The Bancroft family agreed to sell Dow Jones, Inc., parent company of The Wall Street Journal, to Rupert Murdoch's News Corps with a special stipulation: the formation of a special committee to protect the editorial integrity of The Journal and Dow Jones Newswires and in short, prevent it from becoming as politically polarized as many other News Corp. properties. Not much has been heard from the five-person committee since the 2007 sale until today's release of the report on The Journal's coverage of Murdoch and the phone-hacking scandal across the Atlantic. The findings are what you would expect--slap on the wrist for some of newspaper's recent coverage, a pat on the back for its work as a whole--but what surprised us was the whopping $100,000 a year the committee members get paid for their part time gig.
Poynter says that the committee members "seem to want to send a message that they’re doing something for their $100,000/year salaries" with today's release. The Guardian claims that this is the special committee's first report ever, though it seems that they were active (though largely overlooked) in the wake of Marcus Brauchli's ouster as The Journal's managing editor in 2008. Nevertheless, let's assume that today's report will be the committee's only one this year. With five members each getting $100,000 annually, the committee is being paid about $445 per word for the report today. And they say you can't make money in journalism anymore.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.