OLD Media Moves

The sensationalist WSJ

February 27, 2010

Felix Salmon of Reuters thinks that Friday’s “sensationalist” front page of The Wall Street Journal is evidence of attempts by News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and the paper’s managing editor, Robert Thomson, to make the paper more political.

Salmon notes that the top story on the value of the euro that implies that hedge fund managers are having an impact. “There’s only the vaguest hint, in the ostensibly-sober WSJ, that it’s ridiculous to think that hedge funds could cause a large medium-term change in the value of the euro against the dollar,” writes Salmon. “They can certainly bet on such a move, and make money if it happens, but you can’t manipulate the largest currency pair in the world, when it’s freely floating and does over a trillion dollars in volume per day.”

Later, Salmon notes another story on the front page about climate change contains “an institutional bias at the WSJ on this issue too, as evinced by things like the paragraph which begins with this:

Even some who agree with the IPCC conclusion that humans are significantly contributing to climate change say the IPCC has morphed from a scientific analyst to a political actor.”

Salmon concludes, “That might be a sensible move, from the point of view of selling copies, especially on the newsstand. But it will also inevitably serve to erode the trust that many people, on Wall Street especially, have in the reporting of the WSJ.”

Read more here.

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