Last week, we noted that the new WSJ under Rupert Murdoch was being "De-Financialized;" that the coverage was becoming less business and money oriented, and more of a general
interest paper — kinda like what the Washington Post and the New York
Times already do.

A rather similar sentiment was expressed in David Carr’s column today:

"There is certainly no evidence that Mr. Murdoch has turned the
newspaper into a tool of his business or political interests —
something that had been widely feared and predicted. But there are
clear signs that a sui generis business paper is fast becoming a very
common general-interest paper, albeit one with a really dynamite
business section
.

Further changes were unveiled last week, but
they seemed to reflect a broader range of stated interests without any
additional staff or expertise. The Project for Excellence in Journalism
completed a content survey last week and found that the newspaper’s
front-page coverage of politics had tripled and that front-page
coverage of business had been cut in half."

Interesting stuff . . .

>


Previously:
Murdoch’s WSJ Changes Creates Opening for NYT, FT  (April 2008) http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/04/murdochs-wsj-cr.html

Source:
At Journal, the Words Not Spoken
DAVID CARR
NYT, April 28, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/28/business/media/28carr.html

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

20 Responses to “Read It Here First: “De-Financializing” the WSJ”

  1. Marcus Aurelius says:

    You were expecting financial journalism and reporting?

  2. bluestatedon says:

    “There is certainly no evidence that Mr. Murdoch has turned the newspaper into a tool of his business or political interests…”

    “front-page coverage of politics had tripled and that front-page coverage of business had been cut in half.”

    This deserves an award either for cognitive dissonance or profound naiveté. There isn’t a particle of political coverage in any Murdoch media property that doesn’t directly serve his business and political interests.

  3. me says:

    I will not renew when my subscription runs out. My expectations of the WSJ are for business news and I don’t want to search for it. The front page is for finance, uh duh.

    This decision seems to me like Bush invading and occupying Iraq. Serves his ego but nothing else of value.

  4. john says:

    I sent them a letter pointing out that now renewal would occur in November if this continued. It won’t do any good of course but I’ve been a reader for forty years. I suspected they’d paid Brauchli hush money.
    It was one thing to put up with the nonsense of the ed page because you didn’t have to read it but destroying the paper’s core mission is something else.

  5. rj says:

    I’m a bit confused. Murdoch already has a “general interest” paper published in the New York market: it’s the New York Post. Is he going to get rid of the Post?

  6. Pat G. says:

    “a tool of his business or political interests”

    “the newspaper’s front-page coverage of politics had tripled”

    I read those two statements as being contradictory.

  7. VennData says:

    Yeah but the Journal steered me to these awesome European walking shoes for casual Friday.

    And more Peggy Noonan! She never lets syrupy “adjectivity” get in the way of the cold hard facts.

  8. DaveM says:

    If you draw a map of the brand universe and look a few years out into this correction, you can see more room/market for aging boomers with financial interests who also demand other topics be covered. Yes, there is also room for the FT’s brand of coverage (which I prefer) but the size of the market differs now and will be larger after a longer bear market. So while we debate over lagging and leading indicators he is taking a stand and developing the next generation of new social media at the same time. He’s making a definitive forecast on two levels. You can’t help but admire his guts when you plunk down for the FT instead. The WSJ also has a great website but is it really worth the money? Vote with your dollars.

  9. David says:

    Yeah, I noticed a marked difference just this past week, and especially today’s issue.

    This is a really dumb strategy. The only thing I agree with Barry lately is that the WSJ is giving up its brand advantage here to compete in commodity-land (generic news). No one pays for generic news; that’s what the web is for. People, especially financial people, pay for an information EDGE, and have since Rothschild and before.

    If the WSJ doesn’t deliver top notch biz news anywmore, I’ll just find my generic news for free on the web (like I do anyway) and look elsewhere for business news.

  10. Christopher says:

    I hope he adds a Page 3 girl and a gossip section. I think the American Page 3 girls would be much hotter than those in TheSun.

  11. Tom F. says:

    The WSJ will be the next one to get the heave. RealMoney, WSJ, – this is starting to add up. Man, I gonna buy me one mo’ fitty-piece rib-and-wing bucket from KFC!

  12. dryfly says:

    What’s wrong with having a USA Today ‘Wall Street Edition’? They be a big hit at the Hampton Inn…

  13. engineer al says:

    Rupert’s girls are going to find the WSJ a less kind format than the Fox News Channel or other Murdoch news organs.

    The tiny B/W, ink dot/stippling photos won’t be as flattering to bosoms, tight sweaters and short skirts as high rez, oversize color images are.

    Not there’s anything wrong with trying, but all that stuff does get in the way of “news”.

  14. daveNYC says:

    This deserves an award either for cognitive dissonance or profound naiveté. There isn’t a particle of political coverage in any Murdoch media property that doesn’t directly serve his business and political interests.

    One step at a time. First change what they cover, then change how they cover it.

    Between this and Fox Business, Murdoch is really making a reputation for himself.

  15. Karl K says:

    Once again, the tenor of posts about Rupert never fail to amuse. If it’s not the “I am going to cancel my subscription” it’s the “god, that awful right winger!”

    As though THIS crowd with ITS subscription behavior and ITS disdain are going to REALLY make one damn bit of difference.

    This just in folks: you’re not.

    Meanwhile, take a gander over at the circulation numbers over at Editor and Publisher.

    Guess what? Pinch’s little plaything is tanking like depth charged U-boat. As for the Journal? Well its circulation continues to hold on.

    Oh, and same for USA Today. Gotta love those Hampton Inns!

    Take heart, though, the Post is down!

    http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003795106

    “Print circulation continues on its steep downward slide, the Audit Bureau of Circulations revealed this morning in releasing the latest numbers for some of the country’s largest dailies in the six-month period ending March 31, 2008. When a full analysis appears it is expected to find, according to sources, the biggest dip yet, about 3.5% daily and 4.5 for Sunday.

    The following circulation compares the new data to the same period a year ago. Daily circulation is the Monday-through-Friday average.

    – The New York Times lost more than 150,000 copies on Sunday. Circulation on that day fell a whopping 9.2% to 1,476,400. The paper’s daily circulation declined 3.8% to 1,077,256. . .

    – Meanwhile, daily circulation at The Wall Street Journal grew a fraction of a percent, up 0.3% to 2,069,463 copies. At USA Today, circulation inched up 0.27%* to 2,284,219.’

  16. rj says:

    “Once again, the tenor of posts about Rupert never fail to amuse. If it’s not the “I am going to cancel my subscription” it’s the “god, that awful right winger!” ”

    My entire dislike for Rupert Murdoch is nothing against the man personally, I’m sure he’s a nice guy. I don’t think a native Australian and his native Chinese wife should carry so much influence in this country. We don’t let foreigners become President, why should we let them shape our opinions?

  17. Karl K says:

    rj wrote:
    My entire dislike for Rupert Murdoch is nothing against the man personally, I’m sure he’s a nice guy. I don’t think a native Australian and his native Chinese wife should carry so much influence in this country. We don’t let foreigners become President, why should we let them shape our opinions?

    Now this is hilarious. Let’s add xenophobia to the list sensibilities among the Kruegerrand-caressing, canned-good-hoarding, depression-loving folks who come here on Barry’s great blog from time to time.

    They are so amusing.

    Meanwhile, don’t let the facts get in the way of a knee-jerk sensibility.

    To wit: Rupert is an American citizen. Then again, maybe we should disdain citizens with funny accents.

  18. Bob A says:

    Looking forward to more advances including financial commentary by Bill O’Reilly, but especially the addition of the long overdue Page3 feature http://www.page3.com/slideshow3/index.shtml.

  19. me says:

    “Once again, the tenor of posts about Rupert never fail to amuse. If it’s not the “I am going to cancel my subscription” it’s the “god, that awful right winger!”

    So you are saying that those of us that bought the WSJ for in depth business news should just keep buying it even though it no longer meets our needs? Your post is indeed what is amusing.

  20. george says:

    No surprise.

    For several years now haven’t we all been enjoying the Journal’s reportage on which ballpark serves the best wienies, what flick will be the hottest summer blockbuster, and who’s showing what on which runway.

    Weinie or wienie? Not sure about the spelling.