Washington (AFP) – Bloomberg News on Sunday outlined several editorial changes it will make as it adjusts to a novel situation: covering its owner as he runs for president.
Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed he is joining the crowded field of Democrats seeking to take on his fellow New York billionaire, President Donald Trump, just three months before the first primary.
“There is no point in trying to claim that covering this presidential campaign will be easy,” said John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg’s namesake news agency, in a staff email. He cited the company’s policy of not writing about itself or direct competitors.
Micklethwait outlined a few editorial changes the agency will make but stressed they would make campaign coverage decisions on a case-by-base basis, rather than following an “exhaustive rulebook.”
“The place where Mike has had the most contact with Editorial is Bloomberg Opinion: our editorials have reflected his views,” Micklethwait wrote. As a result, the company will end its policy of unsigned editorials.
They will also suspend the editorial Board, in part because several Board members will take leaves of absence to join Bloomberg’s campaign.
Micklethwait said he intends for the company to cover the campaign’s news “in much the same way as we have done before,” with the exception that articles will explicitly state that Bloomberg News’ owner is a candidate.
In the email, Micklethwait added that they will not investigate Bloomberg’s family or foundations — the same would go for his Democratic rivals — but would publish or summarize investigative pieces on all Democratic candidates.
“Bloomberg News has handled these conflicts before,” Micklethwait wrote, pointing to Bloomberg’s mayoral campaign when the media agency adopted similar coverage policies.
Bloomberg is poised to run as a centrist, and analysts suspect that he could take away some of the support enjoyed by fellow moderate Joe Biden.
Some believe that his “self-made man” image and support for fighting global warming makes him the best challenger for Trump.