Read this: Media Masters - Matt Murray
Summary: PodcastDownload MP3 www.buzzsprout.comMedia Masters - Matt Murray…
Media matters with Paul Blanchard welcome to media Masters a series of one-to-one interviews with people at the top of the media game Theory New York by Matt Murray editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal a graduate of northwestern University he first started as a reporter at the jungle in 1994 in the papers, Pittsburgh Bureau money section three years later.
He is since Helen number of senior editorial positions most recently deputy to previous editor-in-chief Gerard Baker since taking the reins in June 2018 that has confirmed its commitment to corporate financial and economic news as well as making progress in multi-platform digital journalism and away from the news is also a best-selling author of two books the father and the son and co-author of 9/11 Memoir strong of heart Matt thank you joining me to be report things in April it'll be coming up 25 years that you've you've served on the gym.
I mean people get longer for murdered on me.
It almost feels like a throwback to a different road.
Zumba €25 although it feels like it's been about 2 to be honest that yeah, that's amazing.
I mean just took us through if you can just briefly how you started incredible Journey that you've had so I was working again of the journal.
I think I might funnily enough.
I was reminiscing with somebody or earlier that when I get out of college in 1988 and my classmates came to the Wall Street Journal then and I remember thinking that sounds boring business news, but I got out I was a police report for a while and Chicago I was in a copy editor at a couple of newspapers in Virginia and as I looked around at what I wanted to do.
I had aspirations to do like a lot of young reporters sort of big and deep our stories and in-depth Rosamund writing and I discovered pretty quickly at the Wall Street Journal as one of the great places to do that for a long time.
We've featured on the front page of deep and long are stories on on businesses and in markets as well as other topics and a very high level and I am I really liked the level of the Jar
I also discovered as reported in business and economics work.
Just fantastic topics to cover they were great in exakta undercovered.
I didn't really want to be the 10000 reporter going to the press conference on Capitol Hill in Reading the same story and with business you get stories about human drama and products that we all used and exciting battles between Titans and economic forces and often you're off on your own doing them and so as I as I get very intrigued by the idea of getting to the Jewel on through some lucky contact and hard work.
I I was hired even I didn't know that much about business reporting at the time in the in the Pittsburgh Bureau in 1994 which in those days was often a kind of a starting place for a lot of reporters coming in business news is people musician to have always thought that about people unfairly maligned business news the sizes of something else that part of the the paper but actually uses incredible source of human drama incredibly compelling human drama.
Hi, I have a whole speech.
I give The Newsroom on it but it had happened to be very sincere a lot of journalism about politics for instance are other things we be able size politics a lot right now and broke protocol moment.
We all enjoyed politics but in many ways even though politics can have Direct impact on our lives and the lives of many people it's also can be a bit of a spectacle a bit of a Sideshow which great with business is it's the forces that really shape the world what happens in economics today will affect politics tomorrow.
It's the products that we all use in the cheaper lives and then we can sometimes get passionate about it's it's also our jobs are wages where we spend all of our time.
It's really something that surrounds us everywhere and to this day.
I can't hear you be shocked at the number of educated intelligent people who don't ever think about her know very much about and I don't know much about money and Almost Have contempt for I think it's still the great area to cover in journalism that demands coverage that is wrong doing just people being.
We have to account there's all kinds of things to do there as well as compelling drama and it's wide open to do so it still looks like me as much as it ever done.
I'm gonna doze let's go back to those early years then.
I'm determined to work to go and do some chronology to the first part of the podcast what can a stories on recovering back in the day so I got to the Wall Street Journal I knew nothing about business.
I had kind of a hodgepodge of bids.
I think the first big cuddly eye cover was HJ Heinz which was in Pittsburgh in those days and was run by Anthony O'Reilly who is Ireland's richest man I covered Heinz I wasn't it with that was independent of the time.
I covered awesome regional banks.
Do we went through a few years after that? We went to a Jaguar take wave of original bank mergers in the United States but there is some powerful regional banks back, then I cover drugstores.
I cover a range of things of those days in our Pittsburgh office.
We had a five-stage geography with about 500 companies so was actually a fantastic training ground to learn a lot of the basics of corporate news and find some good.
Heels on and I got to do with you bigger brother stories to I wrote about how was a pretty trolley story about the trend which was dead happening of companies laying off workers in good times and not just in bed time.
So they could make the bottle of wine without a big story on that we did a big story on Bob Evans the sausage restaurant where Bob Evans do you found your was fighting with the details were taking over the restaurant chain and a few stories like that and I and I really got the why the full range of different kinds of stories at the jurong and did you realise then that you were going to be a business reporter for the rest of your career? Did you get the bug then? I don't forget the bank then because I thought it was unique recover stuff.
I mean what you know again.
I am I gravitated toward unique stories were I could really be the main reporter rather and doing and doing something that not everybody else was doing and I became persuaded pretty easily that little really important kinds of stories again and as I said before about the
Force of the cheap our lives and that we had a unique place in the firmament doing that at the journal the quality of the writing in the editing of the Wall Street Journal February hi to me and I enjoyed that inspired to impress the Editors of the journal night and I like that aspect of it and our readers have always been very dedicated and devoted and passionate about us on it and it felt very rewarding to have a close relationship like that with the reader so from you.
Just felt like home pretty quickly and I are different times like a lot of people on there as soon as I became more disruptive III I thought about other things but I never believe what I do anywhere else.
What are things have always admired about the journals journalism Dell is it you haven't just been kind of apologies for business.
You hold business to account you there as to what I call proper you have do the proper journalist job absolutely 100-percent.
I think we we are often perceived as being the former, but we we've we've got a lot of laptop cover drink companies over the years.
We've had a lot of notable for his last few years being a watch.
Dog for business is it is essential to our mission the journals really rude and being the industrial paper, so we've always seem herself is looking out for the Investor particularly the small and duster.
I'm not really part of what we do right now even sitting here with you right now.
I'm and I'm not going to say who have got four five companies right now setting mean and nasty emails and questions about Stories not working on today.
It's priest of what we do, but but ultimately the quality of your own integrity of your journalism.
Is it is vested in that commitment to truth without being overly kind of Pi it's about it.
Your journalism has to be trusted in bed for you can have favourite you have to report it as you see it.
We have to be to have we have to be rigorous that doesn't mean where reflexology anti business idea.
We have to bring sophistication and understanding of how business works.
I think they can be a bad reflux sometimes in a lot of journalism to just kind of the entire business intercompany are in in in in Nazareth Fowey
We we we have to do both we have to be understanding of business and how it works we have to take it seriously but we do have to be rigorous about everything that companies do and will be very tough on companies and call this week as a reporting can help.
I see it or when we have to go in with you a lot of accountability journalism at the zero-sum trying to edit go through your career chronologically but we keep getting sidetracked into these interesting interesting.
I don't know but hopefully that you covering 5 states in the Pittsburgh office at how long did that last time? What came next so I was there for about 3 and half years and then I came to New York for the first time and I covered banks at this is just prior to some the big bang.
Where do that created the behemoths we have today so I can't JP Morgan and the Old chase Manhattan proud with their merger.
I was a pretty mediocre back reporter licence have been reconnected in last couple of years with several of the people who are at the banks when I covered them we told me they weren't sure I would make it and I can see why I was.
At that passionate about big reporting properly for some of the reasons I described earlier which was out I wasn't that excited by the Wall Street atmosphere in those days and I was fine but there are people who really gifted of that kind of reporting.
I was not that excited by banking after that though.
I did go to cover general electric company in this was in the late.
Nineties one that company was probably right about the peak of its power of all time Jack Welch probably the most famous CEO in America read books.
He was at the height of his power but also close to the end of his tenure at that time and he was absolutely fascinating figure very top of the company was widely admired this was at the end of the 90s boom and ceo's were heroes and legends and Jack was at the capitalist and it was also just an interesting company because it did so many things and had NBC TV and had the largest non-bank of the country it had industrial businesses it had that.
Clients businesses that were GT products in every home, it was just a lot to cover there and we had a great story at that time which was Jack was getting ready to step down the name is success so again a gigantic vital and important American institution at that time and there were probably only 304 reporters covering it and I was probably the only one doing it full-time and is there any inherent tension when you covering her out a story like ge as as that been your exclusive beat because he won since you've got to hold them account and Report 3 in pair fairly, but on the other hand he was going to build a relationship with them and you can't do much on GTA without the least some cooperation from the people from Gaz have to have some kind of relationship, but it is it once like the arm's-length.
I think it just depends on being excellent reporter and and and and working your hardest lgr like a lot of companies in those days.
Would would be overly friendly but but not of course being hypnotised the story that's what they want.
Janice 22 that PR4 the roanoke story will always be even handed of course so so my approach different portals have different approaches my approach was to be pretty upfront about what I was asking about I would never reveal everything of course but I am looking at this with that and I would place a lot of course I would an n in overtime some of those caused turning the sources one of the great things about ge was so many people have been to that company that there's a gigantic ge alumni networking and I would I would need sources that way and I will and I will get to know a lot of former executives of course sometimes there are people working at companies like that who also talk to you and give you information.
That's not to the official channels and then also there are times when you call people and they say I'm I'm not going to help you, but they call the company back.
They could do an unusually PR department I hear you're calling around and of course that's not a bad thing I do because the PR2 private knows what you're asking those who you're talking to you.
So you jump it so that city requires a string.
Ingenuity and perseverance for reporter but it's fun.
It's exciting and it's credit again your kind of mining around terrains.
I think that the middle of that it's it's not really very different from other basic reporting in that way and it forces you to just go out to keep finding new sources and of course once you can establish to get more spaces in more sources than and it builds on itself.
It's I'm not the greatest natural Porter I really admire that skill of reporters who know how to source and just do it almost instinctively, but it's fun enjoy rewarding as you do that and get to know people what was Jack like top.
I mean he is incredibly sharp incredibly engaged very Direct if you'd like something he tell you if you didn't like something he tell you I think those who work for him found him scary intimidating neighbours know and I think to bring people to Tears at time because he was very relaxed but I found him to be fair if he agreed with something he tell me if he disagreed he tell me he only call.
Complain about me in wants to the editor and that was a particular story but I again I found that the mistake.
I think sometimes people might make in some cases.
It's appropriate but we got reported sometimes like to have their way into information, but they're plotting a bit.
I never did that I said I don't know you tell me and I always was open-minded and I always you know again that everything I heard but I gave them an idea of what I was what I was talking about it wasn't too far from up from where I was going and I will say that it helps a lot to have the Wall Street Journal brand behind you because it's a powerful force that holds a lot so they felt I was fair and I was fair and they felt like they've I would listen to them when I would didn't mean that they liked everything I wrote it never means that but but the journal we have a pretty deep tradition in our reporting about week on no Surprises journalism and the promise we will make to accompany and I make it to this day when when when I'm talking to Seahouses
I will know what we're going to say you'll have a chance to respond will come back to you and you will give you a chance to respond.
I think that's really important.
So you're always operating and kind of two levels, when is the relationship that you talk about where you've got a treat each other Fayre and square, but the other one is the information that your gathering and that you're sorting that you're checking in there the application is still is to get response, but it's not at all the company line along so I think there's nothing worse if you're running a business that Jamie's ask you some questions and then you read the paper the next day and it's clearly a Hatchet job where they set out to humiliate Un and une cause problems but like you said no Surprises journalism is actually it is about fairness really isn't it even handedness no Surprises means they now going to say so I think it's I don't think it's the best practice to say I'm reporting on X and then store it comes out.
It's about Z I think you want you want to get there.
Apart from them and that's for the bills the relationship but work all the time.
I did and our reporters today all the time report lots and lots of things companies don't like Alex continue.
Yeah, NN3 9un occasionally as we have a few times last year's you face vehement opposition.
That's why you're sourcing has to be clear and strong it straight and we're bulletproof on that stuff so so Pittsburgh banking ge.
What's Chapter 4 couple of years Wi-Fi first management job in HR management group actually, I really want actor for personal reasons to be with my now wife have to be got married.
I became an editor so I came back to New York in 2004 and became a historia de terron R Us newsdesk.
I must really quickly placed in charge of editing the front page news stories.
The journal has only added news stories to its front page in print regularly run 2002.
I don't think you'll catch on a exactly but were committed so I just done and then I just thought it started moving up to the editing ranks tannin and and Sabina Eriksson now for 15 years I get this year.
I did you always want to be negative when you started as a cub reporter we first have that with it the first time at the journal fitting Pittsburgh do you think one day? I'm going to be added to in chief? No, I never said had to be able to achieve.
I think I knew I would be an editor because I'm good with language and writing and I enjoy doing a lot but for a long time as a reporter.
I wouldn't it to myself again.
Probably was going to do that and I was a pretty good reporter, but I wasn't the greatest reported.
We've ever had their natural reporters who are so gifted at it that really that the highest art form for me because a lot of us are pretty good writers use language to really get information and would we be able to to get people to talk to you and find things out is truly a gift and I was a good report.
I wasn't that gifted but I'm good what language am a good writer and the fastrider.
I'm a clear thinker and also probably skills that help me as an editor with switch stories and and I enjoyed doing it was follow.
It was rewarding so I think I'm some level.
I knew I was probably headed to be another one day, but I didn't want to admit it for a long time.
I wanted to be you know Richard Ben Cramer somebody like that and then we came another I would never have set out to be the editor in chief or anything like that.
That was not that was just not in my plan.
Do you feel it quite a sense of responsibility deal as editor-in-chief? How many if you accidentally spill some state sequence is going to be you this in Guantanamo you know you've got all the reporters that you got to manage you got to keep them motivated but also to have your reader in mind.
There's a there's a lot of variables to coordinate.
Are there are but I am really enjoying the job quite a bit so far.
I do feel responsibility.
I feel great responsibility of the institution.
You know being editor-in-chief is not.
Me it's about the institution.
It's about my time as a steward of the institution and obviously as you discuss all the time on on this show where a period of tremendous upheaval in transition in journalism, and I don't expect that to let up and all for Everlong I'm in this job, so I feel the responsibility help the institution navigate Dad as best as I can and grow as best as it's cannot I feel the responsibility to to the staff as you say both to help them do their best work, but also to motivate them and beat up on them when I have to I think sincerely the greatest sense of obligation.
I feel that was to the REdesign of the Wall Street Journal has a lot of readers who are truly passionate about us and what we do it therefore critical.
They were just like Hawks I get a lot of letters from them.
I try to respond to XL 50 most weeks and I'm here in and get back in touch with them.
They watches really closely.
Quite an admin burden if you don't mind me saying so he said im getting the ones that we're the ones who care about so far, but it's true.
What is that many times they might be very critical but you're taking the time to write because they care so much and they really do care and we brush them off at our peril.
I really believe that so most of the time the other thing as these days of course but thanks to social media everybody writes.
You know like like they are right.
It like level 11 right away.
We be angry no to they come round of the kids swinging in the unexpected her back from me and then when they hear back from you to get ready now, so well.
That is so nice of you to write for the most part, but I think it's important.
I think I think one of the big issues facing every large institution today at one of the reasons that state and institutions of declining is that the feeling of the Biggin personalised bureaucracies that don't care about people without readers were nothing particularly as we move toward the subscription.
Marvel so I do really important and I want and I by the way when I reported in staffed remember that you so what is the typical week for you, then? What does the job of editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal do you sound like everybody on my step after my fish? Is it just like one litany of lunches dinners take best ticket to the Opera Tab 3 Texas a&i, prickly out most nights now that sounds also do that.
Yeah, you can do it.
I don't want to be a week and I'm going out twice a year and he doesn't know what I think is a I think is a couple big chunks of the job and then given a week the amount of time.
I spend on and anything might change a bit the biggest and most important of all is to be aware of the bra draught of the newspaper reporting in what's happening elsewhere have a feel for the news in work's going to the actual editorial Bates hats and make sure that we've got the right boats launched and white rhino.
I'm involved every day in the picking the other front page lineup.
I'm watching the website all day to making sure that we have the right stories up there and on the right order.
I'm in touch with our senior editors pretty close to your different times about headlines and stories your questions.
I I think over many years one of the things I have developed as an ability also think about ideas and push push our story ideas are commission things are getting more doing more of that just trying to help us think they can help increase our ambition.
Hopefully that micromanaging it, but I spend a lot of time thinking about those things and in working with my team, so that's one child Second Chances strategy strategy both inside The Newsroom I think the job of editor-in-chief probably has a much bigger strategy component.
They did 1520 years ago and my predecessors deathly thought about it, but journalism is changing so quickly and there are so many different ways to get to people these days.
You're always thinking about how we
Should we do a podcaster house or digital interface or hair products doing that? That's a big part of the job as well as an executive Dow Jones so I have a role to play on the Dow Jones strategy side as well, so that sometimes may take up a fair amount of my time.
I think people is probably the third warning in a lab Yiewsley overlaps with both of those but thinking about recruiting Thinking About Town development.
I don't tease me.
I don't do enough interaction with the individual reporters as much as I'd like to do so but everytime I get the chance of Sedona talked with reporters about stories of talk with editors about how things are going in there were other talk without people.
It's never time wasting and I always aspired to do a lot more of it than I do but but we should have the best town and people should feel good about the culture that we have at the Wall Street Journal so I spent time on an outing as well as those issues on a bigger level things like diversity in training and internet kind of thing just many other components, but there's a problem with it.
The biggest three.com the mind I'm in the biggest challenge yet personally as any leader does is because the buck stops with you.
There's so many areas that you have responsibility for that.
You have too many tuna you have to choose what to focus on and anyone giving mum and and that allows bit the opportunity cost potentially of something else.
That's true, but I think one of the funny things in my case what you asked me before about whether I never told you about being an editor in chief.
I not for a long time.
No one interesting thing that happened.
I covering general electric company was I started it take that management in a different way than I ever had before because of management was very central to that company Jack Welch was a manager he wasn't in an inventor and they put enormous time and effort into their management training programs and into thinking about management and that started the whole area of part of my mind about what made a successful manager and how to people motivate other people which actually was helpful and by the time I got this job because it's always opportunity cost and and you want a team.
You can rely on independent and help develop and you want to think about what they can do when and yes you wanna both biondi them, but let them do what they need to do in and into the best and help them grow, so it's a challenge as you said, but I feel really great about the senior team.
I'm really really happy with the team that we've got and I think we've got a lot of upside potential.
We did a big girl restructuring in a museum a couple of years ago that and which we we we we reinvented our senior leadership by jobs in titles.
We change them some of the people on some of the top jobs.
We improved on a gender diversity especially but mostly.
We just got great however all these jobs.
It's very exciting and fun and rewarding to help them grow and see them do great work one of the great things that happened in can happen in Mid career and it's a funny thing because with jealous of other times when you're young reporter.
It's all about you guys.
Love the byline.
You throw about the app.
9 in your school for me and I think for a lot of people there comes a point when you do cross the line and you take joy in others successes and so it's very rewarding and exciting to see that happen.
We have a staff frankly that is far more towel to the night and so I might a conductor in the orchestra sometimes but a big part of my job is about them player instruments made reference to it earlier in terms of gelatin at being under more pressure than ever before and I think me that comes in Intu properties.
What is the commercial pressure? I mean the journal obviously because it's quite a niche product and and has Darcey affluent readers that can afford to resource journalism properly and you don't have the same pressures.
That's a USA Today has where this fewer newsstand sales few people in The Newsroom will secondly journalism seems to be under existential attack as never before we got a president be crying fake news and I mean this must be quite an interesting time for you to be in is it as it as a journalist in in ways that you possibly maybe didn't envisage 25 years ago now.
I think I think it's her tits as a child.
Time for all of us when I came of the Wall Street Journal in 1994.
I didn't know it at the time, but I was in the very last years of what had been a very very stable and very lucrative products for many many years was Richard O'Hare was the national publication already at that time.
We had a fantastic print advertising business and in the 90s boom not that long ago now, but it's very different hear about but in the 90s boomers companies that richer and richer we we are papers got fatter and fatter because it was so much advertising in the journal of those were the days.
We also because the journal has evolved as kind of a second read for a lot of people that just might be more history than you need but the great editor of The Wall Street Road Barney Kilgore who was that the editor of a couple of decades in the mid-twentieth century had evolved the journal as chair of the National business daily in the second read for many many customers meaning that if you were in.
Fort Wayne Indiana your local paper will give you all the local news and politics and international news you needed, but the drawer would give you a business like your local paper couldn't possibly afford over time we built up in January national deep pain audience which when the internet came along turned out to be very much like an internet community of Interest already that we brought over there.
It's one of the reasons the journal put a paywall with our online edition right at the beginning in the mid nineties and numbers we have the number to we had the brand loyalty we had the support from those readers and there are ready to pick a Premium price, so we were fortunate in that sense, but we didn't anticipate I didn't anticipate.
I think quite the collapse of the business model across the board that would come our way so print advertising really live in Australia to evaporate and really went downhill quickly and of course the whole you can system changed into the pressures right now.
There is a lot of them and some.
Leather self-inflicted there is business model prices for sure again were fortunate that we have felt them to we've we've had lots of staff cuts and lots of changes as advertising models chain.
It has gone down.
I think social media and the internet definitely creates but time pressures but also competition pressures, so you definitely feel that instead of there being that one deadline a day that everything was sorted deadline all the time if people feel hot all the time.
I think some of the result to do to be honest with you.
I think there's been times where we have in the industry over backwards changing and into app to stray from what works for us for a long time so you you create pressures about I know digital presentation say because it seems to be in the air on the hot thing but maybe you don't maybe maybe that's not what your uses whatever that's not really need to go so part of the pressure is also not to be with everything that every trend but to stay true to what has worked.
Works really well, which is reporting verified facts are certain levels of depth and inside and and having a trust with readers those are rock solid principles that have one and are still working in don't change so I think a certain kind of fat is in a times has LED some of us down dad has an elastic.
But running as we go, do you think that Trump is poisoning the well done of journalism itself when he decries fake news.
How many the journal itself has been at the forefront of your kind of breaking Michael Cohen's payments to stormy Daniels you no reason to not like you guys as well, but do not feel that that that that Society itself.
Is it it's to its detriment that these decrying fake news on its way to the detriment of society that the president is out there attacking drills Angela was it's bad for us.
I have the same more than any other relatives.
Have a bow tie risk of violent episodes happening of the president unleashing.
Horses make maybe maybe intentionally or not that cause harm to journalism that this has been a lot of lung and idea that sort of his being a convenient Hobby Horse her friends idea that has unquestionably erupted into the mainstream with his reading and I think it's a destructive and unfortunately so yes, I think but I also think it's part of a broader series of forces including forces that social media has Unleashed a as well as cynical gamesmanship by politics and also about politicians to make journalism the bad divorce for everything that they don't like in their own lies are everything we reported in our like in in social media has has given us the ability for different voices to unify against something and to create mobs in to create angry troll armies and all these other kinds of things that are damaging for us speed and and other factors.
They all had sometimes made us and that's hanging about the Wall Street
Sonos in the industry Broadway journalists are journalists perhaps cut corners and certain kinds of standards or let opinion creeping in use too much for let audience data drivers into a lot less objective status on stories and we have to be rigorous and better than than than we've ever been to be worthy of trust and standard into model those trust and standards the president and his behaviour is beyond the pale at the same time politicians have never much liked the media and media shouldn't have a really like politicians.
We have heard someone adversarial roll with each other so we should be better than the president.
We should my thing you are we should take his we should we should treat his criticism like what I think it often is which is sort of Desperate renting and just do our great work and go about our business our bigger than that and that's what that's how we should be so I do think it's a bad Force
I think it's a worse time for us, but I think journalism is face these kinds of pressures and different places recorded before and I but I have fundamental faith that great reporting bulletproof reporting clear storytelling at a fair unbiased attitude of an interest in news reporting will out the president sat down with the journals White House reporters recently for a major interview.
What was with you within? What was he doing? You know we we had a major interview with him for a while.
He was on the phone with one of the other night.
I met him once in person when I was proud of his job when I was the deputy editor.
I had one light headed one interview with him.
I mean it wasn't very deep.
You know the reviews of her choreography process.
I found in person that he was like like many-particle figures outnet.
Keen to make his own points and naturally answer our questions very directly broadcast mode mean.
Not necessarily having all the factors fingertips and everything you said pretty.
Not too different than the person that we see on television, but it was it was it was fine than any other action button directly since I've been in this job and and that's fine by me so I didn't immediate bears some responsibility for creating candidate trump and get you a bit late whole CNN worldwide coverage at the gave him when he was a candidate some criticism of your predecessor that the paper was can a soft pedalling its trunk covered in do you reject that I do reject that.
I think I think all news organizations struggled with her recovery him.
He's an unorthodox figure machi probably actually understand the kinds of things that Preston medias buttons for better and worse better than most other presidents that we can remember he knows how to stop controversy he understood hot water and salt for meteor evolving well ahead of many people who made cynical use of them, but he and
He knows how to make helplines he spent 30 years doing that in Manhattan that was his business.
So he's actually quite good at it.
I want out of Republican consultant.
Tell me when he was a candidate that the secret to understanding with president was he sat in Trump Tower watching television all day long and at night.
He went out and made television so I think everybody grapple two different agrees about how to cover him.
I think of particularly early on nobody knew what it was a showbiz Playa to take or whether to take him seriously people don't know that even though I'm not sure you knew that exactly so it's it's a tough one day cover.
I don't really agree with the critics who say the media has normalized him or has been particularly complicit analysing for one thing is not the job of the mediator job of the American public and meat every election is a sense to me is about the
Public view of what is normal what's acceptable behaviour in what's not our job is to report sometimes our job is to hold into account for flies or misstatement or or or or ugly things that he says and give that information to the public but funny moments the public's job to normalize the media is not in the business of normalising for me secondly.
It's always at the moment in our son Ltd is day.
How much attention to give what he says particularly when he understands the yard of the outrageous and it's what he wants if he says an outrageous thing.
Do you play it up and refute it or do you treat it as something not a player because it's so outrageous and how you doing his bidding.
So it's always complicated and I don't again.
I don't know that anybody has is gonna quite right.
I think my predecessor.
I was his deputy and I work for a closely with him.
I was unfairly maligned on this front we wrestled with an elastic we do.
A pretty good strong work ethic with a voided falling for some of the more overt efforts by tension for the president for one thing or as you mentioned are covered with Michael Cohen last year with a drill has been a leader within a bullet-proof in path breaking on that story and interestingly he has never been that critical of Us on it and I think it's probably because he knows the storage of right and then completely and 100% were in the mouth.
Not just on here.
We've been very aggressive and Roger stone and Felix sater and other aspects of the investigation again too good salad like worktop reporting by are brilliant team and it is it held up and I'm really really proud of us that we've done it.
So I think again.
I'm sorry to sound like a cliché saying it but good solid basic reporting that I think is really as really born itself out.
I think we're we have sometimes perhaps in the media gotten ourselves in trouble over last 4 years has to do with expressing opinions on Twitter instead of
Funny news stories to back us up or letting too much opinion sometimes creeping the pieces.
We do what we were doing from for my taste the media in general are not at your mother's too many analysis pieces these days that are really very deeply reported a bit perfect life in the bubble.
Get a notebook.
Get up and go out talk to people find out what they're saying she let her get out.
What top of you to do list at the moment in terms of you know where you want to take the journal in the medium to long-term you editor-in-chief now you doing the job, but where do you want to take it over the next few years? What's going to change 5 years from now? What would it? How will it be different like a job interview? This is what are we are? We are going to do something so we can talk.
I think I think my job is to marry the essence of what makes the journal grade with the changes that are happening all around us in journalism and pass on a bigger better more successful journal.
My predecessor one day we're getting very growth oriented.
We have the most subscribers you ever had in our history and by the end of that content numbers rising is quite quite a large rain.
I think it's some point in the next couple of years.
What will cross of Hubert thresholds were going to announce a new company goal for for growth shortly do most people really on the app and on like that.
I subscribe to get them for years, but I haven't picked up a physical copy of the journal in years were the largest print paper in the country.
We've got a little over 900000 years so I print papers out there one of the things are about the journals that we truly have really national distribution.
So you know where where is I think of more news consumption on cell phones and using digital as is more concentrated sometimes on the coast where we are one around.
We were talking about how we all look at their phones all day and it says my phone.
It's not there people was concert in Texas and other parts of the country that aren't quite so obsessive about their.
So we want you to be able to access the drill however you want to access where you get the nose out of other growth of digital so weren't weren't where we're not there yet, but were heading toward 2 million digital only subscribers as well alongside.
That's odd numbers and 4G me numbers a bit.
I'm not sure we've released publicly but receive all of our growth as in digital and people consume a lot on the phone and tablet son and I think the to get that number hiya, we're going to continue to expand our court news coverage, which means breaking more more stories and scoops which I really emphasized but also doing deep long business narrative in analytical inside stories about business and markets that we can all learn more from will expand coverage in areas like careers.
We can a job to do to help younger readers resetting over their lives.
They could better manage their finances and get their careers going out when I do more on that front we'll be happy to have had at the company of very successful student should have the last few years we've got.
I think over 400000 college students who are subscribers and readers of the journal now, but we've got it help give them more stories and content to keep them readers as a as a guitar chord.
You can also lead to careers and work spending in video and audio with all the other areas so I think we are a very good path to grow like every other day my dream would be I get 102 reporters and will cover the more more beats as weak as we go, but I think rather good bath now, so my job is to help navigate all that Grove look at new areas of the cover own the coverage areas that we have to own continue to do in Bishops journalism that important and path breaking journalism and if we do that and we grow I think there'll be more more of that today.
Do you still think will be a physical copy of the papers say 10 years from now.
I don't make predictions on when I mean we all wonder about that.
You know why it's hard to know that I think that.
Happy things coming waves.
I said that one of the challenges digital products face in journalism to this day is we haven't yet? Created nobody has created a digital news private.
That's quite as visually satisfying as print can be print gives you a physical address to hold in your hand it can be very beautiful and attractive we laid out it gives you a sense of completion at the end of the day if you take security linear experience as well.
You know you start at the front page and you work your way through it exactly one of the things about digital that is you had that feeling when you spend an hour or two on your phone.
You might have read 50 stories, but you feel like you you're an ocean of contact you just had a teaspoonful sandbox environment you like Grand Theft auto correct your you're and you're you're easily distracted.
It's hard to know quite what to prioritise and what's important I get complaints from some of our subscribers invented people when I meet him.
Didn't had a curator know what's important is harder on an hour an hour digital.
So that is still evolving in front of us.
Maybe that gets to a place where it's so perfect that that it really does replace the need for the paper but I don't think we're not I don't want to be your house gonna play out of my job is to do the best we can all these different platforms or new platform of it, but come on walk from I know in 15 years another one way people.
Will use the Wall Street Journal is Alexa so part of it for me and it goes to sort your values questions is to make sure everybody and our staff understands the core traits that define us which include very simple you know the standard the high standards that we have at the accountability job that we have in forming people being Bering Strait seeing the world through the lens of business and marketing economics, but it doesn't mean that were print paper or even that were found out.
We we we have to be those things whatever we are we have to go over to Rita's wherever they want to meet us there.
Renovation needs to be positioned for that's a big part of my job is making sure we are and what do you consider your competition to Bakers in one sense? You could say it won't the Financial Times it cetera et cetera, or is it the it's other news app so many pesos lightsaber CBS news out their equally are competing for the attention of me when I'm on my phone.
I can click with the other journals app icon now or I can go to BBC News I can go to the la Times I think that's a very good question and I think I think you've hit on the challenge Pole right there which is yes on some level we compete with The Usual Suspects he now we have we with one computer with the New York Times and the washing post.
I think a lot of people think that the three of us are sort of the the three emerging national Legacy print publications and we can be protected reporters and those kinds of things but I do think that probably the biggest competition.
I worry about is the evolution of apps and not necessarily CBS news by we are Premium product we have.
Best most comprehensive business of markets and financial journalism, but you I worry about the the the app that smart news or something like that.
They can offer a pretty good version of the basics.
That's good enough for many people so we have to constantly make sure that work out there.
We do Premium work that I think parrots the the subscription but we have to justify that every day that evolution.
I think it is the word someone you touch than the other thing which is more broadly just time and now it's been a very very rough decade for journalism with last more than half of our jobs in the profession in the United States elasticated which has been really tough and I also means the papers sustainable Bill because it would have been an even greater tragedy to have not had does layoffs and then close the whole paper in Frankley industrial strategy.
So journalism itself is suffering and journalist talk about this, but there's also that prefers feeling that were inundated with content to the way that we didn't used to be so yes, it did the ocean is bigger and deeper standing out in the Hat is it is a challenge for all of us, so you're right when you say time itself.
Is is part of or competing against relationship with Rupert Murdoch like I mean if you have to listen to the conspiracy theories of course.
He would just be a you know etude being constant connected to buy something to earpiece telling you what to do.
What's the reality the reality is nothing like the conspiracy theorist thing we had Leigh Sinton on actually, but that you can put them right and he literally what I wanted to same thing.
I mean you bought the paper.
I said I've been here 25 years so I do not the journal for for almost 15 years when he bought the paper like a lot of.
People of the draw at that time I wondered what it would mean for us and I decided that I would stick around and see but I had the same questions everybody has so far as the Wall Street Journal girls.
He's been incredibly supportive his ambassador lot and ask if he likes the product.
He likes he is he's wanted it to be New Zealand and get more stories in and and have a speaking parrot of on the news front but literally I have never had one year acting from him about any story or any line of questioning and mostly.
He's into the attic and supportive of meander and of what we do and we're not talking about the paperwork for the doing clinical gossip or in our personal stuff and talking about things like that.
So you always wonder isn't it always wonder what it's going to be like in you and you know that the data can be a challenge but but he's been incredibly supportive and looked at this happened on the my predecessor, but you know when we when we reported that their story on stereos for instance that cost him.
Lot of money and he never got in the way of the reporting ordered anything even when I was a bit homes the head of the company went to him.
He said leave it to the editor of the newspaper man his nature his fingertips in a what will leaves in it.
I will get feedback from him is really is things like that a grey page or that so crap headline or something like that.
He is very he he has a really deep long-billed understanding of sort of the emotional connection people have to a paper angel of make it compelling and make it engaging and I will hear from him on those kinds of things of of you know these pages as you know this is going to be so this is a great photo.
I could have been digger it that kind of thing you like you want a great product experiences she responds to that now.
I have a conflict of interest here asking this question as a brick and Away here in New York recording this in Midtown but no, what's the journals view of?
Britain post brexit if you are we likely to become a diminished country outside of the EU you're asking me my view because you couldn't see for the Wall Street Journal don't you know course work for everybody knows this but but the news pages than you.
Pages would be totally separate so I'm speaking out from the news perspective.
Not am I calling Portugal on the opinion pages? I'm not I think I think the UK and Britain is going to be other great interest as the matter what and it's a great story and you know I mean post brexit will be a fascinating story had a company's evolved.
How does jar had a jobs of All Hallows the economy of all there silly the the brexiters make the case particularly with your pathetic.
Really slow growth.
May be declining growth and some areas that Britain separate from Europe will be strong.
There will be trade deals to be done the politics in Europe I have the advantage not being a bit of not having to feel personally personally emotionally involved with the politics which I suppose it is pretty tough.
Now so something's going to give you these parties going to develop and Britain is going to be embarking on a new era of attempting suiting brexit happens of attempting to Ford bilateral trade deals in Madeira there are cultural ties at affinities between America and Britain did for an archwing away at our readers are interested in the story so I don't know if I can give a better answer than that will Britain be diminished.
I I think Britain has been struggling for 70 years with figuring out its role and place in the post-war post-imperial world and that is an ongoing story in an ongoing Challenge for Britain and the EU was with one aspect of that but I'm not sure whether when you ask about Britain's diminished mental place in the world and not sure that that that that is all that being in the EU or not.
It's a bit more existential question for Britain actually see Hamilton on Broadway few years ago.
And I was prepared to turn against Britain having sex I Stockholm Syndrome I would be angry if I were you King George was such a stereotype of bread possible.
It was a bit of it insulting that now well this one of those think the last question Zenith we may I know it's not your job to be a kind of an apologist.
I want Evangelista cheerleader for business book.
Do you worry about the caravan tea, business moved across the globe since the 2008 crash.
I mean a lot of left wing anti capitalist leaders that I can have rising across the west of the city seems to be very windy the word.
I don't think it's my place to worry about it.
It's it's a story of karbala stories in time intrigued by it.
I think it's a real Force for business that I think lot of ceos are both are grappling with but many don't understand the depth of the problem in the challenge that spacing them and they might in some cases have Reckoning is coming their way which again the journals Denise's is a fascinating and important story for us to cover worry.
I wouldn't say I worry.
I I think I just in a my again at this despite.
My I've genuinely feel my job as a journalist sister, and write about these things and and let them play out in an evolving closely, but I don't I don't have particularly reviews on and things like that ultimate question any two parts.
What's been the worst day of your career so far and there must be the best day the worst day of my career than the best day.
That's a tough one.
I don't know what day is November 7th 2007 like the hardest days the worst Days Are the Days we've got a cut people 5 people or have to have conversation with people that that's very difficult you know it is a time of Incredible changing in the industry and as a manager.
I've had to do that a number of times and you realise you're making decisions to have a conversations that impact people's.
I'm very traumatic Lea Michele if you didn't feel some some concerning some emotions and regretting upset you would be a human being I mean you know but those who have one of the skill of dehumanizing everybody when they do that.
I don't wanna work for those guys.
I know but that site.
I've known some of the month of swollen like that and it's staff and also look look you can't you ask it be self indulgent about it because it's Not About You It's About then they're the ones who really undergoing the trauma that my trauma, but it is you you you partly because sometimes you're weird with colleagues and friends and people you respect that one conversation is going to change your relationship with them forever.
That's really tough and and unfortunately that softened in the mode in journalism for for whatever your decision at different times these days miserableness, then let me rephrase the question and do it in a positive way, what's been the best.
Come out there that you've had once been the best story then the most memorable.
Sorry that you've worked on you.
Look back you think fondly thing that was a good day very very very.
Fine when you are when you are there to brighten yourself or when you get to publish a big stories that.
That really impact the world are when you know that you can write so he still get that through love like a really good splash 100% digital Big Splash I mean break me out of course and additionally are you get the thrill of publishing Astoria than watching it take off across the internet when you can really dominate the conversation scene Weirs Grafton optic on its very exciting so I just want to be like that was a reporter.
I wrote a few big stories like that be getting a Big Scoop is always exciting so when the head of the capital was being fired we broke that story that was incredibly gratifying.
I've also written a few big feature stories including our personal one about my family that were incredibly exciting when they were published Craig family fun to see the reaction from people as an editor.
It's just it's it's um it's just a big story day as whether it's will be than 11000 words in Depp
Anatomy of general electric and Wales company in in Howard head down employed in last year to be Michael Cohen stories to big series with your dad lad America or big scoops that you know everybody's going to follow.
It's all exciting this will sound very Corning and I'm sorry about that, but you you always are chasing the best day in front of you.
You always want a better day.
So you're always thinking what's the Splash what's the Scoop what's the next thing that will be an even bigger deal than it been to before and in so hopefully I haven't had the best day yet as my honest answer your best selling author of course as well.
Do you do intend to write more generous? I'm a best-selling author.
I've done two box.
I did remember about my father who had an interesting life story idea.
I will Dad I think that came out 20 years ago and anything ok, and then I was the writer for the offer of admission New York who wrote during 9/11 who wrote A Memoir about her.
911 map of did ok.
I think you know I'd like to write more.
I find these days.
It's almost and very different kind of thinking in and muscle from the ones.
I'm exercising all day.
I'm living in search of a hyper faster world and I'm juggling a lot of different activities and I'm on all the time.
I I basically enjoy it, but it doesn't leave me the room and reflectiveness that helps the best writing writing is really thinking so I could be a first vessel Rider but but I don't have enough time to think enough about what I would want to say as a writer and too many riders are writing books that have no thought behind them and I wouldn't want to do that.
I will want to do something something tiffin meteor not do it so maybe on the other end of this job or have a chance to do that now.
I admire people in Jalalabad who is the editor of The New York Times and then spent a long time after that writing admire that but we'll see when I get there? I mean you've nearly done 25 years at the journal that what would you advise me to someone.
Starting out at the gym and it's super ambitious that wants to be a between cheap 25 years from now where I assume you won't be in the editor's chair at that point.
No, I'm not sure sideboard rear braided wires coming out.
I am not sure that's good luck.
I think my my honest advice to people who are coming in today is do as many different things as you can and enjoy each of those things for what they are as you do them in maximise them and get the most out of them it probably helps these days to do a stint overseas it it helps to do a few different kinds of jobs over time but I don't think you can necessarily program out a way to get to be editor-in-chief because you won't know but it won't know what it takes to be editor-in-chief in 25 years.
There's no way to plan for that so it's more about getting the habits of cancelling morning being flexible as opportunities coming why it in Greece
Those opportunities, I think the battery in my career.
It was when I stopped making myself anxious all the time about my status and where I was at it.
Just started taking what came a little more making the most of it that I started nano YouTube better my career but to be happier and I would give some advice to people today.
So so it's good to have a wide base of knowledge.
It's good to make sure that you know you're you're doing journalism and a work that has deep standards in in in mean something it's it's great not to go with the crowd but to do your own thing and take your phone opportunities, but it's all it's a habit of being in a way of thinking that will set you up better for something like my job down the road in sending out a rigorous course, but it's been a hugely enjoyable conversation.
I know you have to get off so thank you ever so much free time I really appreciate a call.
It's been great to be here.
I've enjoyed all right angles podcast in association with big thing.
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