The Economist vs. The Wall Street Journal

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Difference between The Economist and The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal is one of the most respected financial publications around and it has been ready by countless millions of people over the years, many of who see it as an essential guide to all things related to economics. That being said, The Economist is certainly no slouch either and some people actually prefer it to the venerable Wall Street Journal. Which one is the better publication? Let's take a look!

The Economist
The Wall Street Journal

Profile

The Economist is a weekly news publication focusing on news and international affairs. Published in the English language, The Economist is owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd., and it has offices in Westminster, England. The Wall Street Journal for its part is an international daily published by Dow Jones & Company, which itself is a division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. The paper has offices in New York City, and it has both Asian and European counterparts.

Origins And Early Years

The Economist was first printed in 1843, as a platform by which opposition to the then new Corn Laws could be advanced. By August 1843, a prospectus for the newspaper had been developed, covering thirteen distinct areas that its editors wished to focus on. The newspaper took on its present name in 1845. The Wall Street Journal for its part started out as a newsletter of Dow Jones & Company. It was published in close to its present form in 1889. The publication gradually gained momentum and increase in circulation over the next few decades, although it would experience a turbulent period in the 1990s due to as decrease in advertising revenues and rising printing costs and it’s disappointing sale to News Corporation in 2007.

Stance

Unlike most other publications, The Economist does not typically print by-lines to identify the authors of its articles. The reason for this is that the editors of the paper feel that the "collective voice and personality matter more than the identities of individual journalists." Consequently, article authors often refer to themselves as "your correspondent" or "this reviewer". In specific sections of the paper, the authors refer to themselves using the name of the section under which they are writing. The Wall Street Journal has a similarly unique stance and approach, stressing the independence and impartiality of its reporters. In fact, the paper is known for having a decidedly polarized staff, with the conservative editorial team often at odds with the more liberal news department.

Summary

The Economist

  • Is a weekly news publication
  • Owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd
  • Has offices in Westminster, London
  • Founded in 1843
  • Changed its name to The Economist in 1845
  • Does not usually print by-lines
  • Efforts at humor have sometimes been perceived negatively
  • Prints better quality articles than those in the Journal

The Wall Street Journal

  • First published in 1889
  • Decrease in advertisers and rising printing costs caused a downturn in the 1990s
  • Has always emphasized impartiality in reporting
  • Has traditionally been characterized by a conservative editorial department and a liberal news department

Which is better?
  • The Economist
  • The Wall Street Journal
 
 

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