Coverage of global news will become one of the top three priorities at The Wall Street Journal, in line with its top editor's belief that international coverage is essential to the survival of American media.
Robert Thomson, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones & Co., a subsidiary of News Corp., and managing editor of the Journal, gave the keynote address at the South Asian Journalists Association's annual convention in New York City. In his speech Friday morning, he outlined the media conglomerate's plans to boost its coverage in South Asia, including expansion of its bureau in India.
This, and the plans announced Thursday of key management changes including the appointment of Nik Deogun as the paper's international editor and a deputy managing editor, continues the change in focus and direction for the paper.
"We may be in the midst of a credit crisis... but the two defining trends of our age [are] digitization and globalization," Thomson said.
Already, the Journal has added four pages for international news at $6 million a year, to ramp up its coverage and make it competitive to the New York Times and the Financial Times.
Dow Jones also plans to explore the potential of software technology that would allow it to be part of India's mobile frenzy.
"South Asia is the Fleet Street of the future," Thomson said.
He also expects to capitalize on the growing number of news consumers in South Asia. He said the Journal would eventually have millions and millions of readers in South Asia or he would have failed in his task.
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THESE VIDEOS: Watch Nikhil Deogun, newly-minted international editor of the WSJ, introduce his boss; and listen to the first three minutes of Thomson's keynote. You can watch several short videos of Thomson's speech here.
Thomson, who previously was editor of The Times of London and U.S. editor of The Financial Times, said newspapers worldwide were under a digital duress.
He sees a future when digital revenue would compensate the decline in readership of newspapers.
But that doesn't mean the Journal as we know it, in a print form, would go away. Thomson said the paper's readership has increased contrary to industry-wide trend.
"As long as you have a body of trustworthy, high quality content the user will find you," Thomson said. "In the old days of retailing, people used to say the customer is always right. In the new age of digital content, the customizer is always right."
What do YOU think? Post comments below. PHOTO: Kashisht Shrestha / SAJA photo blogger