I got an e-mail from my WSJ/Dow Jones contact yesterday providing a bit of clarification for our piece on the free, sponsored WSJ.com access yesterday. She noted, “While we hope to ‘woo more readers’ to the print and online Journal, it’s the Jan 2. redesign that’s driving this decision….Charles Schwab is the exclusive sponsor of the site’s ‘Open House’ today, leveraging the larger audience WSJ.com will attract during today’s debut of the print Journal redesign and the launch of new online features such as the Markets Data Center.”
So, in other words, the print changes drove the free site access. However, it’s important to recognize changes on the site go hand-in-hand with changes in the paper’s print coverage and design. Those changes in print reflect the need for the publication to keep up with audience needs, and the continuing move towards treating Web as an integral component of the overall news product, rather than merely a place to paste up print stories.
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