Media Moves

Behind the WSJ’s effort to help readers ID opinion

February 10, 2021

Posted by Chris Roush

Sarah Scire of Nieman Journalism Lab looks at The Wall Street Journal’s new web page that teaches readers the difference between news and edtorial.

Scire writes, “By underlining the bright line between its news and opinion sections, the Journal is seeking to protect one of its most valuable assets: its position as one of the few news sources both sides of the aisle tend to agree on. Pew found last year that the Journal is one of just three news organization trusted more than distrusted by both Republicans and Democrats; the other two are PBS and the BBC.

“Suzi Watford, the chief marketing officer at The Wall Street Journal, said the campaign is also a reflection of the fact that the Journal’s business is ‘increasingly digital.’ Of 3.22 million subscriptions — up 19% from 2019 — 2.46 million are digital-only, according to quarterly results released last week. (Watford said the news organization saw new subscribers and a surge of engagement from existing readers amid the market madness of GameStop. ‘It’s Journal gold, isn’t it?’)

“The difference between news and opinion is fairly apparent in print — you’re holding one section or the other — but Watford says their reader research indicates that new readers may be less likely to appreciate the difference.”

Read more here.

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