require registration.

It must be strange for business reporters and editors at Knight-Ridder papers covering this story knowing that they’re writing about the company that cuts them a paycheck every two weeks. Their coverage may be eventually disclose that some of them would lose jobs if K-R is sold.

At the SABEW convention last year, there was a session on how the media covers itself, and I remember Newsday reporter James Madore discussing how aggressively his paper covered their circulation scandal. If you’re not aggressive in covering your own company, then your readers will question how aggressive you’re covering the rest of the business community.

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