Posted by: kklist | February 15, 2017

Wall Street Journal, Murdoch & Trump

Hiya Ethics,

This Jim Rutenberg column from Monday’s Times discusses the relationship between Rupert Murdoch and President Trump and how Wall Street Journal reporters think it might be affecting the paper’s content:

The latest news about the Murdoch-Trump axis is acutely problematic for the leadership at The Wall Street Journal — owned by News Corp. — as it seeks to quell a rebellion by a group of staff members who believe that the paper has held them back from more aggressively covering Mr. Trump, they suspect, under pressure from Mr. Murdoch.

And an important clarification: Those who recently left the WSJ include the deputy editor in chief, an editorial features editor, the senior deputy technology editor, the deputy bureau chief for health and science news and a senior national reporter, some of whom took buy-outs. But Editor in Chief Gerard Baker remains, and he defended the paper’s coverage of the Trump Administration in a recent meeting with staff:

Journal staffers have sought an audience with Baker amid internal concerns the paper hasn’t been as aggressive in covering Trump as competitors or as direct in calling out falsehoods, such as the president’s bogus claim about widespread voter fraud. Baker recently came under scrutiny after urging editors to avoid using the term “majority-Muslim” to describe the countries affected by Trump’s travel ban.

During the Monday meeting, Baker argued that the Journal’s role is not to be “oppositional,” as some news organizations appear to be, but to provide objective coverage. He said the paper shouldn’t be “dragged into the political fight.”

Baker suggested staffers unhappy with the Journal’s coverage should go elsewhere, according to sources.

Looking forward to your presentations on Thursday!

best,

k

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