8 July 1889

The first issue of The Wall Street Journal is published.

The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal
WSJ Logo.svg
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Cover of The Wall Street Journal (March 23, 2016) with the headline story reporting on the 2016 Brussels bombings
TypeDaily newspaper
FormatBroadsheet
Owner(s)News Corp (via Dow Jones & Company)
Editor-in-chiefMatt Murray
Opinion editorPaul A. Gigot
FoundedJuly 8, 1889; 130 years ago (1889-07-08)
LanguageEnglish
Headquarters1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, U.S.
CountryUnited States
Circulation2,617,000 Daily[1] (as of August 2019)
ISSN0099-9660
OCLC number781541372
Websitewww.wsj.com

The Wall Street Journal is a U.S. business-focused, English-language international daily newspaper based in New York City. The Journal, along with its Asian and European editions, is published six days a week by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corp. The newspaper is published in the broadsheet format and online. The Journal has been printed continuously since its inception on July 8, 1889, by Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser.

The Wall Street Journal is one of the largest newspapers in the United States by circulation, with a circulation of about 2.617 million copies (including nearly 1,818,000 digital subscriptions) as of August 2019,[1] compared with USA Today's 1.7 million. The Journal publishes the luxury news and lifestyle magazine WSJ, which was originally launched as a quarterly but expanded to 12 issues as of 2014. An online version was launched in 1996, which has been accessible only to subscribers since it began.[2]

The newspaper is known for its award-winning news coverage, and has won 37 Pulitzer Prizes (as of 2019).[3][4] The editorial pages of the Journal are typically conservative in their position.[5][6][7] The Journal editorial board has promoted pseudoscientific views on the science of climate change, acid rain, and ozone depletion, as well as on the health harms of second-hand smoke, pesticides and asbestos.[8]

History

Beginnings

Front page of the first issue of The Wall Street Journal, July 8, 1889

The first products of Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of the Journal, were brief news bulletins, nicknamed "flimsies", hand-delivered throughout the day to traders at the stock exchange in the early 1880s. They were later aggregated in a printed daily summary called the Customers' Afternoon Letter. Reporters Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser converted this into The Wall Street Journal, which was published for the first time on July 8, 1889, and began delivery of the Dow Jones News Service via telegraph.[9] In 1896, The "Dow Jones Industrial Average" was officially launched. It was the first of several indices of stock and bond prices on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1899, the Journal's Review & Outlook column, which still runs today, appeared for the first time, initially written by Charles Dow.

Journalist Clarence Barron purchased control of the company for US$130,000 in 1902; circulation was then around 7,000 but climbed to 50,000 by the end of the 1920s. Barron and his predecessors were credited with creating an atmosphere of fearless, independent financial reporting—a novelty in the early days of business journalism. In 1921, Barron's, the United States's premier financial weekly, was founded.[10] Barron died in 1928, a year before Black Tuesday, the stock market crash that greatly affected the Great Depression in the United States. Barron's descendants, the Bancroft family, would continue to control the company until 2007.[10]

The Journal took its modern shape and prominence in the 1940s, a time of industrial expansion for the United States and its financial institutions in New York. Bernard Kilgore was named managing editor of the paper in 1941, and company CEO in 1945, eventually compiling a 25-year career as the head of the Journal. Kilgore was the architect of the paper's iconic front-page design, with its "What's News" digest, and its national distribution strategy, which brought the paper's circulation from 33,000 in 1941 to 1.1 million when Kilgore died in 1967. Under Kilgore, in 1947, the paper won its first Pulitzer Prize for William Henry Grimes's editorials.[10]

In 1967, Dow Jones Newswires began a major expansion outside of the United States ultimately placing its journalists in every major financial center in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Australia, and Africa. In 1970, Dow Jones bought the Ottaway newspaper chain, which at the time comprised nine dailies and three Sunday newspapers. Later, the name was changed to Dow Jones Local Media Group.[11]

The period from 1971 to 1997 brought about a series of launches, acquisitions, and joint ventures, including "Factiva", The Wall Street Journal Asia, The Wall Street Journal Europe, the WSJ.com website, Dow Jones Indexes, MarketWatch, and "WSJ Weekend Edition". In 2007, News Corp. acquired Dow Jones. WSJ., a luxury lifestyle magazine, was launched in 2008.[12]

Internet expansion

A complement to the print newspaper, The Wall Street Journal Online, was launched in 1996 and has allowed access only by subscription from the beginning.[13] In 2003, Dow Jones began to integrate reporting of the Journal's print and online subscribers together in Audit Bureau of Circulations statements.[14] In 2007, it was commonly believed to be the largest paid-subscription news site on the Web, with 980,000 paid subscribers.[10] Since then, digital subscription has risen to 1.3 million as of September 2018, falling to number two behind The New York Times with 3 million digital subscriptions.[15] In May 2008, an annual subscription to the online edition of The Wall Street Journal cost $119 for those who do not have subscriptions to the print edition. By June 2013, the monthly cost for a subscription to the online edition was $22.99, or $275.88 annually, excluding introductory offers.[16] Digital subscription rates increased dramatically as its popularity increased over print to $443.88 per year, with first time subscribers paying $187.20 per year.[17]

Vladimir Putin with Journal correspondent Karen Elliott House in 2002

On November 30, 2004, Oasys Mobile and The Wall Street Journal released an app that would allow users to access content from The Wall Street Journal Online via their mobile phones.[18]

Many of The Wall Street Journal news stories are available through free online newspapers that subscribe to the Dow Jones syndicate.[citation needed] Pulitzer Prize–winning stories from 1995 are available free on the Pulitzer[19] web site.

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 50 years. The move was designed in part to attract more consumer advertising.[10]

In 2005, the Journal reported a readership profile of about 60 percent top management, an average income of $191,000, an average household net worth of $2.1 million, and an average age of 55.[20]

In 2007, the Journal launched a worldwide expansion of its website to include major foreign-language editions. The paper had also shown an interest in buying the rival Financial Times.[21]

Design changes

The nameplate is unique in having a period at the end.[22]

On September 5, 2006, the Journal included advertising on its front page for the first time. This followed the introduction of front-page advertising on the European and Asian editions in late 2005.[23]

After presenting nearly identical front-page layouts for half a century—always six columns, with the day's top stories in the first and sixth columns, "What's News" digest in the second and third, the "A-hed" feature story in the fourth (with 'hed' being jargon for headline) and themed weekly reports in the fifth column[24] – the paper in 2007 decreased its broadsheet width from 15 to 12 inches while keeping the length at 22​34 inches, to save newsprint costs. News design consultant Mario Garcia collaborated on the changes. Dow Jones said it would save US$18 million a year in newsprint costs across all The Wall Street Journal papers.[25] This move eliminated one column of print, pushing the "A-hed" out of its traditional location (though the paper now usually includes a quirky feature story on the right side of the front page, sandwiched among the lead stories).

The paper still[when?] uses ink dot drawings called hedcuts, introduced in 1979 and originally created by Kevin Sprouls,[26] in addition to photographs, a method of illustration considered a consistent visual signature of the paper. The Journal still heavily employs the use of caricatures, including those by illustrator Ken Fallin, such as when Peggy Noonan memorialized then-recently deceased newsman Tim Russert.[27][28] The use of color photographs and graphics has become increasingly common in recent years with the addition of more "lifestyle" sections.

The daily was awarded by the Society for News Design World's Best Designed Newspaper award for 1994 and 1997.[29]

News Corporation and News Corp

On May 2, 2007, News Corporation made an unsolicited takeover bid for Dow Jones, offering US$60 a share for stock that had been selling for US$33 a share. The Bancroft family, which controlled more than 60% of the voting stock, at first rejected the offer, but later reconsidered its position.[30]

Three months later, on August 1, 2007, News Corporation and Dow Jones entered into a definitive merger agreement.[31] The US$5 billion sale added The Wall Street Journal to Rupert Murdoch's news empire, which already included Fox News Channel, financial network unit and London's The Times, and locally within New York, the New York Post, along with Fox flagship station WNYW (Channel 5) and MyNetworkTV flagship WWOR (Channel 9).[32]

On December 13, 2007, shareholders representing more than 60 percent of Dow Jones's voting stock approved the company's acquisition by News Corporation.[33]

In an editorial page column, publisher L. Gordon Crovitz said the Bancrofts and News Corporation had agreed that the Journal's news and opinion sections would preserve their editorial independence from their new corporate parent:[34]

A special committee was established to oversee the paper's editorial integrity. When the managing editor Marcus Brauchli resigned on April 22, 2008, the committee said that News Corporation had violated its agreement by not notifying the committee earlier. However, Brauchli said he believed that new owners should appoint their own editor.[35]

A 2007 Journal article quoted charges that Murdoch had made and broken similar promises in the past. One large shareholder commented that Murdoch has long "expressed his personal, political and business biases through his newspapers and television stations". Former Times assistant editor Fred Emery remembers an incident when "Mr. Murdoch called him into his office in March 1982 and said he was considering firing Times editor Harold Evans. Mr. Emery says he reminded Mr. Murdoch of his promise that editors couldn't be fired without the independent directors' approval.'God, you don't take all that seriously, do you?' Mr. Murdoch answered, according to Mr. Emery." Murdoch eventually forced out Evans.[36]

In 2011, The Guardian found evidence that the Journal had artificially inflated its European sales numbers, by paying Executive Learning Partnership for purchasing 16% of European sales. These inflated sales numbers then enabled the Journal to charge similarly inflated advertising rates, as the advertisers would think that they reached more readers than they actually did. In addition, the Journal agreed to run "articles" featuring Executive Learning Partnership, presented as news, but effectively advertising.[37] The case came to light after a Belgian Wall Street Journal employee, Gert Van Mol, informed Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton about the questionable practice.[38] As a result, the then Wall Street Journal Europe CEO and Publisher Andrew Langhoff was fired after it was found out he personally pressured journalists into covering one of the newspaper's business partners involved in the issue.[39][40] Since September 2011, all the online articles that resulted from the ethical wrongdoing carry a Wall Street Journal disclaimer informing the readers about the circumstances in which they were created.

The Journal, along with its parent Dow Jones & Company, was among the businesses News Corporation spun off in 2013 as the new News Corp. In November 2016, in an effort to cut costs, the Journal's editor-in-chief, Gerard Baker, announced that layoffs and consolidation to its sections would take place. In the memo, the new format for the newspaper will have a "Business & Finance" section that will combine its current "Business & Tech" and "Money & Investing" sections. It will also include a new "Life & Arts" section that will combine its current "Personal Journal" and "Arena" sections. In addition, the current "Greater New York" coverage will be reduced and will move into the main section of paper.[41]

Recent milestones

  • WSJ Live became available on mobile devices in September 2011.[42]
  • WSJ Weekend, the weekend newspaper, expanded September 2010, with two new sections: "Off Duty" and "Review".
  • "Greater New York", a stand-alone, full color section dedicated to the New York metro area, launched April 2010.[43][44]
  • The Wall Street Journal's San Francisco Bay Area Edition, which focuses on local news and events, launched on November 5, 2009, appearing locally each Thursday in the print Journal and every day on online at WSJ.com/SF.
  • WSJ Weekend, formerly called Saturday's Weekend Edition: September 2005.
  • Launch of Today's Journal, which included both the addition of Personal Journal and color capacity to the Journal: April 2002.
  • Launch of The Wall Street Journal Sunday: September 12, 1999. A four-page print supplement of original investing news, market reports and personal-finance advice that ran in the business sections of other U.S. newspapers. WSJ Sunday circulation peaked in 2005 with 84 newspapers reaching nearly 11 million homes. The publication ceased on February 7, 2015.[45]
  • Friday Journal, formerly called First Weekend Journal: March 20, 1998.
  • WSJ.com launched in April 1996.[46]
  • First three-section Journal: October 1988.
  • First two-section Journal: June 1980.

Features and operations

Since 1980, the Journal has been published in multiple sections. At one time, The Journal's page count averaged as much as 96 pages an issue,[citation needed] but with the industry-wide decline in advertising, the Journal in 2009–10 more typically published about 50 to 60 pages per issue.

As of 2012, The Wall Street Journal had a global news staff of around 2,000 journalists in 85 news bureaus across 51 countries.[47][48] As of 2012, it had 26 printing plants.[47]

Regularly scheduled sections are:

  • Section One – every day; corporate news, as well as political and economic reporting and the opinion pages
  • Marketplace – Monday through Friday; coverage of health, technology, media, and marketing industries (the second section was launched June 23, 1980)
  • Money and Investing – every day; covers and analyzes international financial markets (the third section was launched October 3, 1988)
  • Personal Journal – published Tuesday through Thursday; covers personal investments, careers and cultural pursuits (the section was introduced April 9, 2002)
  • Off Duty – published Saturdays in WSJ Weekend; focuses on fashion, food, design, travel and gear/tech. The section was launched September 25, 2010.
  • Review – published Saturdays in WSJ Weekend; focuses on essays, commentary, reviews and ideas. The section was launched September 25, 2010.
  • Mansion – published Fridays; focuses on high-end real estate. The section was launched October 5, 2012.
  • WSJ Magazine – Launched in 2008 as a quarterly, this luxury magazine supplement distributed within the U.S., European and Asian editions of The Wall Street Journal grew to 12 issues per year in 2014.

In addition, several columnists contribute regular features to the Journal opinion page and OpinionJournal.com:

In addition to these regular opinion pieces, on Fridays the Journal publishes a religion-themed op-ed, titled "Houses of Worship", written by a different author each week. Authors range from the Dalai Lama to cardinals.

WSJ.

WSJ. is The Wall Street Journal's luxury lifestyle magazine. Its coverage spans art, fashion, entertainment, design, food, architecture, travel and more. Kristina O'Neill is Editor in Chief and Anthony Cenname is Publisher.

Launched as a quarterly in 2008, the magazine grew to 12 issues a year for 2014.[50] The magazine is distributed within the U.S. Weekend Edition of The Wall Street Journal newspaper (average paid print circulation is +2.2 million*), the European and Asian editions, and is available on WSJ.com. Each issue is also available throughout the month in The Wall Street Journal's iPad app.

Penélope Cruz, Carmelo Anthony, Woody Allen, Scarlett Johansson, Emilia Clarke, Daft Punk, and Gisele Bündchen have all been featured on the cover.

In 2012, the magazine launched its signature platform, The Innovator Awards. An extension of the November Innovators issue, the awards ceremony, held in New York City at Museum of Modern Art, honors visionaries across the fields of design, fashion, architecture, humanitarianism, art and technology. The 2013 winners were: Alice Waters (Humanitarianism); Daft Punk (Entertainment); David Adjaye (Architecture); Do Ho Su (Art); Nick D'Aloisio (Technology); Pat McGrath (Fashion); Thomas Woltz (Design).

In 2013, Adweek awarded WSJ.[51] "Hottest Lifestyle Magazine of the Year" for its annual Hot List.

  • U.S. Circulation: Each issue of WSJ. is inserted into the weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal, whose average paid circulation for the three months ending September 30, 2013 was 2,261,772 as reported to the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM).

Editorial page and political stance

The Journal won its first two Pulitzer Prizes for editorial writing in 1947 and 1953. Subsequent Pulitzer Prizes have been awarded for editorial writing to Robert L. Bartley in 1980 and Joseph Rago in 2011; for criticism to Manuela Hoelterhoff in 1983 and Joe Morgenstern in 2005; and for commentary to Vermont Royster in 1984, Paul Gigot in 2000, Dorothy Rabinowitz in 2001, Bret Stephens in 2013, and Peggy Noonan in 2017.

The Journal describes the history of its editorials:

They are united by the mantra "free markets and free people", the principles, if you will, marked in the watershed year of 1776 by Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence and Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. So over the past century and into the next, the Journal stands for free trade and sound money; against confiscatory taxation and the ukases of kings and other collectivists; and for individual autonomy against dictators, bullies and even the tempers of momentary majorities. If these principles sound unexceptionable in theory, applying them to current issues is often unfashionable and controversial.[citation needed]

Its historical position was much the same. As former editor wrote in 1951:

On our editorial page we make no pretense of walking down the middle of the road. Our comments and interpretations are made from a definite point of view. We believe in the individual, in his wisdom and his decency. We oppose all infringements on individual rights, whether they stem from attempts at private monopoly, labor union monopoly or from an overgrowing government. People will say we are conservative or even reactionary. We are not much interested in labels but if we were to choose one, we would say we are radical. Just as radical as the Christian doctrine.[52]

Each Thanksgiving the editorial page prints two articles that have appeared there since 1961. The first is titled The Desolate Wilderness, and describes what the Pilgrims saw when they arrived at the Plymouth Colony. The second is titled And the Fair Land, and describes the bounty of America. It was written by a former editor, Vermont C. Royster, whose Christmas article In Hoc Anno Domini has appeared every December 25 since 1949.[citation needed]

Two summaries published in 1995 by the progressive blog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, and in 1996 by the Columbia Journalism Review[53] criticized the Journal's editorial page for inaccuracy during the 1980s and 1990s.

Economic views

During the Reagan administration, the newspaper's editorial page was particularly influential as the leading voice for supply-side economics. Under the editorship of Robert Bartley, it expounded at length on economic concepts such as the Laffer curve, and how a decrease in certain marginal tax rates and the capital gains tax could allegedly increase overall tax revenue by generating more economic activity.[citation needed]

In the economic argument of exchange rate regimes (one of the most divisive issues among economists), the Journal has a tendency to support fixed exchange rates over floating exchange rates. For example, the Journal was a major supporter of the Chinese yuan's peg to the dollar, and strongly disagreed with American politicians who criticized the Chinese government about the peg. It opposed China's move to let the yuan gradually float, arguing that the fixed rate benefited both the United States and China.[citation needed]

The Journal's views compare with those of the British publication The Economist, with its emphasis on free markets[citation needed]. However, the Journal demonstrates important distinctions from European business newspapers, most particularly in regard to the relative significance of, and causes of, the American budget deficit. (The Journal generally points to the lack of foreign growth, while business journals in Europe and Asia blame the low savings rate and concordant high borrowing rate in the United States).

On September 12, 2018, the Census Bureau released data showing improvement in household income and the poverty rate during 2017, Trump's first year in office.[54] The Journal published an editorial that day attributing the improvement to Trump's purportedly superior economic policies, compared to Obama's.[55] However, The Journal's news division reported that both figures also showed improvement in 2015 and 2016,[56] and they improved to a greater degree in both those years than they did in 2017.[57][58]

Political stance

Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands, being interviewed by the Journal

The Journal's editorial pages and columns, run separately from the news pages, have a conservative bent and are highly influential in American conservative circles.[59] As editors of the editorial page, Vermont C. Royster (served 1958–1971) and Robert L. Bartley (served 1972–2000) were especially influential in providing a conservative interpretation of the news on a daily basis.[60] Some of the Journal's former reporters claim that the paper has adopted a more conservative tone since Rupert Murdoch's purchase.[61]

The editorial board has long argued for a pro-business immigration policy. In a July 3, 1984, editorial, the board wrote: "If Washington still wants to 'do something' about immigration, we propose a five-word constitutional amendment: There shall be open borders." This stand on immigration reform places the Journal in contrast to most conservative activists, politicians, and media publications, such as National Review and The Washington Times, who favor heightened restrictions on immigration.[62]

The Journal's editorial page has been seen as critical of many aspects of Barack Obama's presidency. In particular, it has been a prominent critic of the Affordable Care Act legislation passed in 2010, and has featured many opinion columns attacking various aspects of the bill.[63] The Journal's editorial page has also criticized the Obama administration's energy policies and foreign policy.[64][65][66]

On October 25, 2017, the editorial board called for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to resign from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and accused Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign of colluding with Russia.[67] In December 2017, the editorial board repeated its calls for Mueller's resignation.[68][69] The editorials by the editorial board caused fractures within the Wall Street Journal, as reporters say that the editorials undermine the paper's credibility.[68][69][70]

Science

The Journal editorial board has promoted fringe views on scientific matters, including climate change, acid rain, and ozone depletion, as well as on the health harms of second-hand smoke, pesticides and asbestos. Scholars have drawn similarities between the Journal's fringe coverage of climate change and how it used to reject the settled science on acid rain and ozone depletion.[8]

Climate change denial

The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal rejects the scientific consensus on climate change. The Journal disputes that it poses a major threat to human existence and can be prevented through public policy. The Journal has published articles disputing that global warming is occurring at all. The Journal is regarded as a forum for climate change skeptics,[71][72] publishing articles by individuals skeptical of the consensus position on climate change in its op-ed section.[73][74][75] These columns frequently attack climate scientists and accuse them of engaging in fraud. A 2015 study found The Wall Street Journal was the newspaper that was least likely to present negative effects of global warming among several newspapers. It was also the most likely to present negative economic framing when discussing climate change mitigation policies, tending to take the stance that the cost of such policies generally outweighs their benefit.[76] The Washington Post has characterized the Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages as "the beating heart of climate-change skepticism."[77]

Climate Feedback, a fact-checking website on media coverage of climate science, has assessed that multiple opinion articles range between "low" and "very low" in terms of scientific credibility.[78] The Journal has been accused of refusing to publish opinions of scientists which present the mainstream view on climate change.[79] According to a 2016 analysis, 14% of the guest editorials presented the results of "mainstream climate science", while the majority did not. Also, none of 201 editorials published in the WSJ since 1997 have conceded that the burning of fossil fuels is causing climate change.[80]

Other science coverage

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Journal published numerous columns disputing and misrepresenting the science behind acid rain and the scientific consensus behind the causes of ozone depletion and the health harms of second-hand smoke, and opposed public policy efforts to curb acid rain, ozone depletion and second-hand smoke.[8][81][82] The Journal has also published columns attacking efforts to control pesticides and asbestos.[8] By the 2000s, the Journal editorial board recognized that efforts to curb acid rain through cap-and-trade had been successful.[81]

Bias in news pages

The Journal's editors stress the independence and impartiality of their reporters.[34] According to CNN in 2007, the Journal's "newsroom staff has a reputation for non-partisan reporting."[83]

In a 2004 study, Tim Groseclose and Jeff Milyo argue the Journal's news pages have a pro-liberal bias because they more often quote liberal think tanks. They calculated the ideological attitude of news reports in 20 media outlets by counting the frequency they cited particular think tanks and comparing that to the frequency that legislators cited the same think tanks. They found that the news reporting of The Journal was the most liberal (more liberal than NPR or The New York Times). The study did not factor in editorials.[84] Mark Liberman criticized the model used to calculate bias in the study and argued that the model unequally affected liberals and conservatives and that "..the model starts with a very peculiar assumption about the relationship between political opinion and the choice of authorities to cite." [The authors assume that] "think tank ideology [...] only matters to liberals."[85]

The company's planned and eventual acquisition by News Corp in 2007 led to significant media criticism and discussion[86] about whether the news pages would exhibit a rightward slant under Rupert Murdoch. An August 1 editorial responded to the questions by asserting that Murdoch intended to "maintain the values and integrity of the Journal."[87]

Notable stories and Pulitzer Prizes

The Journal has won 37 Pulitzer Prizes in its history. Staff journalists who led some of the newspaper's best-known coverage teams have later published books that summarized and extended their reporting.

1987: RJR Nabisco buyout

In 1987, a bidding war ensued between several financial firms for tobacco and food giant RJR Nabisco. Bryan Burrough and John Helyar documented the events in more than two dozen Journal articles. Burrough and Helyar later used these articles as the basis of a bestselling book, Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, which was turned into a film for HBO.[88]

1988: Insider trading

In the 1980s, then Journal reporter James B. Stewart brought national attention to the illegal practice of insider trading. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in explanatory journalism in 1988, which he shared with Daniel Hertzberg,[89] who went on to serve as the paper's senior deputy managing editor before resigning in 2009. Stewart expanded on this theme in his book, Den of Thieves.[citation needed]

1997: AIDS treatment

David Sanford, a Page One features editor who was infected with HIV in 1982 in a bathhouse, wrote a front-page personal account of how, with the assistance of improved treatments for HIV, he went from planning his death to planning his retirement.[90] He and six other reporters wrote about the new treatments, political and economic issues, and won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting about AIDS.[91]

2000: Enron

Jonathan Weil, a reporter at the Dallas bureau of The Wall Street Journal, is credited with first breaking the story of financial abuses at Enron in September 2000.[92] Rebecca Smith and John R. Emshwiller reported on the story regularly,[93] and wrote a book, 24 Days.

2001: 9/11

The Journal claims to have sent the first news report, on the Dow Jones wire, of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.[94] Its headquarters, at One World Financial Center, was severely damaged by the collapse of the World Trade Center just across the street.[95] Top editors worried that they might miss publishing the first issue for the first time in the paper's 112-year history. They relocated to a makeshift office at an editor's home, while sending most of the staff to Dow Jones's South Brunswick, N.J., corporate campus, where the paper had established emergency editorial facilities soon after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The paper was on the stands the next day, albeit in scaled-down form. Perhaps the most compelling story in that day's edition was a first-hand account of the Twin Towers' collapse written by then-Foreign Editor John Bussey,[95] who holed up in a ninth-floor Journal office, literally in the shadow of the towers, from where he phoned in live reports to CNBC as the towers burned. He narrowly escaped serious injury when the first tower collapsed, shattering all the windows in the Journal's offices and filling them with dust and debris. The Journal won a 2002 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting for that day's stories.[96]

The Journal subsequently conducted a worldwide investigation of the causes and significance of 9/11, using contacts it had developed while covering business in the Arab world. In Kabul, Afghanistan, a reporter from The Wall Street Journal bought a pair of looted computers that Al Qaeda leaders had used to plan assassinations, chemical and biological attacks, and mundane daily activities. The encrypted files were decrypted and translated.[97] It was during this coverage that terrorists kidnapped and killed Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

2007: Stock option scandal

In 2007, the paper won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, with its iconic Gold Medal,[98] for exposing companies that illegally backdate stock options they awarded executives to increase their value.

2008: Bear Stearns fall

Kate Kelly wrote a three-part series that detailed events that led to the collapse of Bear Stearns.[99][100][101]

2010: McDonald's health care

A report[102] published on September 30, 2010, detailing allegations McDonald's had plans to drop health coverage for hourly employees drew criticism from McDonald's as well as the Obama administration. The Wall Street Journal reported the plan to drop coverage stemmed from new health care requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. McDonald's called the report "speculative and misleading", stating they had no plans to drop coverage.[103] The Wall Street Journal report and subsequent rebuttal received coverage from several other media outlets.[104][105][106]

2015: Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak and 1MDB

In 2015, a report[107] published by the Journal alleged that up to US$700 million was wired from 1MDB, a Malaysian state investment company, to the personal accounts of Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak at AmBank, the fifth largest lender in Malaysia. Razak responded by threatening to sue the New York-based newspaper.

The report prompted some governmental agencies in Malaysia to conduct an investigation into the allegation.

2015–present: Theranos investigation

In 2015, a report written by the Journal's John Carreyrou alleged that blood testing company Theranos' technology was faulty and founder Elizabeth Holmes was misleading investors.[108][109][110] According to Vanity Fair, "a damning report published in The Wall Street Journal had alleged that the company was, in effect, a sham—that its vaunted core technology was actually faulty and that Theranos administered almost all of its blood tests using competitors' equipment."[109] The Journal has subsequently published several more reports questioning Theranos' and Holmes' credibility.[111][112] On June 15, 2018, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California announced the indictment of Holmes on wire fraud and conspiracy charges in relation to her role as CEO of Theranos.[113]

Elizabeth Holmes asked Rupert Murdoch —- who at the time was a major investor in Theranos and owner of the Journal — to "personally kill" an investigative piece being written about Theranos. Murdoch refused, instead stating that he "had confidence in editors to handle the truth - whatever it may be". Murdoch went on to lose approximately $100 million in his investments in Theranos.[114]

2018–present: Investigation into Stormy Daniels payment

On January 12, 2018, Michael Rothfeld and Joe Palazzolo reported in the Wall Street Journal that during the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen coordinated a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels for her silence regarding an alleged affair. In subsequent reports, the method of payment and many other details were extensively covered. In April of that year, FBI agents stormed the home of Michael Cohen seizing records related to the transaction.[115] In August 21, 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts including campaign finance violations in connection with the Daniels payment.[116] The coverage earned them the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.[117]

See also

References

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Further reading

  • Dealy, Francis X. The power and the money: Inside the Wall Street Journal (Birch Lane Press, 1993).
  • Douai, Aziz, and Terry Wu. "News as business: the global financial crisis and Occupy movement in the Wall Street Journal." Journal of International Communication 20.2 (2014): 148-167.
  • Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp 338–41
  • Rosenberg, Jerry M. Inside the Wall Street Journal: The History and the Power of Dow Jones & Company and America's Most Influential Newspaper (1982) online
  • Sakurai, Takuya. "Framing a Trade Policy: An Analysis of The Wall Street Journal Coverage of Super 301." Intercultural Communication Studies 24.3 (2015). online
  • Steinbock, Dan. "Building dynamic capabilities: The Wall Street Journal interactive edition: A successful online subscription model (1993–2000)." International Journal on Media Management 2.3-4 (2000): 178-194.
  • Yarrow, Andrew L. "The big postwar story: Abundance and the rise of economic journalism." Journalism History 32.2 (2006): 58+ online

External links

6 June 1889

The Great Seattle Fire destroys almost all of downtown Seattle.

The spring of 1889 in Seattle had been beautiful. There had been little rain, and temperatures were consistently in the 70s. Unfortunately, the unusually good weather proved to be disastrous, as the dry conditions conspired with a handful of other elements to allow for the worst fire in city history.

On the afternoon of June 6, 1889, John Back, an assistant in Victor Clairmont’s woodworking shop at Front Street and Madison Avenue, was heating glue over a gasoline fire. Sometime after 2:15, the glue boiled over, caught fire, and spread to the floors, which were covered by wood chips and turpentine. He tried to put the fire out with water, but that only served to thin the turpentine and spread the fire further. Everyone got out of the building safely, and the fire department got to the fire by 2:45. By that time, there was so much smoke that it was hard to find the source of the fire, and by the time it was found, the fire was out of control. The fire quickly spread to the Dietz & Mayer Liquor Store, which exploded, the Crystal Palace Saloon, and the Opera House Saloon. Fueled by alcohol, the entire block from Madison to Marion was on fire.

Seattle’s water supply proved to be a major problem in fighting the fire. At that time, water was provided by the privately-owned Spring Hill Water Company. Hydrants were only located on every other street, the ‘pipes’ were small, and many were made of hollowed out logs. As more hoses were added to fight the fire, water pressure fell to the point that the hoses didn’t work. Firemen tried to keep the fire from spreading further by pumping water from Elliott Bay onto the Commercial Mill, but the tide was out, and the hoses were not long enough to reach the side of the building closest to the fire. To add insult to injury, crowds harassed the fire fighters as the water pressure fell. At the same time the water supply was dwindling, the wind rose, helping spread the fire. Soon the mill was on fire, as well as the Colman Building and Opera House.

Mayor Robert Moran took command from acting Fire Chief James Murphy, who was reportedly “distraught”. Moran ordered the Colman block to be blown up, in an attempt to end the fire, but the fire jumped past the block, and spread to the wharves as well as up the hill toward Second Avenue.

By 4:00, most residents realized that downtown Seattle was doomed. The fire had crossed Second Avenue, and was heading up to Third. Smoke could be seen in Tacoma, and the roar of the fire heard for miles. Help had been called in from Tacoma, Portland, and even Victoria, B.C., but would take hours to arrive. Business- and home-owners cleared out as much as they could. Those who were able hired wagons to haul belongings onto ships before the ships moved out of the harbor away from the wharves, which were on fire. The Seattle Times was able to get most of their files and books aboard the schooner Teaser.

As the fire reached Third Avenue, Trinity Church burned quickly, and the fire moved across the street toward the three-story Courthouse. Before long, the fire had reached Fourth and University, but a handful of buildings were saved, including the Courthouse. The Fire Department had tried to water down the Courthouse to prevent it from burning, but water pressure was so low, the hoses could only spray the first floor. Quick-thinking Lawrence Booth climbed to the roof of the Courthouse and poured buckets of water down the sides of the building, saving the structure as well as all the public records and the jail within. Booth’s lead inspired bucket brigades to save the Boston Block and Jacob Levy’s house. Henry Yesler’s house was also saved, by someone who thought to cover it with wet blankets.

Meanwhile, the fire was spreading even farther. Before it reached Yesler, Moran ordered that the shacks there be either torn down or exploded, in the attempt to create another fire block. Despite such efforts, the fire crossed the gap, and Skid Road went up in flames next. Mayor Moran declared an 8:00 pm curfew that night and ordered all saloons closed until further notice.

The fire burned until 3:00 am. When it was done, the damage was enormous. 120 acres had been destroyed, as was every wharf and Mill from Union to Jackson Streets. Although the loss of human life was evidently low it was estimated that 1 million rats were killed. Thousands of people were displaced, and 5,000 men lost their jobs. The city estimated it’s losses at over $8 million, and that number didn’t even include person losses or those of water and electrical services. The total losses may have been as high as $20 million.

The city didn’t take much time to mourn. Instead Seattle banded together, and at 11 am on June 7, 600 businessmen met to discuss how to cope with the current situation and plan for the future. To combat looting, two hundred special deputies were sworn in and the town placed under martial law for two weeks. A relief committee was formed to handle the charitable donations that were being sent from all over the country. Tacoma, no longer a rival, but an ally in the time of need, raised $20,000 and sent up a relief committee to help. The armory was converted to a dining hall, so the displaced citizens would have a place to eat. Supplies from San Francisco arrived by June 18. Relief bureaus were able to close as quickly as June 20, as tent-restaurants had been set up quickly, and were able to meet people’s needs. Within a month of the fire over 100 businesses were operating out of tents.

Instead of relocating, most businesses decided to rebuild where they had been, and rebuilding began almost immediately. Wooden buildings were banned in the burned out district, to be replaced by brick. At the same time, streets were raised up to 22 feet in places, helping to level the hilly city. Within a year, 465 buildings had been built, most of the reconstruction was complete and the businesses had reopened.

The fire also led to a handful of other changes for the city. At the time of the fire, the city had an all-volunteer fire department, many of which quit after the fire, citing the harassment they had faced while trying to fight the fire. This personnel crisis led to the creation of a professional fire department by October 1889. The city also took control of the water supply, increasing the size of the pipes, eliminating the wooden pipes, and added more hydrants. The fire, which could have spelled the end of the city, instead became just a brief setback, and led to many significant improvements.

31 March 1889

The Eiffel Tower in Paris is officially opened.

March 31st saw the grand opening of the iconic Eiffel Tower! Named after engineer Gustave Eiffel whose company constructed the tower, it was a huge controversy of the art world, dividing opinions of it’s design but has gone on to become one of the most visited monument in the world, receiving its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.

On March 30 1885, Gustave presented a paper to the Societe des ingienieurs Civils detailing the project, it’s possible technical difficulties and the practical uses that the tower would have. He concluded by highlighting that it would symbolise “not only the art of the modern engineer, but also the century of Industry and Science in which we are living, and for which the way was prepared by the great scientific movement of the eighteenth century and by the Revolution of 1789, to which this monument will be built as an expression of France’s gratitude.”

The main structural work was completed at the end of March 1889 and, on 31 March, Eiffel celebrated by leading a group of government officials, accompanied by representatives of the press, to the top of the tower. Because the lifts were not yet in operation, the ascent was made by foot, and took over an hour, with Eiffel stopping frequently to explain various features. Most of the party chose to stop at the lower levels, but a few, including the structural engineer, Émile Nouguier, the head of construction, Jean Compagnon, the President of the City Council, and reporters from Le Figaro and Le Monde Illustré, completed the ascent. At 2:35 pm, Eiffel hoisted a large Tricolour to the accompaniment of a 25-gun salute fired at the first level.

There was still work to be done, particularly on the lifts and facilities, and the tower was not opened to the public until nine days after the opening of the exposition on 6 May; even then, the lifts had not been completed. The tower was an instant success with the public, and nearly 30,000 visitors made the 1,710-step climb to the top before the lifts entered service on 26 May. Tickets cost 2 francs for the first level, 3 for the second, and 5 for the top, with half-price admission on Sundays, and by the end of the exhibition there had been 1,896,987 visitors.

After dark, the tower was lit by hundreds of gas lamps, and a beacon sent out three beams of red, white and blue light. Two searchlights mounted on a circular rail were used to illuminate various buildings of the exposition. The daily opening and closing of the exposition were announced by a cannon at the top.

Illumination of the tower at night during the exposition
On the second level, the French newspaper Le Figaro had an office and a printing press, where a special souvenir edition, Le Figaro de la Tour, was made. There was also a pâtisserie.

At the top, there was a post office where visitors could send letters and postcards as a memento of their visit. Graffitists were also catered for: sheets of paper were mounted on the walls each day for visitors to record their impressions of the tower. Gustave Eiffel described some of the responses as vraiment curieuse.

Famous visitors to the tower included the Prince of Wales, Sarah Bernhardt, “Buffalo Bill” Cody and Thomas Edison. Eiffel invited Edison to his private apartment at the top of the tower, where Edison presented him with one of his phonographs, a new invention and one of the many highlights of the exposition. Edison signed the guestbook with this message:

To M Eiffel the Engineer the brave builder of so gigantic and original specimen of modern Engineering from one who has the greatest respect and admiration for all Engineers including the Great Engineer the Bon Dieu, Thomas Edison.

Eiffel had a permit for the tower to stand for 20 years. It was to be dismantled in 1909, when its ownership would revert to the City of Paris. The City had planned to tear it down but as the tower proved to be valuable for communication purposes, it was allowed to remain after the expiry of the permit.

2 November 1889

North Dakota and South Dakota are admitted as the 39th and 40th USA states.

map3

The U.S. Congress created the Dakota Territory, which consisted of the present-day states of North and South Dakota, and most of Montana and Wyoming. In 1863 the size of the territory was reduced to the area of North and South Dakota. With the advent of the Northern Pacific Railroad, immigration and settlement increased; the climate was suitable for wheat, which was in high demand in American cities and in Europe. By the late 1870s Dakotans felt inadequately represented by territorial status and began pushing for statehood, either as one state or two.

Both North and South Dakota were admitted to the United States. Since President Benjamin Harrison did not want to show favoritism, he listed the order of their admissions alphabetically, with North Dakota the 39th state and South Dakota the 40th state.

Today, North Dakota is in the midst of an oil boom. The state sits on a rock unit known as the Bakken formation, which also covers parts of Montana and Saskatchewan. The new technology of “fracking” has enabled oil production to explode in the area, going from 3,000 barrels a day in 2005 to some 800,000 in 2013 (about 11% of the country’s total production).

8 July 1889

The Wall Street Journal is first published.

The Wall Street Journal is an American business-focused, English-language international daily newspaper based in New York City. The Journal, along with its Asian and European editions, is published six days a week by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corp. The newspaper is published in the broadsheet format and online.

The Wall Street Journal is the largest newspaper in the United States by circulation. According to the Alliance for Audited Media, the Journal had a circulation of about 2.4 million copies including nearly 900,000 digital subscriptions as of March 2013, compared with USA Today’s 1.7 million.

The newspaper has won 40 Pulitzer Prizes through 2017 and derives its name from Wall Street in the heart of the Financial District of Lower Manhattan. The Journal has been printed continuously since its inception on July 8, 1889, by Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser.The Journal also publishes the luxury news and lifestyle magazine.

Here’s what is said to be the first issue of the Wall Street Journal, from July 8, 1889.

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This certainly puts the chatter about “new media” versus “old media” in perspective. Imagine the clout sites (and companies) like Huffington Post and Gawker Media will look like when they’ve been around for 120 years.

6 May 1889

The Eiffel Tower is officially opened to the public.

The Eiffel Tower (French: La Tour Eiffel) is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Work on the tower commenced in 1887, and the finished product was inaugurated on March 31, 1889. The official opening date was May 6, 1889.
Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticised by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.
The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building.

During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Because of the addition of the antenna atop the Eiffel Tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Not including broadcast antennae, it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct.

The tower was an immediate success with the public, and nearly 30,000 visitors made the 1,710-step climb to the top using the stairs before the lifts entered service on 26 May. Tickets cost 2 francs for the first level, 3 for the second, and 5 for the top, with half-price admission on Sundays, and by the end of the exhibition there had been 1,896,987 visitors.

31 March 1889

The Eiffel Tower is officially opened in Paris.

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On March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower is dedicated in Paris in a ceremony presided over by Gustave Eiffel, the tower’s designer, and attended by French Prime Minister Pierre Tirard, a handful of other dignitaries, and 200 construction workers.

In 1889, to honor of the centenary of the French Revolution, the French government planned an international exposition and announced a design competition for a monument to be built on the Champ-de-Mars in central Paris. Out of more than 100 designs submitted, the Centennial Committee chose Eiffel’s plan of an open-lattice wrought-iron tower that would reach almost 1,000 feet above Paris and be the world’s tallest man-made structure. Eiffel, a noted bridge builder, was a master of metal construction and designed the framework of the Statue of Liberty that had recently been erected in New York Harbor.

Eiffel’s tower was greeted with skepticism from critics who argued that it would be structurally unsound, and indignation from others who thought it would be an eyesore in the heart of Paris. Unperturbed, Eiffel completed his great tower under budget in just two years. Only one worker lost his life during construction, which at the time was a remarkably low casualty number for a project of that magnitude. The light, airy structure was by all accounts a technological wonder and within a few decades came to be regarded as an architectural masterpiece.

The Eiffel Tower is 984 feet tall and consists of an iron framework supported on four masonry piers, from which rise four columns that unite to form a single vertical tower. Platforms, each with an observation deck, are at three levels. Elevators ascend the piers on a curve, and Eiffel contracted the Otis Elevator Company of the United States to design the tower’s famous glass-cage elevators.