Wall Street Journal

WSJ launches AllThingsD replacement; new Mossberg/Swisher venture is called Re/code

WSJD | Re/code

The Wall Street Journal’s new technology site has beaten Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher’s new venture to the web by a day. The Journal’s replacement for AllThingsD, a responsively designed tech portal (plus events, of course) is called WSJD, writes Jonathan Krim, global technology editor.

Mossberg and Swisher’s old AllThingsD team, meanwhile, will begin operation at midnight under the name Re/code in partnership with NBCUniversal. The two said their goodbyes at AllThingsD on Tuesday, and Mossberg published his final tech column earlier this month after 22 years with the Journal. Read more


Mossberg signs off from WSJ with final personal-tech column

The Wall Street Journal

Walt Mossberg published his final column for The Wall Street Journal today, recapping the 22 years he has been at the newspaper with a list of major technology products that changed the digital world.

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Bowlers Journal International marks 100th year

Wall Street Journal | Chicago Tribune | Times Union | Chicago Sun-Times

One hundred years ago, a shoe salesman and devoted bowler named Dave Luby started a weekly bowling magazine.

“He wasn’t schooled as a journalist, but Luby made up for it with enthusiasm and devotion to bowling,” Bowlers Journal reports.

The magazine turned 100 in November, an occasion that’s made the pages of several of the country’s newspapers.

On Monday, Kevin Helliker reported on the big anniversary, noting that fewer than 100 of the country’s 10,000 magazines have lasted so long, and the industry the magazine covers isn’t doing so great, either.

As a magazine that covers bowling, Bowlers Journal operates at the intersection of bad and worse. Not only is the magazine industry troubled, losing advertisers to the Internet. But since 1980, the number of competitive bowlers in America has plummeted from almost nine million to about two million, leaving most bowling publications with no place to go except broke. The latest to tumble: 20-year-old Bowling This Month, a magazine that published its final issue this autumn, citing economic difficulties.

But this isn’t a magazine for casual bowlers, Helliker wrote.

Bowlers Journal is for bowlers who own their shoes, whose balls are custom drilled to fit their fingers and whose leagues play one or more nights a week more than half the year. If once that described a significant percentage of America, it no longer does. And yet the number of Bowlers Journal subscribers stands where it did back in the sport’s heyday—at about 20,000.

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Google Play Newsstand, a new platform from Google for Android devices. (Google.com)

Is Google Play Newsstand a viable alternative to standalone Android apps?

Google introduced its latest platform for consuming news on Android devices today, suggesting that news organizations’ native apps aren’t serving readers well — even as those apps continue to be offered in the Google Play Store.

The new Google Play Newsstand replaces Android’s Magazine and Currents apps and promises one central home for magazine and newspaper subscriptions on smartphones and tablets.

But fear not: This has nothing in common with Apple’s much-maligned and same-named Newsstand, which is little more than a forced hub for certain news apps. Rather, the Google Play Newsstand is an app itself, a Flipboard-style reader with content from major publications like the Chicago Tribune and free blogs like the Verge. Crucially — and here’s how it separates itself from Currents — Newsstand allows for paid, subscription-based access, bringing paywall publishers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal into the fold.

It’s a nice, simple way to consume newspaper and magazine content on Android devices, and it aims to learn what kind of content you’re interested in so it can help you customize which feeds you see. Still, it’s not quite the one-stop shop for news that it purports to be in a blog post:

“Staying up on the news can be a daunting task. You have to go to a different website or app for each of your favorite magazines, newspapers and blogs. One place to read and discover all of this would be a lot simpler.”

But here’s the thing: Those separate apps still exist inside the Google Play Store, and some of them, like the Journal, offer more robust features than Newsstand does. Moreover, some news organizations, like the Chicago Sun-Times (where I used to work), haven’t joined Newsstand yet, so you can only get its content via apps or the web.

Viewed on a 2012 Nexus 7, the Wall Street Journal in Google Play Newsstand, left, and in its native Android app, right.

So what’s the play here, if you’ll pardon the pun? Is Google hoping to steer news organizations away from native news apps altogether and bring all news content under one roof on Android?

As it stands, the different roofs are confusing. If a reader sees Newsstand and assumes that’s where she should search for the Sun-Times, she won’t find the newspaper’s native app, which only appears if you search the entire Play Store or only the store’s app section. Meanwhile, a reader looking for The Wall Street Journal sees two options: one in the Newsstand section and another in the apps section.

Michael Rolnick, head of digital at Dow Jones & Co., told Poynter via phone that the big advantage of Newsstand is that a large audience can stumble upon Journal content and sample it without downloading a separate app. If the Journal converts those readers to digital subscribers, it can point them to other products, like the app.

In that sense, the two platforms could be complementary, especially because the Journal’s app — which mimics print in terms of story selection and design — offers an experience distinct from what’s offered by Newsstand (although the Journal’s app is a much clunkier experience on lower-end Android tablets than it is on the iPad).

Viewed on a 2012 Nexus 7, the New York Times in Google Play Newsstand, left, and in its native Android app, right.

The New York Times in Newsstand, meanwhile, mimics the Times app to the extent that it nearly renders the app redundant. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Times abandon its native Android app in favor of a strong presence on Newsstand, which has the advantage of being a default app on new Android devices. And I’d expect smaller newspapers like the Sun-Times to start feeding content to Newsstand as well.

Why devote resources to maintaining a native app if Android offers a built-in platform that achieves much of the same functionality?

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Wall Street Journal & All Things D parting ways


The Wall Street Journal and All Things D have decided not to renew their contract. Walt Mossberg, who is co-executive editor of All Things D with Kara Swisher, will be leaving the Journal once the contract expires at the end of the year.

Gerard Baker, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, writes that technology will remain a major part of the Journal’s coverage. The paper, he said, plans to expand its tech coverage and add 20 people to the beat.

Here’s his full statement, which the Journal sent to Poynter: Read more


Wall Street Journal calls for a little too much vodka in Bloody Mary recipe

The Wall Street Journal has just published a correction that’s a good reminder to always double check the measurements in recipes.

A Bloody Mary recipe, which accompanied an Off Duty article in some editions on June 8 about the herb lovage, called for 12 ounces of vodka and 36 ounces of tomato juice. The recipe as printed incorrectly reversed the amounts, calling for 36 ounces of vodka and 12 ounces of tomato juice.

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WSJ’s paywall isn’t stopping it from getting Pulitzers

CJR | The Atlantic

Following a post Wednesday by Columbia Journalism Review’s Dean Starkman pointing out the Journal newsroom’s Pulitzer shutout (Bret Stephens did win for commentary this year), another debate about the decline in the paper’s longform storytelling has cropped up.

Starkman, a former Journal reporter, hypothesized that the paper’s poor track record at winning Pulitzers could be directly tied to the decline of projects longer than 2,500 words since Rupert Murdoch bought the paper in 2007 — coincidentally the same year the Journal won Pulitzers for public service and international reporting. (Although shut out as a news finalist this year, the Journal has been in the running eight times since Murdoch’s purchase of the paper.)

A common trait among Pulitzer projects is that they are ambitious, require extensive reporting and careful writing, carry some significance beyond the normal gathering of news, and/or have some kind of impact on the real world, like, as I’ve written, fixing Walter Reed. Basically, this is work that takes a long time to do and requires some length in which to do it. And just because a project has all those elements obviously doesn’t [mean] it’s going to win anything. Public-service projects have to be a routine and done for their own sake.

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Alan Murray leaves Wall Street Journal for Pew

Pew | Jim Romenesko | Capital
Wall Street Journal online executive editor Alan Murray will head the Pew Research Center, Pew announced today.

In a memo to staffers, Journal managing editor Robert Thomson said Raju Narisetti will “assume the mantle of digital czar” at the news organization. Murray joined the Journal in 1983 and became digital honcho in 2007. “Digital is a land of many metrics, and the metrics during Alan’s reign have been extraordinary,” Thomson writes.

Murray’s departure crosses his name off the short list of people who may succeed Thomson as M.E. if he relinquishes the role to run News Corp.’s publishing business, which the company plans to spin off. He tells Tom McGeveran and Joe Pompeo the Journal tried to keep him:

Reached by phone, Murray declined to comment on whether or not he’d been in discussions to replace Thomson assuming Thomson does in fact secure the expected promotion. But he did say that Thomson and News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch “did their part” to try and keep him around, and that he’s been talking to Pew since the summer.

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Wall Street Journal rolls out video network powered by smartphone-toting journalists

WSJ.com | WSJ news release
Since news organizations are paying all that money for journalists to carry around iPhones, why not put them to better use?

The WorldStream page updates live as new clips come in every few minutes.

The Wall Street Journal is launching a new streaming-video product that does just that. The Journal today announced WorldStream, which will “consist solely of footage captured on smartphones by Dow Jones and Journal reporters and editors … Each video is under a minute, and all footage is reviewed by an editor before being posted to the stream.” Read more


Content going ‘everywhere’: WSJ extends premium subscriptions to Pulse newsreader

Pulse | PR Web | Bloomberg
One day after The New York Times announced an “NYT Everywhere” strategy that will extend subscriber content to Flipboard, The Wall Street Journal stepped up its own “Journal Everywhere” plan by selling premium content within the Pulse news aggregation app.

While the Times is offering full access to existing subscribers through Flipboard, the Journal will sell alternative subscriptions in Pulse to three narrower channels: WSJ Political Report or WSJ Technology Digest for $3.99 a month each, or a daily editors-choice section called WSJ Water Cooler for 99 cents a month. Read more

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