We’ve just returned from a fascinating hour in the company of Patience Wheatcroft and Iain Martin, the editor-in-chief, Europe, and the deputy editor, Europe, respectively, of ‘The Wall Street Journal Europe’.
We were particularly interested to hear Patience stress the importance of opinion and analysis in the media. She spoke of how the US print media consider news and editorial comment to be very different entities, handled by different journalistic teams. But taking the time to dissect events seems to be a forgotten art in a UK media market increasingly obsessed with breaking news at speed. “It’s often hard to tell where the news ends and the comment begins,” says Wheatcroft. Her newspaper, therefore, unsurprisingly adopts the editorial philosophy of its US parent, standing back to take a long and lengthy look at the big picture. Wheatcroft believes that readers will happily show the patience (weak pun intended) to wait for in-depth reflection in the printed press, after a story has broken on TV, radio or the internet – as long as that analysis is informed.
It was good for us to hear that opinion from someone of such standing in the industry – Wheatcroft is a 30-year journalism veteran – because we so often encourage our clients to generate informed, issues-led analytical articles. News is ubiquitous but genuine expertise can be a very rare quality indeed.