These are not the best of times.
WSJ-ers just lost their CEO, a casualty to the phone hacking scandal that has enveloped Murdoch’s News Corp. over the past two weeks. They’re keenly aware that their own coverage of that scandal — the biggest business story of the month — is being dissected for signs of water-carrying and general toothlessness. Worst of all, they’ve had to stew as Joe Nocera, op-ed columnist for the rival New York Times, has accused their paper of becoming “Foxified,” its news pages recruited to the Murdochian agenda.
So it’s worth taking an objective look at just how much the Journal has really changed. The Project for Excellence in Journalism takes a whack at it with a quantitative analysis of the paper’s front page in the years since News Corp. bought it. What PEJ found is not exactly shocking: The Journal has been devoting less of its front page to business news, under 20 percent in the last 18 months, versus about 30 percent in 2007, the last year Dow Jones & Co. was an independent publicly-traded company. Filling the vacuum are stories about U.S. government and lifestyle coverage. Here’s the breakdown.
avowals that he plans to beat the Times on its own turf, it’s surprising that the Journal hasn’t changed more. Even with all the changes he’s made — adding a sports section, a metro section, a glossy lifestyle magazine, etc. — the Journal has still carried more than twice as much coverage of business and economics on its front page this year as the Times has, 32 percent versus 14 percent.
FORBES, Jeff Bercovici, Forbes Staff