DJ Special Committee: ‘Absolutely No Sign Of Journalistic Misconduct’

By: Staci D. Kramer |

Remember that independent panel that was supposed to safeguard the integrity of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal after the acquisition by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. in late 2007? Thanks to the UK hacking scandal, they’re back in the spotlight for what I think is the first time since Marcus Brauchli, the managing editor at the time, took a payout four months later and left—and Wednesday, that light got brighter when two senators asked for an investigation.

The five-member committee includes Thomas J. Bray, former Detroit News editorial page editor; technologist Nicholas Negroponte; Louis Boccardi, former AP CEO; Jack Fuller, former president of Tribune Publishing Co.; and Susan M. Phillips, former dean of the George Washington University business school. They are each paid $100,000 a year to keep an eye on the standards and ethics of the WSJ and Dow Jones Newswires.

They have nothing to do with News International, the UK publishing unit, or the News of the World, the tabloid so mired in the hacking scandal that News Corp. shut it down. But there was a connection: Les Hinton, the CEO of Dow Jones since News Corp. took over and publisher of the Journal for most of that time, headed News Intl. during the years when the hacking took place and testified twice to Parliament—once while DJ CEO, that it was limited. That has since been shown to be false but Hinton said he did not know that when he testified.

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