Special Committee on Editorial Integrity at the Wall Street Journal When News Corp. purchased The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, the previous owners insisted on a special committee to oversee editorial integrity. Many feared that the new owners would pressure journalists to tailor their news judgment. The committee, writing in The Wall Street Journal, has found no indication that such pressure exists, and emphasizes this in the wake of the revelations of misconduct at many News Corp. holdings in the United Kingdom. "That is no cause for complacency," they caution. "The journalistic rot on sad display in the U.K. can be quick to spread if not aggressively challenged and contained." Reporters and editors sign a code of conduct and a standards editor deals with ethics claims on a daily basis. The committee concedes that The Journal's initial coverage of the scandal fell short, but since then, they note, the paper has covered it fairly and extensively. "We will continue as well to be vigilant, talking to reporters and editors, monitoring coverage, making ourselves available to any staff journalist with even a suspicion of unethical conduct," the committee writes. "That is why we exist."
Stephen Marche on News Corp. and Shakespeare "Usually comparisons between events in the news and Shakespeare are strained, cropping up with each downfall of a prominent public figure," writes Stephen Marche, author of How Shakespeare Changed Everything, in The New York Times. "But in the case of Rupert Murdoch, the comparison is, for once, accurate: the scandal is exactly like a Shakespearean tragedy, in specific and profound ways." Shakespeare's tragedies unite family drama with affairs of the state, just as Murdoch has united his business with his family. "We go to tragedy to watch a man be destroyed. Macbeth must be destroyed for his lust for power, Othello for his jealousy, Antony for his passion, Lear for the incompleteness of his renunciation," writes Marche. The British public seems to want nothing short of Murdoch's destruction. Until we know how knowledgeable Murdoch was of his company's misdeeds, we will not know which protagonist he most resembles. His flaw, though, is obviously Macbeth's: ambition. In that way, Murdoch resembles many of us. "Maybe he needs to be punished," Marche concludes, "But he is being destroyed because we cannot stand seeing ourselves, whether on stage or before Parliament."