The Rough Guide to the (Free) WSJ

This week the Wall Street Journal online has decided to drop its kimono and allow in anyone and everyone, not just paid subscribers. For those of you who haven’t paid up in the past (the design hasn’t changed much in the last few years), here is a Rough Guide to get you in and out quickly.

The front page is a compendium of breaking news, quirky stuff, and all that the WSJ deems interesting. From there if you want a quick scan of the full paper go down the left column to something called “Today’s Print Edition” and click that — you’ll get a headline-centric view of the entire paper by section.

Next up, I’d jump to the editorial page and to the technology page, depending on your interest. The former is usually entertaining, although it’s worth keeping in mind that the WSJ editorial page is best thought of as an entirely different paper, one that has even taken shots at the newspaper in which it finds itself. The technology section, however, is just good stuff, with reporters like Don Clark and Ann Grimes, plus big-footed columnist Walt Mossberg. They get many “gets”.

After that it’s up to you, other than likely stopping by at Heard on the Street. While that venerable column with its market-participant’s-eye-view of the market that day has changed somewhat over time, it’s still worth reading. 

Happy travels — oh, and don’t forget that the WSJ has bowed in bloggers’ general direction by putting fellow econ-pundit Tyler Cowan (of Marginal Revolution) on stage all this week in an “Econoblog”.

[Update] In comments to this entry Kevin Steyck rightly points out people should also check out the WSJ’s list of that day’s most popular articles. There is a graphic on the front page, but this link should also work.


  1. Kevin H. Stecyk says:

    I would add that readers should have a look at “Today’s Most Popular” feature located on the right hand side of the front page. It provides a list of the top 10 articles.

  2. Once again, I have found the WSJ to be a disappointment. They don’t lean on wires as much as most newspapers, but the commentary tends to be more or less vanilla.
    The web abhors a closed network. WSJ, Lexis-Nexis, etc sooner or later they are all dead. Thank better crawling – its getting easier every day to gather the best data for any query in one place.

  3. A fair comment, and one that I hear all the time. I just spoke with an editor at a very large newspaper a few moments ago who was looking enviously on at the WSJ’s “experiment” this week given his own paper’s paid-subscriber mentality.
    It is, we agreed, very hard to make a general-readership model work when you make your content invisible to spidering. Yes, special purpose pubs for very narrow areas of interest can work as subs-only, but if you are merely pushing stories along, as opposed to mostly breaking them in narrow domains, the deadweight losses in traffic are hard to overcome.

  4. WSJ redux

    Just a quickie here.