DLJ event reignites media access row

NEW YORK: In the wake of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) barring members of the press from its media industry conference earlier this month, the debate over access to often sensitive financial information has flared up anew.

NEW YORK: In the wake of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) barring members of the press from its media industry conference earlier this month, the debate over access to often sensitive financial information has flared up anew.

NEW YORK: In the wake of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) barring

members of the press from its media industry conference earlier this

month, the debate over access to often sensitive financial information

has flared up anew.



Media relations experts applauded the stand taken by Dow Jones & Co.,

which pulled out of the conference (during which media companies were to

reveal their financial results to DLJ) after DLJ refused to slacken its

no-media policy.



Much of the controversy surrounds the practice of selective disclosure

of company operations and projects, which favors large investors. In the

era of online trading - which has led to an exponential increase in

small investors - the practice has come under fire for limiting access

to essential company information. Without journalists being included in

conferences like the DLJ event, the likelihood of information being made

available to small investors diminishes substantially.



’We feel immediate disclosure is in the best interest of both

shareholders and the investing public.’ said Dow Jones VP of corporate

communications Richard Tofel.



Responded DLJ director of corporate communications Cathy Conroy, ’The

media is generally not invited to industry conferences, often at the

request of companies presenting information.’



Still, the media industry has traditionally been an exception. The two

most prominent industry conferences with sell-side analysts in

attendance - the Mid-Year Media Conference and the Paine Webber

conference - are both open to reporters, although no questions are

allowed.



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