Brand journalism places ‘additional premium’ on our content, says Wall Street Journal editor

Yumiko Ono, Gerard Baker and Paul Beckett this morning

L-r: Yumiko Ono, Gerard Baker and Paul Beckett

The rise of brand journalism has placed an “additional premium” on news that comes from more objective sources, the editor of chief of the Wall Street Journal said at an event to mark the launch of the newspaper’s new global edition yesterday.

Gerard Baker, a former BBC and Financial Times journalist who is two years into his job as editor in chief of the Journal, said that there is the perception that news organisations are not needed as much as they were, now that brands increasingly have their own production studios and are able to control content distribution through social media.

But the more brand journalism out there, the bigger advantage news organisations like WSJ have, he said.

“The purpose [brand journalism] is selling. There is nothing wrong with that, but it places an additional premium on news that is not ‘interested,'” he said, referring to content owned by brands that has an agenda to promote a product or service.

The deluge of news sources on the internet has increased pressure on news organisations to ensure the information they put out is correct, he added.

“It’s a 24-hour business now. We live in a world where everyone is a reporter. This is a challenge and an opportunity for us. We have to be part of that maelstrom of activity,” he said.

“The Wall Street Journal is the most trusted newspaper in the world. We are trusted to get things right,” he said. “Even in the digital era, where things [stories are produced] are done more and more quickly, we have to get it right.”

“Accuracy is really important in this environment of information overload. It’s even more important than in the past that information [news organisations supply to readers] is correct,” he said.


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