Dow Jones & Co. CEO William Lewis sent out the following to the staff on Thursday:
I am sure many of you have seen the deeply disappointing news yesterday that China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it is expelling three of our Wall Street Journal colleagues – Josh Chin, Chao Deng and Philip Wen – from the country in response to an article published on February 3 in the WSJ’s opinion pages.
It was not our intention to cause offence with the headline on the piece, and it is important to note that it was published independently from the WSJ newsroom – in line with our best practice of having a complete separation between our News and Opinion departments – and Josh, Chao and Philip had no involvement with it.
Our reporting from China has always been fair and accurate, exemplifying our purpose – to give people the facts they need in an age of misinformation. This decision to target our journalists is deeply unfair.
I know you will all join me in supporting our colleagues Josh, Chao and Philip. The work they have done, in the most challenging of circumstances, is remarkable. We are working tirelessly to get their visas and press credentials reinstated.
We have always defended the Journal’s ability to offer facts and analysis as well as opinion and commentary in one publication, and it is imperative that we do not deviate from that mission.
The need for quality, trusted journalism is greater than ever. Our commitment to pursuing the highest standards of reporting from and about China is unwavering.