John MacArthur, the publisher of Harper’s Magazine, writes for the Providence Journal about the issues surrounding Bloomberg News.
MacArthur writes, “His Bloomberg News service seems for the most part to be reliable, though its recent decision not to publish two stories that would have angered the Chinese government makes me doubt the company’s honesty and courage.
“What I don’t doubt is that Bloomberg’s original financial-data business — the Bloomberg Terminal — places him in a serious, permanent conflict of interest with his news-gathering operations, which include television, radio and magazines.
“When the scandal erupted last May about Bloomberg reporters tapping into Bloomberg Terminals leased by Wall Street firms to track their usage — in order to get a jump on the competition at the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal and elsewhere — my first thought was about Murdoch and his domestic servants, Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks.
“How was terminal tapping at upscale Bloomberg News any less unethical than phone hacking at downscale News of the World? Why was Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler’s assurance that such dodgy snooping by his journalists would never be repeated allowed to pass, while Murdoch’s former employees stand trial and the British press potentially faces unprecedented regulation in the form of government licensing?
“In the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations, can we really believe that none of Bloomberg’s 2,400 editorial employees will have further access to anything on the Bloomberg ‘professional service’ terminals?”
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