Allan Sloan, the Wall Street editor of Newsweek, predicts that News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch will be successful in his bid for Dow Jones & Co. by raising his bid — despite his concerns for what it will mean for the journalism practices at the company’s Wall Street Journal.
Sloan wrote, “We journalists are supposed to be skeptics (but not cynics). Murdoch’s current statements about not messing with the Journal notwithstanding, I don’t see how anyone in my business who’s watched him operate can fail to be skeptical about his promises not to influence the Journal’s news pages should he buy Dow Jones. Murdoch’s entire history says the opposite. I don’t share many of Murdoch’s economic and political views (as I understand themâ€”I’ve never met the man, just watched him). My problem isn’t his views, it’s that I value journalistic independence. I hate to see any ownerâ€”be it Murdoch or an ultraliberalâ€”impose political, economic and social views on anyone’s news pages.
“I hope Murdoch doesn’t get control of the Wall Street Journal, but I think he will. Some Bancrofts seem willing to sell, and my bet is that Murdoch can prevail by raising his bid a bit and luring a few more family members to his side.
“Family or no family, journalism or no journalism, the stock market’s a place where money talks. With a $65 or $70 offer, Murdoch wouldn’t just be talking. He’d be positively bellowing. I don’t think Dow Jones’s shareholders could fail to listen.”
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