The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal is an influential international daily newspaper published in New York City, New York with a worldwide average daily circulation of more than 2.6 million as of 2005. For many years it had the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, although it is currently second to USA Today with the Journal having a US circulation of 1.8 million. The Journal also publishes Asian and European editions. Its main rival as a daily financial newspaper is the London-based Financial Times, which also publishes several international editions. The Wall Street Journal is owned by Dow Jones & Company.

The Journal newspaper primarily covers U.S. and international business and financial news and issues-the paper’s name comes from Wall Street, the street in New York City which is the heart of the financial district. It has been printed continuously since its founding on July 8, 1889 by Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser. The newspaper has won the Pulitzer Prize twenty-nine times, including the 2003 and 2004 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism.

The Journal boasts a readership profile of about 60% top management, an average income of $191,000, an average household net worth of $2.1 million, and an average age of 55.

The paper still uses ink dot drawings called hedcuts rather than photographs of people, a practice unique among major newspapers. However, the use of color photographs and graphics has become increasingly common in recent years with the addition of more “lifestyle” sections.

In September 2005, the Journal launched a weekend edition, delivered to all subscribers, which marked a return to Saturday publication after a lapse of some 30 years. The move was designed in part to attract more consumer advertising.

A complement to the print newspaper, the Wall Street Journal Online is the largest paid subscription news site on the Web – with 712,000 paid subscribers as of the fourth quarter of 2004.

The Wall Street Journal History

Dow Jones & Company was founded in 1882 by reporters Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. Jones converted the small Customers’ Afternoon Letter into The Wall Street Journal, first published in 1889, and began delivery of the Dow Jones News Service via telegraph. The Journal featured the Jones ‘Average’, the first of several indexes of stock and bond prices on the New York Stock Exchange.

Journalist Clarence Barron purchased control of the company in 1902; circulation was then around 7,000 but climbed to 50,000 by the end of the 1920s.

Future Plans

In January 2007 the Journal plans to decrease its broadsheet width from 15 to 12 inches while keeping the length at 22 3/4 inches in order to save newsprint costs. The shrinking amounts to a full column. The paper has said it will keep the six column inside format but is uncertain about the effects on the paper’s famous front page. Other newspapers owned by Dow Jones & Company are also affected. Barron’s Magazine, the journal’s weekly edition, will shrink by three inches from top to bottom. The 33 newspapers in the Dow subsidiary Ottaway Community Newspapers converted to the new size between 2000 and 2003. Other newspapers in the country including the The Washington Post are converting to the new standard broadsheet size. The Journal says it will save $18 million a year in newsprint costs across all the papers.

The Wall Street Journal Sections

The Journal features several distinct sections:

  • Section One – features U.S. and international corporate news, as well as political and economic reporting
  • Marketplace – includes coverage of health, technology, media, and marketing industries (the second section was launched June 23, 1980)
  • Money and Investing – covers and analyzes international financial markets (the third section was launched October 3, 1988)
  • Personal Journal – published Tuesday-Thursday, this section covers personal investments, careers and cultural pursuits (the personal section was introduced April 9, 2002)
  • Weekend Journal – published Fridays, explores personal interests of business readers, including real estate, travel, and sports (the section was introduced March 20, 1998)
  • Pursuits – published Saturdays, focusing on business readers’ leisure-time decisions, including food and cooking, entertainment and culture, books, and the home

On average, The Journal is about 96 pages long. For the year 2004, the inclusion of 45 additional Special Reports is planned.