When the biz media writes about itself
Steven Zeitchik of Variety takes a look at the voluminous coverage of the News Corp. offer to acquire Dow Jones & Co. and notes the business media has been put in a position of covering itself — or a rival.
For example, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch was interviewed the day the offer broke on Fox News, but in no other media.
Zeitchik wrote, “The Murdoch interview posed an even bigger problem for the Journal. Here was the biggest business story of the day, and the respected paper didn’t have an interview with the principal — the exact interview that the Journal usually gets ahead of everyone else.
“So the decision was made to post the transcript of Murdoch’s chat with Cavuto on the Journal’s Web site, making for the unusual instance of a potential buyer getting a platform in the very publication he’s seeking to purchase.
“It got even more surreal after the Bancrofts’ rejection. Now a newspaper was printing a pitch to its owner even as the owner was rejecting that pitch. (At least no one will say the Bancrofts exert editorial control.)
“And Murdoch’s New York Post? The next day’s paper referenced the bid in its business section … on page 37.
“But it couldn’t resist a little politicking of its own. In the second graf of its main story, the Post provided a built-in defense to the Bancrofts’ widely reported rejection of the bid. ‘Sources said many of the younger Bancrofts want to sell and it is the family’s older generation that’s against the idea.’
“One could only wonder where those sources originated.”
Read more here. And if you think Variety can’tÂ cover business, remember that its headline after the 1929 stock market crash was “Wall Street lays an egg.” It’s considered one of the most famous headlines from the era.