Shephard to WSJ: Don’t go changing
The New Republic staff writer Alex Shephard writes that The Wall Street Journal should not make any changes currently being discussed internally.
Shephard writes, “However, much of what is being proposed, by both Journal employees and the innovation team, would not do that. The Journal’s coverage is stodgy and, in many respects, outdated. Of 108 front-page stories reviewed by the innovation team, ‘None had gender as the main topic, and none had LGBTQ-specific issues as the main topic of the story. As far as the protagonist of a story—many of our stories do not have human protagonists. But when they did, we found that 13 percent were people of color.’ Matt Murray, the Journal’s top editor, has reportedly objected to the use of the word transphobia, dismissing it as a ‘jargon-y woke-ism.’
“Some have derided the changes being proposed by staffers as the latest surrender to woke culture and political correctness. But you can see how a less-than-diverse array of subjects could be seen as a poor business decision artificially limiting the Journal’s potential audience, as well as bad journalism. And a skepticism of young people and their interests more broadly could also lead other outlets—not just the Times but also Bloomberg and The Verge—eating the paper’s lunch on new developments in finance and technology.
“Still, it’s not clear the Journal can win over that audience without alienating the subscribers it already has, old and white and rich as they may be. Rather than reorient the Journal’s core areas of coverage to compete with the Times and the Post, it should really do something about its editorial section.”
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