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A report to our readers

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The Wall Street Journal’s corporate office has been quiet for the past year, but our journalism is quite the opposite. The usual cacophony – phones ringing, reporters interviewing sources, editors discussing the latest news developments and screens displaying headlines and statistics – has been replaced, at least temporarily, by absolute silence, as most colleagues are working from home again amid the latest Covid-19 spike.

Such tranquility contrasts sharply with the intensity of our coverage: the return of inflation, disruptions to supply chains, the threat of conflict in Europe, rising US-China tensions, the global health crisis, climate concerns, social challenges for employers and the Great Resignation, rising crypto and meme stocks, Big Tech getting bigger, eroding trust in institutions, and fighting for free speech. Emerging trends also demand our attention: the large-scale energy transition, advances in space travel, and the combination of bioscience and massive computing power to unlock a revolution in medicine, to name a few.

Fear and optimism, anxiety and excitement, mistrust and hope. Throughout modern history, the combination of these opposing feelings have been times of ignition and change, ushering in new eras. It is during these times that The Wall Street Journal best fulfills its mission: to be the world’s most trusted source of information, data and analysis to help people make decisions.

While emotions can run high all around us, our reporters and editors constantly keep a cool head and bring you, the reader, facts and analysis without bias or agenda. This unbiased search for truth is so central to our journalism that it is the philosophy of our code of conduct and editorial standards. We stick to the facts, we admit and correct the mistakes we make, and we don’t neglect the topics of our coverage. We back up our conclusions with data. Our business focus on the world stands out even more these days with so much noise and distraction seeping into our lives via screens on wrists, walls and phones.

The result of this commitment is one of our most remarkable stories in years. The Journal’s chief foreign affairs correspondent, Yaroslav Trofimov, told me recently that great power competition on the world stage is in full swing, at a level “not seen since the 1930s”, fueled by the withdrawal chaotic United States of Afghanistan. He added, “American adversaries are testing the limits of American and Western power.”

On the ground in Afghanistan, as the Taliban took control of the country at high speed, Mr. Trofimov was the last of our reporters to leave Kabul and, once the takeover was complete, our first reporter in the field.

As developments on the ground unfolded, the Journal also worked to secure and relocate our Afghan colleagues and their families, vulnerable to Taliban reprisals because of their association with Western media. Mr. Trofimov, along with dedicated colleagues at the Journal and its parent company, Dow Jones, worked tirelessly, rising at 4 a.m. to report and write articles, and from 9 a.m. to help evacuate his colleagues. All of the more than 80 Afghan workers and their family members eventually made it to safety, a journey that required efforts from governments on three continents.

Another stark example of hard-hitting reporting: The Facebook Files, a series of reports that offers an unprecedented window into how Facebook and Instagram pushed the products forward despite having clear evidence of their harmful effects on society, including vulnerable adolescents. The investigation, led by journalist Jeff Horwitz and a team of Journal colleagues, has sparked global discussions and hearings in Congress, as well as additional insiders on social media platforms who have expressed concern about the effects of platforms on society.

Meanwhile, Joanna Stern, the Journal’s senior personal technology columnist, has reported on tectonic shifts in the tech industry in her own unique style, humanizing complex issues through often humorous videos and writing. His mini-documentary on how technology can tell our stories for generations to come won an Emmy, a first for the Journal. She’s also conducted tough interviews with the most powerful players in the industry, breaking down Big Tech’s issues. “We have these ultra-powerful companies, and people need to understand their products,” she told me recently. “At the end of the day, we have to live with these products.”

Reports are vitally important in times of complexity, and the Journal has featured countless other stories with in-depth insights, including an in-depth investigation of federal judges when they had to win by their verdict, reporting on the the high cost and dubious value in the job market of some master’s degrees at elite universities, explaining how small changes can help people achieve their retirement goals, unboxing GameStop mania and much more.

Our colleagues at Opinion have vigorously applied the fundamental principles of the institution of “free people, free markets” to global issues, ranging from withdrawal from Afghanistan to shrinking freedom in Hong Kong, and to domestic issues, from increases taxes and spending plans to voting rights. Our op-ed pages also continued to serve as a forum for a diversity of thoughts: Sen. Joe Manchin first aired his concerns about the administration’s Build Back Better bill in an op-ed, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen weighed in with his views on the debt ceiling. . As the world seems to be entering a new era, the Opinion team itself is changing. One of the Journal’s most widely read columnists, Daniel Henninger, whose thoughtful observations are a constant force in American debate, is retiring as associate editorial page editor after 50 years at Dow Jones. His weekly column will continue.

All that publishing strength has contributed to the best trading performance for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones since News Corp acquired the company 15 years ago. Business is growing at the fastest pace since then.

Today, we reach more readers around the world than ever before. The Journal and its sister publications reach more than 130 million digital users, and millions more including the Apple edition of the Journal and readers of other partnerships. Subscriptions are over 3.5 million for the Journal and over 4.5 million for Dow Jones as a whole, as demand continues to rise as reliable news becomes an increasingly scarce commodity . Ultimately, we believe that anyone in business should meet Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal several times a day because reliable information and facts must be available to inform decisions of all kinds, from investing to navigation on Covid-19.

The future of the Journal lies in investing to grow our unique, high-quality journalism, data and analysis, while ensuring that our current and future clients have access to the information and tools they want, when , where and how they wish.

The coming year will bring expanded market coverage, more personal finance and health stories, continued global journalism, more videos, more podcasts, more data and expansion in key coverage areas, such as energy transition and sustainability. Dow Jones and the Journal announced planned investments of about $1.5 billion in energy-related assets over the past year, the first such expansionary push in nearly two decades, and that will be seen in our upcoming coverage.

As for our offices, our colleagues look forward to seeing each other in person if circumstances permit. The Journal is not immune to what workplaces like yours are likely going through as we work in a changing environment.

We are grateful to the millions of you who trust us. We will continue to experience rugged terrain in the coming year. This will require all of us to be resilient, creative and have access to reliable information. The Wall Street Journal will be there by your side, making sense of it all, helping you make decisions.

Almar Latour


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