Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Maybe They Should Rename It US Wall Street Today

Back in my 20s there was a knock on my apartment door. Upon opening it I found two very attractive women dressed it what could best be described as "revealing" clothing. As I stood there blinking at two sets of cleavage, wondering what good fortune brought these two women to my door at the same time, one of them blurted out "You want to subscribe to the Houston Chronicle?".

"Ah ha," I thought to myself, "this was a clever marketing ploy." Now wanting to get rid of them as soon as possible, I duly informed them that I subscribed to the Wall Street Journal and wasn't interested in the "Comical".

"But, but," one of them replied in a deep Texas drawl, "that paper doesn't even have PICTURES!"

I shut the door in their faces - and on their other physical features. I assumed they would have no difficulty getting other men in the complex to subscribe.

The Wall Street Journal did add pictures a few years later, taking away that sales tactic, and more recently came out with the "Weekend Journal". I have generally liked these changes and thought they added to the paper.

Today, however, they came one step closer to the Comical and other mainstream papers, by coming out with a new physical format and editorial changes. The worst part is the new format - the dreaded 48" broadsheet - that reduced the number of columns from six to five, making it look like a toy newspaper:

The other changes are in content. They promise more "analysis" of the news

A cornerstone of the new Journal will be an increased focus on unique, differentiated content, with 80% of the news content focusing on "what the news means" not just "what happened."

Great. So they are becoming more like a blog? I dunno, I read blogs and newspapers for different reasons. I don't WANT Instapundit to be like the WSJ or the WSJ to become more like a blog. They each give me a different kind of information, and I like it that way.

So I will have to think long and hard about whether I re-subscribe. Of course if I don't, I might get the harassing mail campaign like I did the last time I let my subscription expire.

Update: A different perspective from Business Pundit.

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