News and Corporate Governance: What Dow Jones and Reuters Teach Us About Stewardship

25 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2007

See all articles by Donald Nordberg

Donald Nordberg

Milestones Trust; Bournemouth University - Business School

Date Written: August 2007


The outcomes of near simultaneous bids for the news organizations Reuters Group plc and Dow Jones & Co. Inc. in 2007 hinged on mechanisms of corporate governance put in place at each company to protect the integrity and independence of the editorial operations. Neither company is a particularly model of good governance, since the restrictions - super-voting shares at DJ, veto-power by the trustees of the Founders Share Company at Reuters - almost completely rule out an open market for corporate control. This paper looks at Reuters - and in even greater detail at Dow Jones, where the private actions of the board and shareholders came into rare public view. It suggests that stewardship theory plays a large role in protecting a perceived social value of the integrity of the news, figuring more heavily in crucial board decision-making than shareholder value. But the outcome of both cases means that the tension between the two is not easily resolved.

Keywords: corporate governance, stewardship theory, stakeholder theory, mergers, takeovers, Reuters, Dow Jones, newspapers, news industry, financial information, journalism, case study

JEL Classification: A10, G10, G34, L10, L20, B10, B14

Suggested Citation

Nordberg, Donald, News and Corporate Governance: What Dow Jones and Reuters Teach Us About Stewardship (August 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Donald Nordberg (Contact Author)

Milestones Trust ( email )

Eclipse Office Park
High Street, Staple Hill
Bristol, BH16 5EL
United Kingdom

Bournemouth University - Business School ( email )

Talbot Campus
Poole, BH12 5BB
United Kingdom


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