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Friday, June 18, 2021

Inside the Fight for the Future of The Wall Street Journal

The Content Review has not been formally shared with the newsroom and its suggestions haven’t been enforce, however it’s influencing how folks work: An deadlock over the report has led to a divided newsroom, based on interviews with 25 present and former workers members. The company, they are saying, has averted making the proposed modifications as a result of a brewing energy wrestle between Mr. Murray and the new writer, Almar Latour, has contributed to a stalemate that threatens the future of The Journal.

Mr. Murray and Mr. Latour, 50, characterize two extremes of the mannequin Murdoch worker. Mr. Murray is the tactful editor; Mr. Latour is the brash entrepreneur. The two rose inside the group at roughly the identical time. When the second got here to switch Gerry Baker as the prime editor in 2018, each had been seen as contenders.

The two males have by no means gotten alongside, based on folks with information of the matter. Or as an govt who is aware of each effectively put it, “They hate each other.” The digital technique report has solely heightened the pressure of their relationship — and, with it, the course of the crown jewel in the Murdoch information empire.

Their longstanding skilled rivalry comes all the way down to each character and method. Mr. Murray is extra deliberative, whereas Mr. Latour is fast to behave. But the core of their friction remains to be a thriller, based on folks aware of them.

Dow Jones, in a press release, disputed that characterization, saying there was no friction between the editor and writer. It additionally cited “record profits and record subscriptions,” which it attributed to “the wisdom of its current strategy.” Both Mr. Murray and Mr. Latour declined to be interviewed for this text.

About a month after the report was submitted, Ms. Story’s technique crew was involved that its work would possibly by no means see the mild of day, three folks with information of the matter stated, and a draft was leaked to 1 of The Journal’s personal media reporters, Jeffrey Trachtenberg. He filed an in depth article on it late final summer time.

But the first glimpse that exterior readers, and most of the workers, received of the doc wasn’t in The Journal. In October, a pared-down model of The Content Review was leaked to BuzzFeed News, which included a hyperlink to the doc as a sideways scan. (Staffers, wanting to learn the report, needed to flip their heads 90 levels.)

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