WSJ editor: We want more scoops

by
WSJ

Wall Street Journal deputy managing editor Matt Murray sent out the following email to the staff on Thursday asking them to emphasize scoops:

Nothing we do as a news organization is more important than maintaining a steady flow of scoops. Exclusives are at the very heart of our journalism and of what readers expect of us. As Gerry noted in his New Year’s note, “Scoops are the only guarantee of survival” in a highly competitive news arena.

And a week into the New Year, we want to underscore the need for a renewed, and ongoing, push for scoops. They are vital for distinguishing virtually everything we do — from producing a real-time newswire that is a must-read for customers; to maintaining a fresh, lively website that keeps readers coming back again and again; to publishing a newspaper that delivers news everyone needs and no one can find elsewhere.

Scoops of fact and analysis are of course a long-standing hallmark of our journalism and the crucial measure of success on any beat. Happily, we have had several good ones to start the year — but, alas, there also have been a couple big ones that we missed.

With our ability to gain access, we should also be regularly conducting exclusive interviews around the world with newsmakers from government, business and finance. We had a good burst of such interviews over the past year with the introduction of FX Trader; with the new year, we need to redouble our efforts on interview requests, on topics from the macro-outlook to corporate strategies.

Success at obtaining scoops, and avoiding being scooped by competitors, will be central to how each of us is directly evaluated — just as it is central to how rightfully demanding readers evaluate us every day.

As you dive into 2013, please keep this crucial need at the forefront of your thinking. And as you file, please (also following up on an earlier Gerry note) send your copy to URGENT and mark it “believed exclusive” so editors can give your work the attention it deserves across our various publishing channels.

Thanks in advance for your accelerated efforts.