Guardianistas: The Wall Street Journal’s Trump problem

Dozens have left the paper in the past year and interviews with current and ex-staffers show outrage over pressure from management to normalize Trump

On Monday 13 February, just over three weeks after Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Wall Street Journal’s editor-in-chief Gerry Baker held a town-hall style meeting in the paper’s midtown Manhattan newsroom amid mounting concern about the WSJ’s coverage of the new president, which many staffers felt was too soft and too quick to downplay controversies.

Poor morale underscored by two rounds of buyouts since September had been exacerbated by the recent departure of one of the paper’s number-two editors for the arch-rival New York Times. But the meeting meant to reassure the newsroom only heightened tensions.

“Instead of clearing the air about the legitimate concerns of editors and reporters about balanced coverage of Trump, Baker led off with a 20-minute scolding about how we were indeed covering Trump correctly, and anybody who disputed that was wrong and wrong-headed,” a recently departed Journal staffer told the Guardian. “That pretty much took the air out of the room. I and most of my colleagues were disgusted by his performance.”

Share