Somebody Else (!) Takes on the Murdoch Journal

The blog NYTPicker, in the course of praising a page one Times story yesterday, turns its critical eye on The Wall Street Journal:

Once upon a time, a great newspaper called The Wall Street Journal (not to be confused with the product currently on sale at your local newsstand) regularly published what it called “Column One” stories — pieces that put social, political and economic trends into human terms. With a combination of global reporting and multiple short profiles, the WSJ gave its readers a uniquely human dimension to a changing American society.

That WSJ is long gone, of course. Its tragically-altered front page now packages news stories and features in a conventional format and reduces stories to bare-bones accounts. The WSJ has all but abandoned its mission to offer unique human-interest journalism on important topics to an audience starved for it.

Ouch. And aside from mislabeling them “Column One”—they’re actually called leders and A-heds—all true.

NYTPicker puts this better than The Audit has, and believe me, we’ve tried.

The changes at the paper deserve a far closer look. And it would be great to see more, that is to say, some, on-the-record comments from alumni other than those employed by CJR.

Consider this a call for submissions, whether on-the-record or anonymous.

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.