Fine: WSJ redesign shows biz journalism will lead the way
BusinessWeek media columnist Jon Fine writes about the Wall Street Journal’s redesign and notes that the paper has always been at the forefront of trying new and different things and using the Internet to break news.
That’s why, he believes, that business news will be at the fore of changes in the media.
Fine wrote, “This gets into whyâ€”if I may get simultaneously retrospective and futuristicâ€”it now seems inevitable that whatever will happen to news will happen to business news first. In business, information is literally currency. If your job touches on investing in any way, not reading the Journal can cost you enormously, in the same way that getting certain data first can make you rich. This made the investment class among the earliest adopters of ultradigitized and BlackBerried media habits. Thus the Journal‘s new approach follows its readers even as it leads U.S. newspapers. It is commendable that the Journal is shoving summation-news out of its newspaper pages, but perhaps the more piquant question is: What took them so long? (The answers may have to do with journalistic habit and institutional sclerosisâ€”which, of course, are hardly exclusive to the Journal.)
“The business of business news hasn’t been a happy one of late. (Major exception: CNBC, which is having a banner year.) But new entrants, like upcoming magazine CondÃ© Nast Portfolio, pile in for one crucial reason: Men’s attention to old-school media may well be waning, but business remains one of the best ways to reach affluent males. Thus, the moves to protect and squeeze more out of existing franchises. On the day the Journal unveiled its redesign, CNBC announced a beefed-up Web site, including a premium pay area. ‘We know we are getting new competition next year,’ NBC Universal Television Group CEO Jeff Zucker told an investor conference that day. He means, of course, the still-unannounced Fox business channel, for which some expect a more aggressive talent search to begin early next year. The business of business news may not be great, but it will be one of the most interesting media arenas in ’07.”
Read more here.