How the Internet Age Has Affected The Wall Street Journal

By Phin Upham

The Internet has significantly altered the landscape for printed journalism, and not every magazine or periodical has been able to keep up with the shift. New York has several prominent brands that have made major strides in navigating the choppy waters of digital journalism, with the Wall Street Journal proving a unique example of how to accomplish this task.

The Journal went online as early as it could, marking the website’s start date as 1996. The online portion was almost exclusively dedicated to financial reporting, while the print version of The Journal retained much of its characteristic reporting on the stock indices and bond prices.

By 2003, that changed as Dow Jones and Company combined the reporting of the online outlet with the stock index reporting and created a new subscription-based service. By 2007, The Wall Street Journal was widely believed to have held the most subscribers on the Web for any digital periodical, but rising costs for subscriptions eventually eroded that number significantly.

The Journal tried to compensate for this by bundling printed and digital editions together, as each magazine offered unique content from a different perspective. This had varying degrees of success, helping to lower digital costs for subscribers who continued to support the print edition.

The company also released a mobile app in 2004, which sent stock updates and personalized news directly to a user’s smartphone. The Journal also attempted another appeal to consumer finance news junkies with the return of the long-abolished Saturday edition.

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Facebook page.