WSJ Europe to cut size for a quicker read

By Dominic Ponsford

The Wall Street Journal, one of the most conservatively designed papers in the world, is switching to tabloid format on Monday.

The change will not affect the two million-selling US edition but
only Wall Street Journal Europe, which sells 86,000. Editor Raju
Naserati said the change is not aimed at the public transport
convenience factor as he said his high-powered readers are unlikely to
travel by train or bus.

But he said he wants to give timepressed
executives a quicker read if they want it and to create a newspaper
which integrates more fully with the website.

This has been
achieved by more use of digested stories and plenty of sign-posting to
the website with links to backgrounders, longer versions of stories and
video/audio recordings of interviews.

The WSJ Europe has axed much of the space currently devoted to market data, stock and shares and other prices.

Instead, readers will be invited to use a comprehensive online service, with more than 30,000 company market listings.

In
the main paper they will be offered just a few tabloid pages offering
key market data and revealing which stocks are moving the most.

Naserati
said: “Our journalism doesn’t change because the format has changed.
There’s a tendency to say that when you go tabloid you write some
stories shorter and that’s somehow shortchanging the readers.

“Writing
shorter and writing tighter is much harder and some stories need to be
shorter. Some readers don’t need 40 inches to be told something they
can understand in four inches.”

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