Although Pearson PLC is being called a possible ‘white knight’ bidder for Dow Jones & Co, many in the newsroom of the Wall Street Journal are not enthusiastic about being bought by the publisher of the Financial Times. Reporters at the Wall Street Journal, many of whom regard the Financial Times as an inferior paper with low-quality “Brit journo” standards of fact-checking and sourcing, are worried that ownership by Pearson will deteriorate journalistic standards at the paper, a source at the Journal told DealBreaker.
“I took a straw poll around the office. A lot of people are worried about what this will do to the Journal’s reporting,” the source said.
Word began to circulate late on Friday afternoon that General Electric and Financial Times publisher Pearson were “in talks” about a potential joint offer for Dow Jones & Co. Over the weekend, the story ran in the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. A decision on whether or not to make a bid is expected to come within days.
A news of a possible bid from Pearson and General Electric may have the ironic effect of making the bid from News Corp more attractive. While News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch has promised to spend more on the Wall Street Journal, expand its international presence and has announced plans to launch a new cable news network for financial news that may give Journal reporters more outlets for their reporting, a bid from Pearson and General Electric would likely involve mostly cost-cutting synergies.
[After the jump, the not-exactly-surprising news that Journal reporters aren’t totally psyched about working for the publishers of the Financial Times.]