Shallow Journalism at the Wall Street Journal?

Murdoch’s emphasis from the beginning of his WSJ acquisition was for scoops versus investigative (longform) journalism.   What we are seeing is an intended feature and not a bug.  The lack of Pulitzer prizes for the WSJ team is reflective of editorial priorities.  It remains to be seen if it is sustainable.

The problem with that is ‘scoops’ maps to pageviews whereas longform maps to time-on-site and engagement.  The advertising environment favors the later and not the former.  I guess there is also something to be said about the ease of measuring quantity of clicks versus the messy problem of asserting journalistic quality, and the even tougher job of mapping the above to key performance indicators for the news business.

Some of Murdoch’s properties – the NY Post particularly – did especially horrible regarding ‘scoops’ regarding the Boston Marathon – mostly in reporting straight from the police scanner at best or from the internet mob-sourced information which repeatedly fingered the wrong suspects or anyone brown with a backpack.

The old internet world (and old media world of cable tv) favored being first over being best.  I’m not so sure if that is true anymore.

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