Reuters reporter Robert MacMillan talked Tuesday with Financial Times CEO John Ridding and posted an excerpt of the interview on the Media File blog.
Here is an excerpt:
Q: What about the threat of a Murdoch-led Wall Street Journal?
A: This idea of kind of a zero-sum game showdown between two kinds of publications, I think, frankly, that thatâ€™s a bit anachronistic these days, given the way the media has evolved. Thereâ€™s a lot more different kinds of competition than five years ago or 10 years ago. In the last five to 10 years, The Wall Street Journal has been following a slightly different path from us. We have been very focused on our global mission. Over recent years, I think the Journal has been more focused on the US. Theyâ€™re kind of circling the wagons a bit around the US.
Q: Who is your ideal reader?
A: In a time of fragmenting media and lots more competition and different kinds of competition, I think itâ€™s very, very important to be ruthlessly focused on what makes you different and special. And we are very focused on that senior, international decision-making-level CEO, the C-suite.
Q: How much does the journalism matter when so many newspapers are cutting newsroom budgets to make the numbers?
A: Newspaper groups and publishers should have confidence in the value of quality journalism. I think itâ€™s a slightly bizarre notion sometimes, this idea that news should be free. I mean, itâ€™s quality stuff thatâ€™s done right, and it requires investment, and people are prepared to pay in the information age where particularly in the business media where people are making big decisions on the basis of the information they receive.
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