Without paying a dime yet, it looks like Rupert Murdoch has already shaken up the Wall Street Journal with his outrageous $5 billion takeover bid, forcing the paper to rethink its Web 2.0 strategy. On Monday, the paper ran a feature story on How to Be a Star in a YouTube World and then today, the paper is leading on the front page with a story about how TV networks are attempting to court favor with bloggers. Are the reporters and editors in the newsroom at Dow Jones full of shock and awe at what The King of MySpace has in store for the paper, or is this just a coincidence?
Over the past week or so, the Wall Street Journal has been filled with navel-gazing pieces on what Murdoch’s $5 billion takeover bid for Dow Jones & Co. really means. The corporate line from Dow Jones HQ is that Murdoch’s bid will obliterate the editorial integrity of the paper, much as Murdoch has
influenced strong-armed the editorial strategy at Fox News and the New York Post. Be that as it may, Murdoch is one of the few people strong enough and influential enough to drag the Wall Street Journal kicking and screaming into the Web 2.0 age.
Anyway, the piece about bloggers and blogola is an interesting read on another, more personal level. Most bloggers (myself included) now receive all kinds of solicitations and freebies from PR firms, publicists and corporations, asking them to review certain products or try out new services. I’ve always been a bit torn about how to respond to some of these offers — Do I have to post a review of the product, even if I don’t like it? Am I morally obligated to respond to certain offers? When should I indicate in a blog entry that I have received some form of consideration for writing about something? It looks like many big-time bloggers have adopted the $25 rule — anything worth less than $25, and you can sleep easy at night. Anything worth more than $25, and you should really indicate that you might be somehow conflicted, biased, or whatever.