Media Moves

WSJ reporters "alarmed" about redesign

December 3, 2006

The New York Times’ Katherine Seelye has a look at the redesigned Wall Street Journal set to debut Jan. 2 in Monday’s paper, but the most interesting part of her reporting is her sentence that states, “The move has alarmed some journalists there.”

Wall Street JournalSeelye wrote, “On the front page, the column of news that runs down the left side will be gone. This thrusts the shaded, double-column ‘What’s News’ summary columns, the best-read part of the paper, into even greater prominence. With the front page already displaying advertising, the redesigned version will have room to begin only three or four articles.

“Inside the paper, items that Journal editors deem ‘yesterday’s news’ will be condensed into brief text bits and graphics. Articles will include summary boxes.

L. Gordon Crovitz, publisher of The Journal and executive vice president of Dow Jones, which owns The Journal and smaller publications, said the changes were intended to help the time-pressed reader move faster. He said the print paper would offer more explanatory news while the Web site would break news aggressively, and between the two he hoped to keep readers all day long.”

Seelye later added, “Those who are less happy with the change include some employees. ‘People at The Journal are very concerned about quality,’ said E. S. Browning, a reporter who covers the financial markets and is chairman of the union bargaining committee that represents Journal employees.

“’Lopping a column off the paper is not a quality move,’ he said. ‘It will be harder to do long-form journalism when there is less space on Page One.'”

Read more here.

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