WSJ Page One, now with 53 percent less Wall Street!

April 24, 2008

murdoch-chart-3.jpgMany Wall Street Journal watchers bemoan new owner Rupert Murdoch’s greater emphasis on political and general news coverage in the paper, but so far their evidence has been anecdotal.

Not anymore! The Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) furnished numbers that give an exact percentage on the decrease in business news that gets on the front page of the nation’s most powerful business daily. Here’s an excerpt from the report:

Under the Murdoch regime, the single biggest change in front-page coverage occurred with politics and the presidential campaign. From Dec. 13, 2007 through March 13, 2008, coverage more than tripled, jumping to 18% of the newshole compared with 5% in the four months before the ownership change.

Since the front page has a finite amount of space, that increase in political coverage seems to have come largely at the expense of business news. In the Murdoch era, coverage of corporate America has plunged by more than half-to 14% of the front-page space from 30% in the months before the sale.

How low can he go before the Journal’s high net-worth readership bolts?

–Reporting by Robert MacMillan and Kenneth Li

(Photo: Graphic courtesy of PEJ)

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