OLD Media Moves

WSJ aims to be different in Europe

January 9, 2010

Vojtech Horna, a public relations person in London, writes Saturday about how the Wall Street Journal Europe plans to be different from the Financial Times and from its American counterpart after attending a session with WSJ Europe editor Patience Wheatcroft.

Horna writes, “I always thought of WSJ and Financial Times as business newspapers that compete head-to-head, but that’s not how Wheatcroft sees it. In the briefing, she described WSJ Europe as a complimentary newspaper to your first paper – whether that is FT or not. Martin added that WSJ Europe wants to provide less news, more analysis and provide readers with a second opinion. ‘All our readers want second opinion,’ he said and added that WSJ Europe subscribers usually turn to the paper on the way home when they can spend time with some of the in-depth 2,000 word analysis.

“It is also the goal of the paper, in the view of its top editors, to uncover stories that UK press misses because it doesn’t fit the overall narative. Martin talked about recent EU appointments of the first EU president and many of EU’s top executives. While the UK press couldn’t stop talking about whether Blair will become the next president, the French and Germans split most economic positions in the EU, leaving British empty handed, he said.

“Wheatcroft also saw another difference between the UK press and WSJ Europe in the way it separates news and commentary. Those two things are oftentimes blurred in UK newspapers, something that would not be acceptable at WSJ, she noted and added: ‘We also absolutely insist on double sourcing.’

“Going back to my earlier point about the differences in the US and Europe editions, the European edition is more global in its coverage, it syndicates heavily Dow Jones articles from all around the world (it has 420 writers just in Europe) and provides news primarily for top executives. It wants to be more global in its coverage than the FT, which Wheatcroft finds very UK centric.”

Read more here.

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