Robert Murdoch Buys The Wall Street Journal and Public Approves

Despite the media hype to the contrary, the public long ago approved the sale of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal to Mr. Murdoch. Here's why.

The saga of Rupert Murdoch's courtship of the Wall Street Journal has excited the media but most of the paper's readers and the public have already tacitly approved the sale.  There are no screams of protest or cries that the freedom of the press is being undermined.  There are a few reasons for this:

  • Ownership is moot to the average reader.  As long as the paper continues to be a credible source of business information, we generally don't care who owns and publishes it.
  • Business news is everywhere.  If the paper stops becoming a credible source, there are plenty of other places to go.
  • Rupert Murdoch is a pretty shrewd businessman.  So why shouldn't he own one of the largest business publications.  Is anyone better qualified?
  • Everyone has a bias.  Sure Murdoch will bring his personal biases into the paper but doesn't everyone associated with the paper bring their bias? 
  • People like what Murdoch has done with Fox News.  Love him or hate him, he's created an entertaining channel that provides a counterweight to the perceived liberal bias of the other news shows.
  • He's Web-hip.  Murdoch owns MySpace, and the public realizes that he understands the importance of technology, and can help the Wall Street Journal navigate its increasingly digital future.

 

So, don't expect to see lots of protest as this deal closes.  A true businessman has bought a media company that reports on business.  Is there anything more appropriate?

Sol Nasisi
Sol Nasisi: Sol Nasisi is the co-founder and a past president of BestCashCow, an online resource for comprehensive bank rate information. In this capacity, he closely followed rate trends for all savings-related and loan products and the impact of rate fluctuations on the economy. He specifically focused on how rates impact consumers' ability to borrow and save. He also has authored a wee

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Comments

  • Anonymous

    August 02, 2007

    I was watching CNBC last night. They clearly are concerned that this is a real threat to their franchise (their revenue is $250 - $300 million per year easily and it will be shaved in half immediately). A guest on the show from Forbes who used to work for the WSJ made a series of great points. He said that the Bankcroft family has always had this mistaken idea that Dow Jones had a higher calling - to be the final source of info on everything. They however never understood that their client base is a financial one that is trying to get an edge on markets through information that is stimulating. And, they never understood that the client base might have other broader interests (the Weekend edition is really just a real estate advertising supplement). With any luck, Murdoch will make the paper more stimulating and broader like the Financial Times, and (no matter what you think of the guy) if that happens, there is nothing to protest.

  • Rob Davis

    August 04, 2007

    The public doesn't care about the Wall Street Journal or Murdoch. The Wall Street Journal will continue as a publication for rich people and Murdoch will continue as a ultra-wealthy media baron. Wealthy people read the paper for news, not political opinion. Who cares?

  • Inkunmingnow

    August 05, 2007

    The answer is: people are stupid, delusional or on medication. All the rest have either moved to Canada or thrown out their TV sets and cancelled their newspaper subscriptions long ago. The state of America's decay is almost beyond comprehension.

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