Wall Street Journal China Correspondents Protest Murdoch Takeover

The China staff of the Wall Street Journal is speaking up against Rupert Murdoch’s attempted takeover of the paper. Talking Points Memo blog has obtained a letter from the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters to the Bancroft family, which states:

Our China team won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting this year for a series of stories detailing the consequences of China’s unbridled pursuit of capitalism – for China and for the rest of the world. Many of those stories shed an unflattering light on the government and business interests.

The prize is a reflection of the Journal’s substantial investment in covering what is perhaps the biggest economic, business and political story of our time: how China’s embrace of markets and its growing global role are reshaping the world we live in. It is an important example of the coverage that we fear would suffer if News Corp. takes control.

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch has a well-documented history of making editorial decisions in order to advance his business interests in China and, indeed, of sacrificing journalistic integrity to satisfy personal or political aims. [Full text]

Former Wall Street Journal China reporter Ian Johnson has also written an article explaining why he believes the Bancroft family should reject the offer:

But what worries me as a long-time China correspondent is that Murdoch doesn’t separate his business interests from his newsgathering operations. Thus it’s quite conceivable, to me at least, that he’d ask senior editors to tone down the China coverage. We’ve won two Pulitzer prizes there in the past six years for our hard-hitting coverage. He could well view such work as a nuisance.

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