Obscure Box

Thoughts from inside the obscure box


April 24, 2008

Wall Street Journal editor quits after 41 pars

Posted by : Michael Lund
Filed under : Media, Print

A mammoth read in today's Media section of The Australian newspaper takes a whopping 41 paragraphs to tell of the departure of The Wall Street Journal manging editor Marcus Brauchli.

That's 41 paragraphs!

The article "WSJ editor quits as shake-up begins" runs to 1,668 words and just keeps going over and over the same points.

It took three by-lined reporters to pull together - Jessica E Vascellaro, Merissa Marr and Sam Schechner - with additional reporting by Russell Adams and Matthew Karnitschnig.

Sourced from The Wall Street Journal itself, the original article "Editor Out as Murdoch Speeds Change at WSJ" (Wednesday 23 April 2008) is only 34 paragraphs long but this one runs to 1,871 words.

In summary the story says Brauchli agreed to step down as managing editor because he'd come to the belief that the new owners, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation - also publisher of The Australian - should "have a managing editor of their choosing". He'll stay on at News Corp though as a consultant.

The articles say Brauchli was feeling out of the loop on any new ideas and Murdoch was keen to see changes at The Wall Street Journal including more general news to help it compete against rivals The New York Times and the Financial Times.

They refer to a meeting in January when Murdoch addressed about 100 editors in a hotel, across the road from The Wall Street Journal's Manhattan Offices.

Standing at the podium, he was complimentary about the newspaper, but also clear about wanting it to change - quickly.

He praised the paper's "quality, accuracy and depth," but he was also clear that he found the product sometimes a bit stodgy, academic.

Really?

Here's the clincher though.

He said he wanted the paper to be "more attractive," and stories to be told in "as few words as possible".

Anyone interested in subbing 41 pars of copy down to 12 should no doubt apply now to Rupert Murdoch c/o The Wall Street Journal.

Both Brauchli and Murdoch declined to be interviewed for the article with is a relief because that would have made it even longer.


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All thoughts and comments here are the honestly held personal opinion of Michael Lund and are based on the information available at the time of publication.

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