Media Covering Media

Those of us who work in media are always watching ourselves and each other. This week, the drama gets a reference from Candide.

Just the opening ‘graph — the subject of the story discusses his own management style and Panngloss. Voltaire – and this isn’t even public radio!

The often poetic New York Observer had some fascinating perspectives on the WSJ’s transition:

“For the past two weeks, Robert Thomson, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, has been busy not being the paper’s editor. It hasn’t been easy. Since April 22, Thomson, who was forced to describe himself in an interview with The New York Times as the interim “head of content” for the paper, has had nine meetings to soothe the fraying nerves of his orphaned editorial staff.”

“Let’s not be panglossian—there is uncertainty and thus it is proper for me to stand in front of our journalists and take the tough, challenging questions,” Mr. Thomson wrote in an e-mail to Off the Record.

All about Rupert Murdoch and his minion at his newfound dominion, the Wall Street Journal… (gee – this Voltaire stuff rubs off on you…). Not to dismiss Mr. Thomson at all, but this is all so poetic!

Of course, the nomenclature issue over whether to be called “Editor,” “Head of Content,” or whatever buzzword of the day we want to intone in our multi-platform world shows how important titles are.

But it is clear, if you are currently at the Wall Street Journal, Robert Thomson is the boss of thee.


About sehanley

Musician, journalist, teacher, technologist, consultant & former NPR station manager. A media and entertainment professional, journalist, entrepreneur, technology advocate, educator, student, mentor, manager, and media, musical and theatrical performer. Voice talent and coach for music and spoken word. I also act and sing (mostly jazz, but a lot of experience with choral, classical and musical theater, too). Brass instruments, too, but my AF ofM card lapsed years ago. Heard on the national jazz service, PubJazz, and in the Pittsburgh market on WZUM/Pittsburgh Jazz Channel. I also teach college level courses in media and journalism. I managed the leading NPR/public radio station in Pittsburgh, PA for 16 years, a few years later was GM of the NPR station WBHM in Birmingham, AL. I served for six very busy years on the NPR Board of Directors and have done much volunteer service for national and local organizations in the communities I have been privileged to live and work in. Former NPR Board Member, former President of the Pittsburgh Radio Organization, sometime musician, relentless technology advocate. Opinions expressed are not the viewpoints of any employer or affiliation past or present.
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