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Aug 2
4 Reasons Why The News Corp Dow Jones Merger May Be Good For Communications Pros
The barbarians are at the gate!  That seems to be the Murdoch.gifoverriding consensus as people around the world lament Rupert Murdoch’s purchase of the Wall Street Journal.  Many people, including some members of the Bancroft family, expect Murdoch to meddle in the paper’s newsroom and use the Journal to settle scores and shape public opinion.  Will this happen?  Who knows.  However, I don’t expect that Murdoch will turn the Journal into a glorified version of the New York Post.  

Instead, I think there is a method to Murdoch’s madness, which may help solidify the shaky fortunes of the newspaper business.  In addition, I think the merger could be a boon to communications pros, especially advertisers, public relations professionals and – gasp – journalists.  Here’s why.

 

1. Synergy:  As Murdoch crafts his strategy for the Journal, he is likely to look for ways to embed its editorial content into his other media properties.  Although Murdoch does not like long stories, imagine being able to get varying perspectives on a topic from TV, the Internet, radio and other media at the same time – from one team of stellar reporters.  Journalists could collaborate with their peers to enhance stories and go a lot deeper.  Deeper, more nuanced coverage is always a good thing.

2. A Bigger News Hole:  When media organizations have a bigger news hole to fill public relations pros salivate.  They have more opportunities to tout news from their clients.  In addition, journalists are more receptive to pitches because they have to deliver more information in less time.  PR pros: Murdoch is looking to add several pages of content to the Journal, go to it.

3. Recruiting:  Let’s face it, many excellent reporters at the Journal don’t like the fact that Murdoch is buying the paper.  Will they bolt?  It remains to be seen.  However, expect the Washington Post, New York Times and other papers whose reputations are built on hard-hitting investigative reporting to descend like vultures on the Journal’s shell shocked newsroom.  One of Murdoch’s first tasks is to prevent talent from fleeing the paper.  

4. Fresh Ideas:  Everyone knows that the newspaper business is dying.  One of my colleagues here at Know More Media lamented the fact that the print edition of the Journal may go the way of the dodo.  Well . . . that’s bad for a local paper, but for the Journal it may not matter much.  The Journal’s online Website has 900,000 subscribers (I’m one of them). I rely on the paper for my morning dose of news and frankly could not do my job without it.  I’m willing to pay for quality and if it’s online, that’s even better.  I rarely have time to read the print edition of papers - it just takes too much time.  Also, if Murdoch breaks down the subscription firewall millions of people will have access to the Journal's content, which is also a good thing. 

Overall, Murdoch seems to understand that the media business needs fresh ideas.  If he finds new ways to monetize content and deliver it to more people more power to him.  Change ladies and gentlemen is good. 


3 Comments/Trackbacks




» Much Ado about Rupert Murdoch, News Corp, the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, and the Bancroft Family from Know More Media
The news of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.’s recent acquisition of the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones from the Bancroft family is a topic that has sparked much debate in the media. Some people are worried that Murdoch will... [Read More]

Sorry, I don't buy this at all. The more the news media is concentrated in the hands of a single entity (whether liberal or conservative), the greater the threat to a robust, free press, upon which public relations thrives. You are not going to get "varying perspectives," quite the opposite. And by the way, AOL & TimeLife thought "synergy" was a good thing, and look what happened to that gambit.

Michael:

Thanks for your strong comment (and for reading the blog). I certainly appreciate the threat that media consolidation poses to our ability to get varying perspectives. However, I do feel that a team of reporters (whether writing together, in editorials or appearing on television) will have the opportunity to present different takes on the same issue -- after all they are individuals.

In addition, with the proliferation of media channels (especially citizen journalists) consolidation, while still worrisome, may have less of a negative impact. We do live in a world of a million voices. However, I also understand that most people get their news from one source (television).

Thanks again for visiting and I look forward to continuing the conversation.

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