<i>Wall Street Journal</i> Reporters Are Takin' it to the Streets!

The reporters of theinjected a dose of much needed excitement back into the Murdoch-Bancroft proceedings by staging a nationwide no-show this morning.
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Wow. Yesterday, when we got word that the Murdoch-Bancrofts courtship was going to go on for an additional three weeks, we thought to ourselves, "Sweet fancy Moses! Could the media story of 2007 get any duller?" Props to the reporters of the Wall Street Journal, then, who today injected a dose of much needed excitement back into the proceedings by staging a nationwide no-show this morning.

And they're on message, as well. To be sure, the WSJ agitants are chiefly concerned with the threat Murdoch poses to the paper's "long tradition of independence." But the fact that the backroom dealings between Murdoch and the Bancroft family have had a corrupting influence on the paper's own executives is not lost on them. We made mention the other day at how a Murdoch deal would both enhance the value of employee stock, and how the Bancroft's own plan to defend the Journal came with the promise of job protection for the top editors--moves that actually gave the people supposedly at risk from Murdoch a huge incentive to favor the mogul's suit.

A key excerpt from the "statement from Wall Street Journal reporters":

"Dow Jones currently is in contract negotiations with its primary union, seeking severe cutbacks in our health benefits and limits on our pay. It is beyond debate that the professionals who create The Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones publications every day deserve a fair contract that rewards their achievements. At a time when Dow Jones is finding the resources to award golden parachutes to 135 top executives, it should not be seeking to eviscerate employees' health benefits and impose salary adjustments that amount to a pay cut."

The full text of their statement has been obtained by Poynter.

The Journal reporters will demonstrate that they care about "the reputation of The Wall Street Journal and the needs of its readers" by returning to their posts later this afternoon. Will their efforts prove to have an impact on the Murdoch deal? Paul R. La Monica, for one, feels that's "unlikely," but if it proves nothing else, it demonstrates that the Journal staff could nevertheless be a long-term thorn in Murdoch's side: "...what is Murdoch going to do if the entire staff revolts? He can't simply fire them all and easily replace them with people just out of journalism school."

Maybe. Still, nothing Murdoch could do is likely to surprise us at this point.

Related:Why WSJ reporters didn't show up for work Thursday [Poynter]WSJ reporters get a case of "blue flu" [CNNMoney.com]

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