Dec 11, 2007

Saying no to naysayers

Wall Street Journal reporters are reportedly as excited as all get-out about the coming Murdoch reign, at least according to Peter Osnos at the Century Foundation (via Romenesko). From the way Osnos describes it, the city desk is busy filling balloons while business is out buying plastic cups and a punchbowl.

Excitement, of course, is a generic word that conveys very little meaning. Prisoners get excited prior to their execution, soldiers get excited before a battle. But let's assume he means a positive excitement about the changes Murdoch plans to institute. I hope he improve the paper but I doubt that he will - not because his model is necessarily a bad one but because he demands fealty from a group of people who are supposed to show fealty to no one.

But then I'm a naysayer.

Which means that's one less place I need to send my resume. According to Osnos, there will be no room for naysayers at the new and improved WSJ. Apparently the days of skeptics, curmudgeons and troublemakers is over. The 21st century journalist is a team player who doesn't ask too many questions, frowns on rebelliousness and finds his way to yes even if he wants to say no.

Here's the summary from Osnos: Talking to reporters and editors at the Wall Street Journal, there is a sense of excitement about the coming changes. They recognize that Murdoch has come to play and will focus on the paper’s Web presence, the weekend paper, and high-profile coverage areas such as politics and exclusive business news. The message is that Murdoch’s plan for Dow Jones is clearly built on journalistic principles with a goal of making a great name more influential and more profitable. Naysayers inside will be jettisoned fast.

Maybe they should build a plank.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All good journalists are naysayers. That doesn't mean bitching for its own sake but not being afraid to bitch when it's called for. Tools don't belong in the newsroom, because they will kowtow to the authorities they cover just as they do to their supervisors in the office.