The News Tip: Hold On To Your Credibility | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

The News Tip: Hold On To Your Credibility

Play associated audio

News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch is still ducking the fallout from a summer-long scandal with his newspapers on the other side of the pond. The scandal claimed the News of the World tabloid, closed down after outrage over phone hacking by its reporters.

News Corp.'s woes continued this week when Andrew Langhoff, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal Europe, resigned after accusations that the paper was involved in a scheme to inflate its circulation numbers.

In a statement, the WSJE has said its circulation programs were "fully disclosed and certified," and attributed Langhoff's departure to a "perceived breach of editorial integrity." However, the Guardian and the Wall Street Journal have reported that Langhoff promised one of the firms involved in the circulation arrangement favorable coverage in the paper's news section as an inducement to continue participating.

NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Audie Cornish that Langhoff's actions appear to be a shocking, "clear breach of Dow Jones' and the Wall Street Journal's ethics, as well journalistic standards."

But even the circulation arrangement is coming under intense scrutiny, as it is now clear that the paper's circulation levels have been significantly subsidized by the paper.

While Dow Jones, the parent division of the Wall Street Journal, says the circulation arrangement was approved by the company that audits newspaper circulation in Europe, the auditor says it will give a fresh look at how the complicated deal worked.

Folkenflik offers a lesson to learn from all this: As a news organization, it's tough to restore credibility after it's been badly damaged.

News organizations are inherently human endeavors, Folkenflik says, and as such, there will be missteps and challenges to credibility.

"The question for a news organization is not, 'Are you perfect?'" he says. "The question is, 'How do you deal with it?'"

Transparency is key, Folkenflik says. Instead, News Corp. has initially "come out swinging, attacking its critics." Giving the organization the benefit of the doubt has become much tougher in lieu of the number of times the company has had to retreat from those attacks.

How should news organizations respond to allegations against its credibility? Share it with us on Facebook.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Rod McKuen, The Cheeseburger To Poetry's Haute Cuisine

Poet Rod McKuen was loved by millions but mocked by literary critics. He died this week at age 81.
NPR

Shake Shack Sizzles With IPO As McDonald's Fizzles

Shares of the burger chain shot up Friday, its first trading day. Shake Shack and other fast-casual joints are taking a bite out of McDonald's, which can't recast itself to fit the current trend.
NPR

What Romney's Retreat Means For GOP Hopefuls

NPR's Scott Simon speaks with senior Washington editor Ron Elving about the narrowing Republican presidential field for 2016 and what we've seen so far in the first month of the new Congress.
NPR

Media Outlets Partner With Snapchat To Appeal To Younger Users

As people disappear from the audiences of conventional news organizations, 11 media outlets have partnered with Snapchat in the U.S. to offer its younger users easily digested fare within the app.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.