WSJ Editorial Review Committee A ’98 Pound Weakling’?

To no one’s surprise, the much vaunted “Editorial Review Committee” that will handle the Wall Street Journal‘s transition to Rupert Murdoch‘s ownership has no teeth. Mark Fitzergald of Editor & Publisher parsed the WSJ-News Corp. agreement overseeing the committee and says it “looks like a 98-pound weakling“:

There’s a reference right up front to the Special Committee’s powers to “enforce” the agreement, yet the more I read, the more it appears that the enforcement amounts to the power to write a report and publish it in the Journal. Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see any mechanism that would permit a lowly reporter to approach this august committee with a complaint — let alone any guarantee that the journalist would not suffer any reprisals for being a whistle blower.

The five members of the initial committee are Louis D. Boccardi (former AP CEO), Thomas Bray (ex-editorial page editor, Detroit News), Jennifer Dunn (former Republican congresswoman from Washington State), Jack Fuller (editorial page director, Chicago Tribune) and Nicholas Negroponte (co-founder, Wired). Boccardi, Bray, Dunn and Fuller are Dow Jones’ picks for the committee; Negroponte was selected by News Corp.