'WSJ' Editor Declares Sale 'Won't Change What We Do'

By: E&P Staff Marcus Brauchli, who took over as top editor at the Wall Street Journal recently, sent a memo to staffers this morning just before 7 a.m. reacting to the pending sale of the paper and the rest of the Dow Jones empire to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. He said the current and future owners had given "formal assurances" that the newsroom will retain its "independence."

It opens: "Today's news that a decisive proportion of Bancroft family trusts will vote in favor of News Corp.'s proposed acquisition of Dow Jones begins a process that will affect us all, but won't change what we do in the newsroom.

"As journalists at Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, we have always
focused on maintaining the high quality and integrity of our work,
without regard to our ownership. We will continue to do so."

The rest of the memo by Brauchli, whose title is managing editor, follows.

Our journalism defines the Journal. A change in ownership won't change
our understanding of what's important; our ability to compellingly
explain the world, politics and business; or our commitment to reporting
that is accurate, honest and free of slant.

We know that a successful news organization's first obligation is to its
readers. We must serve them, recognizing that their interests and needs
change constantly, and that we will have to change with them.

It is too early to know how or even whether News Corp. ownership might
alter priorities or structures at Dow Jones. Our current and likely future owners have given formal assurances, however, that the newsroom will retain its independence.

An owner who values editorial independence is essential to the Journal's
success. Yet it is we who ultimately will ensure it, through the continued quality and integrity of our work.

Clarence Barron's heirs in the Bancroft family have been loyal and proud
stewards of The Wall Street Journal for nearly 80 years. The Journal
today, in print, online and in new media, in the U.S. and internationally, sets the highest journalistic standard thanks to their long support. I hope you share in my deep gratitude to them.

Brauchli, New York


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