American media observers went into a tizzy when news emerged that Rupert Murdoch would lay his hands on the Wall Street Journal. So what’s happened to the paper since he gained ownership of it?
The Project for Excellence in Journalism has done a survey of the frontpages of the newspaper in three months preceding and succeeding the Murdoch’s takeover and it tells a story that Arthur Sulzberger of the New York Times might not like.
# In the first four months of Murdoch’s ownership, the Journal has shifted its focus, opting for less business coverage and for more coverage of national politics and international issues.
# Politics and campaign coverage more than tripled from December 2007 to March 2008, reaching 18% of the newshole compared to 5% in the months before the takeover.
# Business coverage dropped more than half—falling from 30% in the months prior to the sale to 14%.
# A comparison of the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times front pages suggests the editorial competition is largely in the area of politics.