OLD Media Moves

Making the switch from WSJ opinion to the news operations

February 28, 2007

Michael Calderone of the New York Observer writes Wednesday about the difficulties facing Tunku Varadarajan, who will be moving next month from the Wall Street Journal’s conservative leaning editorial page to its news operations to become an assistant managing editor.

Tunku VaradarajanCalderone wrote, “So while The New York Times regularly has moved staffers, including executive editor Bill Keller, back and forth between news and opinion, The Journal keeps things divided. News writers can move to editorial—Mr. Gigot himself was once a reporter in the Chicago bureau—but almost no one goes the other way.

“‘The people that move tend to be the ones that share the extreme right-wing views of the editorial page,’ a Journal news staffer said. ‘Once they move, it’s hard to go back to the news side and claim to be unbiased. You’ve already shown your colors.'”An assortment of current and former Journal staffers, with an institutional memory stretching back half a century, could only come up with the names of two other people who’d moved from opinion to news: Lindley H. Clark Jr. and Claudia Rosett.

“Mr. Clark left the editorial page in the early 90’s to write an economics column on the news side. Ms. Rosett left the editorial page of The Journal’s Asian edition to become the Moscow bureau chief, then returned to the editorial side in New York.”

Read more here.

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