As a young reporter, I was slipped a copy of the Wall Street Journal’s stylebook by a friend and former Journal employee. I spent weeks studying how to build their famous "A-head" articles (those daffy articles in the middle of the front page), ledes for stories (yes, it is spelled that way), nut graphs and, most important, its rules for attribution and fairness.
If Rupert Murdoch succeeds in his bid for the Wall Street Journal, the Journal as we know it could disappear. In its place, we may find the biggest blogging platform ever launched for one man’s right-wing views.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’m liberal. (Don’t get me started on Iraq). And yes, this blog is biased. But I’m not telling you it’s news. It’s commentary.
Fox News is supposedly news. But anyone who’s spent any significant time watching it knows it has a significant right-wing bias.
Puh-lease don’t talk to me about the liberal media bias. Let’s say it exists. But any self-respecting newspaper or news source doesn’t present opinion as fact, doesn’t leave out the other point of view, doesn’t launch diatribes in the middle of a news program.
Those are all offenses I’ve seen committed on Fox News in the happily few times I’ve viewed it. I’ve only in the rarest instances seen blatant disregard for commonly accepted journalistic practices in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal, which I read every day (Plagiarism aside, of course. That’s not as important, right? Just kidding).
Pardon me? You say the Wall Street Journal is well-known for its conservative views? Well, yes. The Journal’s editorials are somewhere to the right of the late Barry Goldwater. In fact, when you Google "Rupert Murdoch Wall Street Journal”, one of the first things you come up with is a 2004 article by Murdoch in the Wall Street Journal praising our dear President.
But Murdoch’s article appeared in the Opinion section, where it belongs. Until now, the Wall Street Journal has known the difference between opinion pieces (those are blogs on paper, youngsters) and objective reporting.
I’m not sure Murdoch does.