Home > Uncategorized > WSJ sale good for journalists?

WSJ sale good for journalists?

In a well put together piece, Mike Hoyt of the Columbia Journalism Review, discusses the 90/10 rule of the Murdoch, WSJ marriage. Or should we dare to say, takeover.

According to Mike, it’s 90 percent bad, 10 percent good. What strikes me is that his good, really is good. Really, really good if you’re like me—an up-and-coming journalist saddened by the implosion of an industry that has captivated me since an early age.

Mike writes, “For journalists, Murdoch in some ways represents what we have all been praying for-an owner willing to invest in the product, one who is not addicted to rising quarterly profit margins, an owner who has a vision of a print-Web future that can sustain the expensive business of journalism and who is willing to lose some money in order to get across the dark valley to that bright mountain.”

He’s dead on, and even though I agree with just about all the other 90 percent of negativity he brings to the table, the fact that a media tycoon may not jump to conclusions when the stock dips, is a welcome site.

For the past year I’ve been working at a high-tech PR firm, and have witnessed firsthand several magazines fold into online publications, editors lose their jobs and content become more widly syndicated, cutting down on beat reporters.

Just in my hometown, two of the largest papers, the San Jose Mercury and San Francisco Chronicle have been cleaning house, letting reporters with over twenty years experience go. The tech staff at the Mercury is shrinking and their business section now reads like a wbepage with cut-and-past blog posts from the previous week and the top ten youtube videos.

Is this really journalism? Or is this a papers last ditch effort to read like the web—a medium reliant on links and on-demand content, both things a print edition can not provide.

As Journal reporters spend the next few weeks digesting the buyout, I’m planning to watch the blogosphere for rumors of layoffs and restructuring. I’m sure Murdoch will try to steal way some of the best Washington reporters and add to the already extensive list of valley socialites, but I’m not sold that he will be able to brush off Wall Street’s projections. Personally I hope he brings the Journal to Starbucks. That way I can read two of the nations best papers while paying for my overpriced cut of joe.

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