'NYT' Urges Bancrofts to Shun Murdoch

By: E&P Staff It admitted that it usually did not comment on the competition, but The New York Times in an editorial today urged the Bancroft family to reject Rupert Murdoch's bid for Dow Jones which would give him the Wall Street Journal.

"Frankly," the Times declared, "we hope the Bancrofts will find a way to continue producing their fine newspaper, or, failing that, find a buyer who is a safer bet to protect the newspaper for its readers.

"For the record, most of us who still work for a family-controlled newspaper like The Times lament another news organization?s loss of protection from political currents and the unfettered demands of quarterly earnings....

"The Journal cited instances in which he [Murdoch] reneged on his vow to leave news operations alone, such as at The Times of London, or when his conglomerate canceled a book and stopped carrying the BBC news by satellite to curry favor in China. As it concluded, Mr. Murdoch has tightly controlled news operations that 'have made coverage decisions that advanced the interests of his sprawling media conglomerate.'

"Would Mr. Murdoch tolerate such frank and expert reporting? If not, the Bancrofts would not simply be cashing in the family business; they would be endangering one of the best newspapers in the world. Mr. Murdoch has promised not to diminish The Journal. At the same time he acknowledges that as a veteran newsman, he likes to meddle in his news properties, which include The New York Post and Fox News Network. We hope he remembers that The Journal?s respect for its readers and the readers? trust in The Journal are entwined. Lose one and you lose the other."


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