Questionable News Judgment of the Day

Why does The Wall Street Journal put a fourth-day news story about a golfer’s minor car accident on page-two today?

That’s what it does with the Tiger Woods story, giving readers a run-of-the-mill news story with not much anyone interested hadn’t already read elsewhere. There’s no unique Journal take on this, and the business angle is relegated to a couple of paragraphs at the bottom. Suffice it to say it wouldn’t have got near the play in the pre-Murdoch paper.

Yes, yes, Rupert Murdoch wants a general-interest newspaper to compete head-on with The New York Times. Yes, its readers like golf. And yes, we’re coming off a holiday weekend with low staffing and low news flow.

This isn’t the biggest thing in the world, but it’s a glimpse at a misallocation of resources, as well as of emphasis. We are, after all, still in the midst of an economic and financial crisis.

The Times handled it correctly—relegating the story (a much better effort than the WSJ’s, by the way) to the sports section, where it belonged.

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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.