Hello! Welcome to another episode of the Inside The Newsroom podcast. It’s been a while since we hit the airwaves, but now that the paywall is up and the bulk of the world’s elections are completed, I plan to bring you a podcast every week until Christmas. Leading things off is my colleague Louise Story, The Wall Street Journal’s Chief News Strategist and Chief Product and Technology Officer. We talked about how Louise rose through the newsroom, a couple of crucial management concepts she learned at business school, and the emergence and future of strategy within journalism. We also mentioned the rise of newsroom strategy jobs, so I’ve listed below a selection of relevant postings we recently added to the job board. Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of Instagram, so take a read of this masterpiece by The New Yorker’s Jia Tolentino on The Age of Instagram Face. As ever, thank you for supporting the newsletter. You are literally the ones that make it happen. 🙏
Business Insider — Editorial Subscriptions Strategist — New York
Politico — Product Manager — Arlington, VA
The Economist — SEO Manager — London/New York
The Independent — Product Manager — London
The New York Times — Product Designer — New York
Business Insider — Social Media Fellow — London
Dallas Morning News — Audience Engagement Intern — Dallas
Philadelphia Magazine — Audience Development Intern — Philadelphia
Spectrum Networks — Product Intern — Colorado
The Texas Tribune — Engagement Fellow — Austin
Who is Louise Story?
Louise is currently The Wall Street Journal’s Chief News Strategist and Chief Product and Technology Officer. She returned to WSJ two years ago having interned there in the summer of 2004, and previously spent the bulk of her career at The New York Times in various reporting, editing and strategic positions. Before all of that, Louise put the time in to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge in the classroom, gaining a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Yale, a master’s in journalism from Columbia before returning to Yale for an MBA. She now leads a team of more than 150 people at the Journal known as DXS — Digital Experience & Strategy — all working toward the goal of making WSJ more of an audience-focused newsroom. Perhaps her largest project to date was orchestrating a content review that involved reading more than 7,000 articles in two weeks to understand what type of content resonates most with readers. Like most of us, Louise didn’t get to where she is without the help of others, which is why she’s making herself available on her personal email to answer questions about her career, the future of strategy and journalism, and how to get involved with DXS at the Journal. Email her below… 👇
The Rise of Strategy in the Newsroom
Strategy within journalism is nothing new, at least it wasn’t for well-functioning newspapers before the advent of the internet. Without reducing newsrooms’ old strategy to a single line, it was largely “maximise reader engagement in order to maximise newspaper sales,” and that often fell to marketing and sales teams while reporters and editors concentrated on what they did best. Healthy revenues from a combination of advertising and newspaper sales likely made strategy relatively seamless. Then came the Dot-Com boom in the mid-to-late-90s, which saw most newsrooms, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian, launch their websites, and suddenly journalists were forced to think about reader engagement and then social media when Facebook and Twitter became mainstream around 2010.
What’s different in today’s newsrooms is the pace of technological change and number of threats from technology companies — In 2000, newspapers and magazines held half of all advertising spending, but that share has since declined to less th