WSJ reporters encouraged to writer shorter, funnier

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Michael Calderone of The Huffington Post writes about how Wall Street Journal reporters are being encouraged to write shorter and funnier stories.

Calderone writes, “National editor Jennifer Forsyth instructed colleagues this week to ‘please have your reporters who write primarily for usnews to please look for spot news, short sidebars and fun brites that could run in the 250 to 350 word range.’

“‘Our bosses want the section to be chock full of news, not all longer features,’ Forsyth wrote in the memo, obtained by The Huffington Post. ‘This really shouldn’t be hard. Most reporters can dash off a brief from their beats or areas of coverage fairly easily several times a week when they start thinking this way. Some enterprise blog items, for example, could be easily retooled for print.’

“‘Please make sure you’re talking with ALL your reporters who write mostly for usnews,’ she wrote. ‘This effort should be shared equitably. We need to make this happen — starting today.’

“Forsyth mentioned that a ‘more extensive note will be forthcoming.’

“UPDATE 11:29 am: A Journal spokeswoman responds:

‘The length of a story has never been a testament to the quality of The Wall Street Journal. We remain the number one newspaper in the country. From long-form narratives to scoops such as the U.S. lawsuit against S&P to short inside stories, we consistently seek a variety of ways to engage and inform our readers.’”

Read more here.