New Wall Street Journal editor Matt Murray sent the following memo to the staff on Monday:
Last week was a big one for The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, with trade battles, Facebook revelations, California’s primary, a bunch of corporate scoops, a packed second edition of Exchange and much more.
This week will be just as big, with the US-North Korea summit, Fed and ECB meetings, the AT&T ruling and the CFO Network annual meeting in Washington, among other things.
As I assume my newest role in my 24 years here, this hardly exhaustive list is a reminder that this place depends on far more than any one person. Continued success — something we can never take for granted — requires all of us coming together as one team, resisting complacency and aiming to outdo ourselves every day.
I feel prouder than ever to work for an organization that does so much so well. This newsroom has never had more talent than we have right here, today. I’m excited to meet with and hear from as many of you as possible in the coming days. I can tell you right now that the things we’ll be focusing on are really pretty simple:
–Scoops, sourcing and unique, ambitious stories. In every area of coverage, we must drive the agenda and expect nothing less than that we break every significant story first. Our journalism must be fair, insightful, deeply reported and relevant, guided by the most rigorous standards in journalism. Our writing must be both compelling and concise, whether for a daily news story or a revelatory investigation. And our metabolism when it comes to reporting, editing, publishing and promoting our work needs to be, frankly, faster.
–Accelerating our digital progress. We’ve vastly improved our mobile products and are building a top-flight team of engineers, developers and product managers. But the bar for tech keeps getting higher, the storytelling tools grow ever-more sophisticated and the data tell us our users expect much more from us.
–Professional news, live journalism, engaging with members and other growth opportunities. On the first, we’ve built up the leadership team, invested in the portfolio and refined the missions and growth strategies. Our slate of events and conferences is growing, offering new ways for us to tell stories and opportunities for members to engage with us and each other. WSJ Magazine shines brightly, we’ve overhauled our newsletters and video strategy and franchises like The Future of Everything are blossoming. But we must quicken our pace amid the headwinds reshaping journalism.
–You. We have the best team, but we can always be better. We’re amping up investment in training and development, and know we have plenty more to do. We will continue to cultivate greater diversity and define clearer paths to career advancement.
–Trust. Nothing is more precious than the trust of our readers. We hammer this point all the time for a reason; without it, nothing else we do can succeed as we hope. Attacks from many corners, alongside a few media missteps, have eroded faith in our industry. The worst temptations of social media and arrival of new technologies deepen the challenge of distilling the truth. Our paramount priority every day must be earning–and deserving–the trust of our millions of readers.
If we get this right, our best days lie ahead.
One more thing. Our daily mission is an important one. For some of us, reporting carries real risks, as our colleagues from Caracas to Kabul know. More prosaically, it can mean irritating deadlines, long days and weekends, occasional conflicts and lousy coffee. But let’s remember that it also is great fun. In what other job do you get to attend a presidential summit, go to the French Open finals, expose a massive accounting fraud, be first to test the latest cool tech gadget, travel to Pyongyang or fly a spy plane 70,000 feet above the earth?