Wall Street Journal provides facts, opens paywall for COVID-19 coverage

By Amber Port

The Wall Street Journal

New York, New York

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By Parth Shah

The Wall Street Journal

New York, New York

Connect   

The global spread of COVID-19 has resulted in unprecedented levels of fear and uncertainty amongst the public. These moments in history lend themselves to a surge in the public’s need for reputable reporting, with legacy newspapers rising to the occasion.

The role of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has always been to provide people with the facts they need, specifically during national and global crises such as this pandemic. The Journal’s balanced, concise approach grants readers clarity, eases concerns, and answers their questions. These questions range from precautions to take for their families to job stability amidst the economy in flux.

WSJ is uniquely positioned to cover this moment in time, as volatile markets, economic uncertainty, and geopolitical tensions shape our environment by the hour. From breaking the news of the mysterious pneumonia outbreak in China to the latest policy and economic decisions in the United States, the Journal’s global team of reporters is committed to informing readers at every turn.

The Wall Street Journal repurposed two newsletters to create its Coronavirus Briefing newsletter for the foreseeable future.
The Wall Street Journal repurposed two newsletters to create its Coronavirus Briefing newsletter for the foreseeable future.

During this pandemic, WSJ has placed all of its public service coverage on coronavirus outside of its paywall, available to anyone in need of this information. Paid social has played an important role in broadening the reach of this free coverage, aiming to provide the facts people look to during uncertain times.

As the WSJ membership team, we are also focused on engaging and retaining WSJ members through candid e-mail communications, PDFs of the daily newspaper, and live newsroom conference calls. WSJ members are also able to share articles with their network, which is encouraged through on-site placements.

As an organisation, we’ve collaborated across newsroom, product, and membership teams to effectively communicate this free information to the public in a timely manner. We’ve developed a set of tools and resources to make accessing relevant articles easier than ever, including a new navigation bar on the home page. WSJ’s free content is available across WSJ.com and its suite of digital products, ranging from a live coverage page to coronavirus special reports and Q&As with journalists.

COVID-19 content in The Wall Street Journal is outside the company's paywall and easily shareable.
COVID-19 content in The Wall Street Journal is outside the company's paywall and easily shareable.

The live coverage page provides both non-subscribers and subscribers with the latest breaking news, while the free special report, The Coronavirus Crisis, is designed to guide readers as they navigate the tricky weeks ahead. The Journal’s health and CMO newsletters have been repurposed to deliver daily briefings on the coronavirus pandemic, which we’ve made available to all and easily shareable across networks. And in the case of delivery interruptions, the team created Today’s Print Edition, a newsletter readers can sign up for to get a PDF edition of the print newspaper sent directly to their inboxes.

In the weeks and possibly months ahead, the WSJ will remain a stable source of objective journalism for its readers. As one person shared, the Journal has “provided a great service for people who really want to know what’s going on and are willing to take the time to understand the challenge.”

We will continue to provide the public with the facts they need as this pandemic evolves and impacts both personal and professional aspects of our lives while we navigate this new normal as a global community.

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