Redesigned ‘WSJ’ Offers Free Copies, Web Access, Today

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By: E&P Staff

The redesigned Wall Street Journal hits newsstands and desks — and computer screens — this morning with the largest complimentary newspaper sampling in its history. Almost half a million print copies will be available free at newsstands across the country. The Wall Street Journal Online, the subscription news site, is also free.

So what does the print issue actually look like? As previously previewed by E&P and others, it is 20% narrower but just as long, and is down to five columns wide, with the shaded “What’s News” box not taking up the entire tow left columns. There’s more color — and all the other many small changes much-discussed in the past month.

Today’s narrow but extra-thick edition contains a special eight-page section titled “Reader’s Guide” to explain what is going on with lengthy notes from its publisher, L. Gordon Crovitz, and Managing Editor Paul Steiger.

What there’s much more in that section including a history, Mario Garcia explaining the new design features, Paul Gigot claiming that the editorial page will remain unchanged in its thrust (“free people and free markets”) and number of column inches. Its Leisure and Arts pages expand from one to two pages on Tuesdays through Thursdays. And there’s a graphic guide to its Web component.

“The Wall Street Journal is an icon and our audience trusts us to deliver quality, value and outstanding reporting,” said L. Gordon Crovitz, executive vice president of Dow Jones & Company and publisher of The Wall Street Journal, in a statement.

“We want readers and potential readers to sample our high-quality journalism firsthand and experience the increased focus on interpretation, insight and ideas as well as new content features, innovative newspaper navigation, and better print-online alignment. The new design makes it easier for readers to get more information in less time.”

The company says that the new Journal (previewed by E&P several weeks ago and then again in a profile of Crovitz last week) will have an increased focus on unique, differentiated content, with 80% of the news content looking at “what the news means” not just “what happened.”

“Readers will instantly recognize that we continue to offer the news, insight and analysis they demand from the Journal, while providing more value-added coverage,” said Paul E. Steiger, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, in a statement today. “The redesign allows us to provide more exclusive insight and in-depth analysis — the quality coverage our readers have come to expect and demand from the Journal, making it like no other newspaper in the country.”

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