Quote of the Day: a “fight for the soul of news gathering”

This morning, as the drama went down in Philadelphia – which made national news – we were both tracking the blow-by-blow via reporter tweets, and emailing/texting with friends of Blue Jersey’s in the Inky newsroom, where distrust of the Norcross ownership went deep among journalists and created a challenge to editorial independence and the ability of their newsroom to function well. I pointed out that Norcross made a killing on the papers, which I bet stung the flailing Star-Ledger and challenges the idea of Norcross as the “loser” today. This is how one of our friends at the Inky responded:

Yes Norcross won $27 million but we’re rid of him. This was a fight for the soul of news gathering in this region. Our editorial talked today talked about how we could not endorse in one of the NJ House races because of our conflict of interest with Norcross’s brother being a candidate. The Inquirer is the largest circulating paper in South Jersey and we couldn’t weigh in on an important House race involving the brother of a boss who was given the seat as if we are no longer living in a democracy. I am ashamed of that. Ignoring the news is just as bad as slanting it. So if $27 million bought these over-worked, highly-committed people here their freedom, it was worth it.

                         – one of our sources in the Inky newsroom, today

This was the editorial today our friend meant, in which the paper failed to take a public position in CD1, where South Jersey Dems under big bro George rushed to endorse little bro Don even as Rob Andrews was speaking the words of his resignation from Congress. But the paper had to ignore that that happened, at least up front. Because that’s the way it goes down there, and the same guy running the politics and owning the means of communication was always a potential problem. The paper’s problems aren’t over, but we’ve got some journalist friends celebrating tonight. Here’s to them.

Photo: New owners Katz & Lenfest talk to staff just after the sale, by Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Angelo Fichera via Twitter.

Comments (9)

  1. freshstart

    First the guy he backs loses in Newark, and now he loses his battle to control South Jersey media. Lets make it a trifecta. Vote for Frank Minor for Congress in District 1. Time to “rise up” and stop the South Jersey Machine.  Lets show Boss Norcross that he can’t just gift his brother a congressional seat.

  2. kfoster

    where everyone down to local committee men and women are covered in HIS stench.  I live in Camden County where it doesn’t even seem like it is worth my time to vote, so this is refreshing.  

  3. firstamend07

    So you are ” enjoying” the victory.

    What did YOU win? What did YOU fight for?

    A man that you blindly hate bid ,and lost,in a business venture and YOU celebrate with a verbal parade.

    With all the issues in NJ THIS is what you are concerned about?

    ….well enjoy your big important victory!


  4. ken bank

    FirstAmend is the only grownup on this thread. Given the childish nonsense posted here, it’s obvious that the author of this post and cheerleaders are totally ignorant of the historical context of newspaper journalism. “A fight for the soul of news gathering”?? Give me a !@#$%^& break!! The only soul that news gathering ever had is based on making money and promoting political agendas. Norcross is not the first, and won’t be the last, newspaper publisher in the country with a political agenda and economic interests. Ever hear of Walter Annenberg? Apparently not because aside from FirstAmend there wouldn’t be so many “uneducated” comments. Some people need a history lesson about Philadelphia journalism and the Annenberg family’s involvement with reactionary politics as publishers of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News for decades, a story that makes Rupert Murdoch seem like Walter Cronkite and George Norcross to the left of Vladimir Lenin.

    BTW, here’s something else to consider about being careful what you wish for. Gerry Lenfest began his career as a lawyer and top executive for Walter Annenberg’s rightwing communications empire that would put FOX News to shame as a source for biased news reporting.



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