Wall Street Journal reporters across the country chose not to show up to work this morning.
We did so for two reasons.
First, The Wall Street Journal's long tradition of independence, which has been the hallmark of our news coverage for decades, is threatened today. We, along with hundreds of other Dow Jones employees represented by the Independent Association of Publishers' Employees, want to demonstrate our conviction that the Journal’s editorial integrity depends on an owner committed to journalistic independence.
Second, by our absence from newsrooms around the country, we are reminding Dow Jones management that the quality of its publications depends on a top-quality professional staff. Dow Jones currently is in contract negotiations with its primary union, seeking severe cutbacks in our health benefits and limits on our pay. It is beyond debate that the professionals who create The Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones publications every day deserve a fair contract that rewards their achievements. At a time when Dow Jones is finding the resources to award golden parachutes to 135 top executives, it should not be seeking to eviscerate employees’ health benefits and impose salary adjustments that amount to a pay cut.
We put the reputation of The Wall Street Journal and the needs of its readers first. That's why we will be back at our desks this afternoon, producing the day's news reports. But we hope this demonstration will remind those entrusted with the future of Dow Jones that our publications' integrity must be protected, and sustained, from top to bottom.
I am guessing they are familiar with the Fox brand of "news", and they likely have a pretty decent idea about the inner workings of how Fox "news" is produced.
Last February at News Corpse Blog:
Last Friday, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Rupert Murdoch sat on a panel where he lamented what he described as a “loss of power” due to the ascension of the Internet and other new media. The notion that this captain of one of the most dominant media conglomerates in the world is trembling in the shadow of bloggers is simply absurd. Especially when you consider the fact that his company is also a dominant player on the Internet with an aggressive acquisitiveness that includes MySpace, the world’s largest online social networking site.
But there was a more shocking exchange that took place that ought to have caused more of a stir amongst professional journalists and all freedom loving people. It was an exchange that revealed something that most conscious beings knew, but which I have never seen explicitly articulated.
Murdoch was asked if News Corp. had managed to shape the agenda on the war in Iraq. His answer?
“No, I don’t think so. We tried.” Asked by Rose for further comment, he said: “We basically supported the Bush policy in the Middle East…but we have been very critical of his execution.”
Let me repeat this: “We Tried!”
Setting aside the nonsense that they had ever been critical of Bush’s adventures in Baghdad, having confessed to being deliberatly deceitful raises some questions. For instance, how can anyone ever again take seriously Fox News or any of Murdoch’s other instruments of bias? How can News Corp. continue to pretend that they are “fair and balanced?” How can any other media company exhibit the slightest expression of respect or patronization? And speaking of other media companies, where are they now? The Chairman and CEO of a media empire that includes the number one rated cable news network, and numerous newspapers around the world, has just admitted that he tried to use that empire to “shape the agenda” in support of a partisan political goal with consequences of life, death, and global destabilization.
This is what you can expect from a Wall Street Journal in the Murdoch "news" empire:
And you can bet that it will be propaganda that will help his businesses and his far right wing radical political views.