When Rupert Murdoch took over the Wall Street Journal the Australian media mogul promised a new emphasis on hard news at the fusty business newspaper. No longer would the news stories be constrained by the Journal's traditional six-column layout, relegated to a news-in-brief column or squeezed by those soft 'A-hed' features beloved of the Journal's more writerly writers. But on a day like today the typography and layout of the old Journal would have subdued the CNBC-watching investing public; by contrast the new Journal splashes the latest alarming news on the banking crisis across all six columns as if it were a tabloid on the day that war broke out. To subdue the current panic, the SEC should not only ban naked short-selling; the regulators should also limit the increasingly terrifying size of financial headlines.
(Dean Starkman—a Journal veteran now with the Columbia Journalism Review—says this front page represented the day the financial press "capitulated" to the banking crisis. On another note, isn't the woman advertising Dell laptops—"I want to protect my data"—aspiring to the same repressed librarian look that Sarah Palin has so popularized?)