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Aug. 21 2009 - 1:20 pm | 10 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

Wall Street Journal launching new paywall business website?

Rupert Murdoch - World Economic Forum Annual M...

Image by World Economic Forum via Flickr

My gorkana email today is just rotten with ads for a “new business Web site,” from Wall Street Journal Online. Well, there’s three ads: Markets editor, Online editor, Senior editor. Though the Online position has multiple vacancies. These days, in journalism, that passes for rotten. Not much detail in the ads, but enough to chew on. From the Online editor listing:

This is a rare opportunity to work on a new site that will further expand the Journal’s online profile. (indeed!) The editor will be responsible for shaping the online experience for several sections of this new business site. (yay, responsibility!) The editor will determine news priorities for his or her sections working with other editors from the Journal and execute that vision using multimedia content from a wide range of sources. (uh oh..) The job requires strong news judgment, a deep understanding of the business world and a sharp sense of what works online. (yay again!) This is not a job for writing or editing stories; (…) It’s about reacting to news and seeing trends in business information and presenting it in a way that informs and enlightens busy readers. (so, blogging?) The job involves a large amount of Web publishing with a high degree of autonomy. (yes, blogging.)

From the Senior editor listing:

This is a rare opportunity to help shape a new site that will break ground in the paid-content arena. . .It involves working closely with teams from technology, product development, business development and marketing to conceive and construct a new WSJ site. This job requires daily, intensive management of a sophisticated online experience; It does not involve writing or managing coverage. (umm, maybe call it something other than Senior editor?)

Oh, the Online posting also says:

Familiarity responding to the information needs of business executives, or experience at a B-to-B publication, is a plus.

So, a new paid-content, B-to-B, non-assigned website from WSJ (not Dow Jones, you’ll notice!) Oh, when I looked up this ad on Dow Jones’ careers site, it was posted on 7/29. Could this new site have to do with Rupert Murdoch’s recent statements on charging for all news content by next year? Or the zany micropayment idea, still, as far as I know, set to debut this fall? Could it have to do with News Corp.’s newly announced desire to form an online news consortium? From the postings, it sounds a lot like the “editors” of this new website will be re-purposing a lot of existing content into some kind of fancy-pants, catered-suite offering for business executives who simply don’t have time for the regular newspaper website. Which sounds for all the world like a paid version of Business Insider. Which certainly is viable as a free site, but paid?

Oh, also, in their pretty terrible punctuation, the job postings all want candidates who know, “what plays online.” If by that they mean what types of stories draw traffic, seriously, Rupert, don’t.


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