March 6, 2021

The Wall Street Journal celebrates 130 years with the goal of being the leading digital media

The prestigious newspaper The Wall Street Journal meets tomorrow Monday 130 years committed to high quality journalism, willing to combat the "deficit of confidence" in the media and with the goal of being the "leading digital newspaper in the world", said to Efe its director, Matt Murray.

Founded by three financial journalists, Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser, the Journal published its first edition on the afternoon of July 8, 1889. Today it is the largest circulation newspaper in the US, it has 2.6 million of subscribers and reports from the frontline on an increasingly interconnected planet.

"Journalism is changing rapidly and we have managed to evolve as the world changes, while we remain faithful to the high standards of information that marked a reference," explained Murray, who since 2018 leads the newspaper where he began as a reporter 25 years ago. .

Thanks to his "luck and willingness to take on new experiences and opportunities", this journalist has contributed to the most recent trajectory of the WSJ, a newspaper whose focus on business, markets and the economy offers "all kinds of unique and useful stories". to understand the world and the forces that shape it ".

Among the stories he has lived, Murray highlighted three, "all essential, and all great forces that shape the world: the rise of China, the financial crisis in the US and the advancement of digital technology", although later he claims to be "proud" of the coverage the newspaper makes of Donald Trump's government.

Aware that "no Administration likes the press," Murray said that Trump's has gone "farther than others by expressing it openly, blaming us for his failures, trying to drag us into the field of partisan game and using us as a punching bag", with cases of "insidious and even dangerous rhetoric".

"For daily news providers like the Journal, the job is to arm our readers with factual, reliable, enlightening and important stories about their government and leaders, including information that holds those leaders accountable. his works and his words. "

Murray pointed out that "that sometimes the leaders do not like it, and sometimes the readers do not either", but everything will be fine as long as the media agenda "is not political, but simply journalistic", since "we are not supposed to be loved by the politicians of no party, nor bite their hook. "

Coinciding in time with Trump's mandate, the WSJ has undergone a process of transformation focused on the mobile and digital product, the increased use of data, the modernization of its leadership and new initiatives in terms of hiring and preparation of journalists.

"We have made real progress, but we still have to do it, now we are focused on an intelligent and uniform evolution instead of a constant transformation (…), but the basic goal is to be the leading digital media in the world, to the time we maintain our journalistic excellence and high standards, "he said.

The results are seen in the figures: in the quarter ended in May, the newspaper's parent company, News Corp, registered an increase of 19% year-on-year in digital subscribers of payment, up to almost 1.8 million, although its director attributes it to the general effort of the firm to understand the audience and give what you want.

"I firmly believe that the world is full of intelligent readers who want and need reliable, high-quality news, which is what we seek to provide, so everything starts with that clear mission and with a growing market," said Murray, outlining the tools of survival for a sector in difficulties.

In that sense, he maintained that the digital products of the WSJ are "more satisfactory" and that the entire firm, both in the editorial and commercial areas, is more "skillful in serving the digital audience", but also acknowledged that it is endowed " of the scale and resources "necessary to attract talent and invest frequently.

Even so, as the business progressed in the digital era, the director considered it "hard" to maintain quality with the overabundance of information that has given rise to the "fake news", and added that "we should be very concerned" about the "deficit of confidence of the one that suffers the whole sector".

"The digital age has increased the demands of time, but we place more emphasis on being correct than the first," said Murray on the Journal, "committed" to "a culture that prioritizes information on opinion" and a rigorous edition, in the one that "asks for comment to all the key actors, even the difficult ones".

"We also believe in transparency: when we make mistakes, what happens because we are human, we assume it and we say it openly, and we work to avoid the worst habits of the daily news sector: baseless speculation, political bias, opinion expressed in disguise of analysis and the 'click-bait' (contents without depth that seek to attract the clicks of the users), "he concluded.

(tagsToTranslate) Wall (t) Street (t) Journal (t) meets (t) digital

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