The Wall Street Journal is an American business-focused, international daily newspaper published six days a week. It has been in print since 1889 and is regarded as a newspaper of record for business and financial news. It has won 38 Pulitzer Prizes, the most recent in 2019.
It is one of the largest newspapers in the United States, with a circulation of about 2.834 million copies. It also publishes the luxury news and lifestyle magazine WSJ, and its editorial pages are typically conservative. It has an online version that has been accessible only to subscribers since it began.
Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, first created brief news bulletins called “flimsies” in the 1880s. These were later summarized in a printed daily letter. In 1889, Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser published The Wall Street Journal for the first time and began delivering news via telegraph.
In 1896, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was created as the first index of stock and bond prices on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1899, Charles Dow wrote the first Journal’s Review & Outlook column, which is still running today.
In 1902, journalist Clarence Barron purchased control of the company for US$130,000. Barron’s circulation quickly grew to 50,000 by the end of the 1920s. He was credited with creating an atmosphere of fearless and independent financial reporting. In 1921, Barron’s was founded and remained in the Bancroft family’s control until 2007.
The Journal took its modern shape and prominence in the 1940s. Bernard Kilgore was named managing editor of the paper in 1941 and CEO in 1945, leading it for 25 years. He developed its iconic front-page design, with its “What’s News” digest and national distribution strategy. This helped to increase circulation from 33,000 to 1.1 million when Kilgore died in 1967. The paper won its first Pulitzer Prize under his leadership in 1947.
In 1967, Dow Jones Newswires expanded outside the US and placed journalists in major financial centers around the world. In 1970, they bought the Ottaway newspaper chain which included nine dailies and three Sunday newspapers. The name was later changed to Dow Jones Local Media Group.
From 1971 to 1997, Dow Jones launched, acquired, and entered into joint ventures with many companies including The Wall Street Journal Asia, The Wall Street Journal Europe, the WSJ.com website, Dow Jones Indexes, MarketWatch, and “WSJ Weekend Edition”. In 2007 News Corp. acquired Dow Jones and in 2008 launched WSJ., a luxury lifestyle magazine.
The Wall Street Journal Online was launched in 1996 and has been a paid subscription site since then. In 2018, it had 1.3 million digital subscribers, making it the second most popular paid-subscription news site on the Web. An annual subscription to the online edition costs $443.88, with first-time subscribers paying $187.20 per year. In 2004, Oasys Mobile and The Wall Street Journal released an app that allowed users to access content from The Wall Street Journal Online. In 2005, the Journal launched a weekend edition and reported a readership profile of 60 percent of top management with an average income of $191,000. In 2007, the Journal launched a worldwide expansion of its website to include foreign-language editions.
The newspaper’s editorial page was influential in promoting supply-side economics during the Reagan administration. It argued that a decrease in certain marginal tax rates and capital gains tax could lead to an increase in overall tax revenue. The Journal tends to support fixed exchange rates over floating exchange rates when it comes to economic arguments about exchange rate regimes.
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages and columns have a conservative bent and are influential in establishing conservative circles. The Journal refrains from endorsing candidates, and its editorial page has been critical of many aspects of Barack Obama’s presidency, particularly the Affordable Care Act. It has also criticized the Obama administration’s energy policies and foreign policy.
In 2017, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board called for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to resign from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. This caused fractures within The Wall Street Journal as reporters argued that it undermined the paper’s credibility. In 2021, the editorial board let former President Donald Trump publish a letter with false and debunked claims about the 2020 presidential election.