Murdoch’s WSJ, revisited
The Nation considers whether, and how, the Wall Street Journal has changed under Rupert Murdoch’s ownership…
The wrecking ball has not come to the Wall Street Journal since Rupert Murdoch bought it in Dec. 2007; “sleaze has not invaded its pages; the most dire fears have not been realized,” reports Scott Sherman in the Nation. “But the Journal has changed in very significant ways. Quite a few Journal watchers–including
many people who left the paper but continue to care deeply about
it–are reading it with disquiet and unease.”
Sherman notes that
while the American iconic newspaper is winning praise from many
quarters under Murdoch’s ownership, he focuses on critics who worry.
Their concerns range from whether the newspaper will eventually
politicize the news to whether it’s lost its “soul” — the emotional
long-form journalism for which many WSJ writers made their name.
Sherman expresses his own doubts: “Murdoch has not corrupted the
Journal. Instead, he has smothered it and made it ordinary.”
But in these troubled times, one fact remains: the WSJ survives. Sherman concludes his piece with the words of a Journal reporter: “”Is it better to be on a sinking ship, or
one that’s been captured by pirates? While other newspapers are going
down, for now we’re still afloat.””