Media News

What’s behind the changes by WSJ’s Tucker

July 1, 2024

Posted by Chris Roush

Emma Tucker

Charlotte Klein of Vanity Fair looks at the changes being made by Wall Street Journal editor in chief Emma Tucker, including layoffs.

Klein reports, “Upon arriving at the paper, Tucker quickly replaced the old guard with her own people, addressed legitimate editing bottlenecks, and pushed for sharper, more ambitious stories. Staff were generally on board, until she started firing a bunch of their colleagues, with the Washington DC bureau hit especially hard. Some are still Tucker fans, seeing her as the kind of change agent necessary to shake up the Journal, a place mired in vestigial structures and traditions. But she’s lost large pockets of the newsroom in the process of ‘restructuring,’ an effort that, to staff, has largely manifested in pushing out well-regarded editors and esteemed reporters. With no end in sight and little consolation or explanation from Tucker, the newsroom is on edge. ‘From the outside, it feels like she’s moving incredibly quickly, with sort of summary executions,’ an editor from a rival news organization told me. ‘But from the inside, this has been going on for so long that everyone is in a panic because they don’t know the next person who’ll be taken out and shot.’

“It’s a culture shock for a newsroom where people tend to stay 10, 20, 30 years, and whose culture is built upon collegiality and institutional knowledge. It is a place particularly averse to change. Under Tucker, Journal staffers are waking up to something that looks more like the UK’s Fleet Street model: take it or leave it, and fuck you if you don’t like it. Reorganizations are a fact of life in British newsrooms; Tucker, who’s never worked at an American newspaper before now, may have underestimated the culture gap.”

Read more here.

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