OLD Media Moves

The biz news competition in D.C.

October 10, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Michael Calderone of The New York Observer takes a look Wednesday at what a beefed up Wall Street Journal covering more stories in Washington might mean for The New York Times and Washington Post.

Wall Street JournalCalderone wrote, “While The Journal remains strong on beats where government and business overlap—lobbying, for instance, or the Federal Reserve—the paper doesn’t, say, have reporters assigned to every major presidential candidate, as The Times and Post do. Rather than cover every small political news development, The Journal has instead focused on less frequent but more deeply reported investigative pieces. Indeed, its coverage of electoral politics isn’t even as comprehensive as it has been in years past, when Al Hunt oversaw the bureau. ‘The Journal has a different mission in life,’ Mr. Baquet said of the two papers.

“One way in which The Journal might benefit from Mr. Murdoch’s deep pockets is in personnel. Indeed, it already has begun to try to lure Times staffers away. Recently, The Journal approached Helene Cooper, who covers the State Department for The Times, to gauge her interest in returning to the paper where she used to work. Ms. Cooper is staying put.

“But a Times Washington bureau staffer said that while they expect The Journal to try poaching colleagues, Mr. Baquet’s arrival has improved the general mood and cut down on staff disgruntlement—quite a feat in a newsroom!

“There are also internal discussions under way to beef up economics and regulatory coverage in the bureau, areas where The Journal is especially strong, according to Times staffers. There has even been talk of hiring a full-time lobbying reporter—a move that would clearly inch the paper closer into The Journal’s wheelhouse.”

Read more here.

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