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How the Journal could change

Marketplace Staff Jun 27, 2007


Doug Krizner: Rupert Murdoch is not planning to sweeten his offer for Dow Jones — it stands at $60 per share.And he’s expecting his $5 billion to be accepted by the controlling Bancroft family, especially since Murdoch and Dow Jones agreed yesterday on plan for editorial independence of the Wall Street Journal.

Staci Kramer is executive editor of PaidContent.org — she’s join us now. Staci, we’ve heard many of the Bancrofts were reluctant to sell to a company whose journalism they see as sensational. Was this a real concern?

Staci Kramer:Well, I think the assertion the quality of journalism will disappear is, you know, maybe a false one. If the idea is that the length of stories has to do with the quality of journalism, then that might be a problem. If they find out that they can’t do the stories they are used to doing — the kind of in-depth coverage — that too could be a problem.

But again, remember that the Journal is already in the midst of a major transition, journalistically. Five years from now, it’s going to look different because it’s going to look different anyway.

Krizner: Based on Murdoch’s track record with the publications he does own, what do you expect to see happen under Murdoch’s ownership?

Kramer:He’s never owned a property quite like this. The Wall Street Journal is a major, successful daily newspaper — and it’s successful because it achieves high standards. If Murdoch lets the editorial board that they’ve agreed on have sway, then that could be one thing. On the other hand, in the past, he’s not actually gone to code when it comes to the editorial rooms he’s had.

And the gist of it, from people who have worked with him and have followed him is, if he picks the editor you’re aren’t really going to have a problem because the editor’s going to do what he expects to begin with.

Krizner: Staci, thanks so much for joining us.

Kramer: Thanks, Scott.

Krizner: Staci Kramer is executive editor of PaidContent.org.

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