This is just a brief note, late on a Sunday evening, so I’ll get right to the point: I don’t care much for the way the Wall Street Journal is reporting on the Mark Hurd expense-account imbroglio.
What’s bothering me about the WSJ’s coverage isn’t so much what it has published but what it has failed to publish. Specifically I’m confused as to why the WSJ frequently fails to disclose Mark Hurd’s standing as a board member of News Corporation, which happens to own the Wall Street Journal as well as number of other media properties.
In reporting on the alleged improprieties of one of its parent company’s board members, the WSJ owes it to its readers to acknowledge the corporate connection between it and its subject. On rare occasions writers at the Journal make note of Hurd’s significant link to their parent company, but most of the time they seem to omit reference to it.
To me, it seems like a potential conflict of interest that should, at minimum, be acknowledged.