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Murdoch to launch Wall Street Journal in German

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is launching a foray into German-language financial news with an online version of its flagship business daily, The Wall Street Journal, the media reported Friday.

Murdoch to launch Wall Street Journal in German
Photo: DPA

The Australian-born media tycoon, who has been battered in recent weeks by the snowballing UK tabloid phone-hacking scandal, is set to launch his online edition in late November or early December, the Swiss business daily Tagesanzeiger reported.

The bold move will shake up the German-speaking media market and constitute a full-frontal assault on the current web leaders for business news, the Financial Times Deutschland and Handelsblatt. It will target all the German-speaking areas – not just Germany but also Austria and German-speaking parts of Switzerland.

The German WSJ will begin as an online service only. It will initially be free but will begin after some time to charge for some content, though what payment model will be used is yet to be decided, the the Tagesanzeiger reported.

It is unclear whether there will later be a print edition.

Industry insiders said Dow Jones, which publishes the WSJ, would spend about €15 million to kickstart the online venture.

“This is the biggest project cost for Dow Jones this year,” said a senior editor at the WSJ.

It will employ about 40 people, who are being recruited at the moment. Murdoch’s deep pockets and Dow Jones existing network of journalists will give the new online paper a strong advantage over competitors the FTD and Handelsblatt.

“We want to fill a hole in the German market and bring in content from the Anglo-American and Latin American regions, where German correspondents are not for most part well-established,” a Dow Jones editor said. “The Financial Times Deutschland for example is a purely German product.

Some of the stories will be taken from Dow Jones’ existing network and translated into German. The rest will come from the new team of journalists in Germany.

The Local/djw

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Austria’s Kurz backs Merkel rejection of far right

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Friday said it was "right" for German leader Angela Merkel to rule out working with the far right, even after he did the opposite in his previous government.

Austria's Kurz backs Merkel rejection of far right
Photo: DPA

There are “differences” between Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and Austria's FPOe Freedom Party, Kurz told the Munich Security Conference, describing the AfD party as more radical.

“That's why I think the path chosen” by Chancellor Merkel's conservative CDU party “is right and sensible”. “I think it's justified that the party has clearly decided not to cooperate with the AfD.”

Merkel's conservatives have been plunged into crisis after regional CDU lawmakers in Thuringia state went rogue last week and voted in the same camp as the AfD to oust a far-left state premier.

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The vote broke a political taboo in Germany and exposed the struggles of mainstream parties to maintain their firewall against the anti-Islam, anti-immigrant AfD, now one of the country's biggest parties. 

The outrage that followed the Thuringia debacle prompted Merkel's preferred successor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, to step down as CDU leader and drop her bid to become the party's chancellor candidate when Merkel bows out in 2021.

Looking ahead to Germany's next general election, Kurz predicted that the centre-right CDU could well end up in a coalition with the surging Greens, similar to his own new conservative-Green government.

The latest surveys put Merkel's conservatives in first place with around 27 percent support, followed by the Greens at around 22 percent.

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