OLD Media Moves

WSJ’s Baker talks paper’s changes

February 17, 2015

Posted by Chris Roush

wall-street-journal-logo_20110715210549Wall Street Journal managing editor Gerard Baker sent out the following to the staff about the newspaper’s changes:

While we press ahead with our plans for a genuinely digital news organization, we never forget the need to ensure that our print product is refreshed periodically to ensure its continuing clarity, consistency and accessibility to the many millions of readers who see us in that format every day.

Today we’re launching a few modifications to the US print paper’s look and feel. These changes are not intended to be a radical departure for our journalism in either form or content. As you know, we made some profound and enduring changes to the paper in the last seven years, with much more emphasis on news, more photos, more graphics, more color and the deployment of other devices designed to propel the Journal in a more contemporary direction as a newspaper.

Today’s changes are implemented simply to take us further in that direction. They’re designed to improve the readability of our stories , offer clearer signposts to readers of coverage and topics in the paper and establish a tighter design consistency across all our products – digital and print.

The biggest change is that the old Marketplace section is renamed “Business & Tech.”. The new name not only more closely reflects the content in the section, but it also reinforces our commitment to expanded technology coverage, which we began a year ago with the launch of WSJD.

For purists, I would note that the word Tech. is indeed an abbreviation, with the Journal’s iconic – and in this case stylistically correct – period appended.

On the front page we have elevated the nameplate: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, above the skybox. This both asserts the primacy of the title on the front, and helps make the skybox feel more an inclusive part of the newspaper. We’ve also made some small changes to headline typography, aimed at creating a clearer distinction between different types of stories, and signaling especially to readers what is exclusive Journal content. Colors are brighter to liven up the paper, more strongly associate with their respective sections and also to improve newsprint legibility.

Many people worked on this refresh, through various iterations. I want to thank Jessica Yu, for leading the project. Her creativity, style and patience are an invaluable element of the Journal’s leadership and the execution of these changes is a credit to her and her team.

Thanks also to Dennis Berman, for his collaboration and leadership in driving the new Business & Tech section. Nick Hallam and John Nichols for their layout design work. And to Erik Brynildsen and Carlos Tovar for their infographics design work. As ever, Ann Podd has been the diligent and productively outspoken voice of the reader in ensuring the changes we make are always consistent with the Journal’s principles and values.

The overall aim of today’s refresh is a cleaner, more easily navigable and internally consistent product, with the elevation of technology coverage as a core part of the Journal franchise. But I know improvements can always be improved upon and I appreciate your feedback. Please let me know what you think.

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