Friday, August 03, 2007


The death of a newspaper?

Everyone's heard by now that Rupert Murdoch has bought Dow Jones, which owns the Wall Street Journal. Now, the WSJ isn't my favourite paper: it's always had a conservative slant that I often don't appreciate. But it is — it has been — a well-respected newspaper that does good journalism and has fair and interesting news.

That's in marked contrast to, say, Fox News or (holy &deity!) the New York Post. Or, well, The Sun; say no more.

Now, no one expects the WSJ to suddenly sprout six-inch front page headlines like, “HE SANG, HE DIED!” (one that I once saw on the Post, an article about the killing of a mob informant), or to start having topless photos of winsome stock analysts on page three. Still, I don't imagine that Mr Murdoch can resist putting his brand of journalism — a horrendous caricature of the real thing — into the paper.

I don't imagine that it will change right away, but that it will instead be a gradual deterioration, one that we might not even notice unless we're keeping close track over time.

I'll be keeping track, and hoping that I'm wrong.

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