Joseph Menn of The Los Angeles Times writes for Wednesday’s newspaper that some journalists at The Wall Street Journal are concerned about the fact that the paper’s former top editor, Paul Steiger, continues to edit stories about its parent company’s negotiations with News Corp.
Menn wrote, “Steiger served as the top newsroom executive at the Journal until shortly before Murdoch’s bid became public knowledge. Now called an editor at large, Steiger has been overseeing the coverage of the controversial proposal, and some reporters contend that he has an apparent conflict of interest and should recuse himself.
“Steiger told the Journal’s website late Tuesday that he hadn’t been approached about serving as a director.
“Even so, one reporter said, ‘he stands to gain financially’ if the deal goes through. ‘This is a very valid, strong issue that a lot of people are concerned about, bewildered about.’
“In response to e-mailed questions from The Times, Steiger said his editing colleagues ‘saw no conflict for me beyond the one that we all face â€” if the deal goes through we will all have new bosses. That hasn’t stopped us from covering this story aggressively and thoroughly, with neither fear nor favor, nor will it.'”
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