“Wall Street Journal” Reporters Have Concerns About Misinformation on Their Own Paper’s Opinion Page

In a letter they cite a "lack of fact-checking and transparency"

A Wall Street Journal newspaper opened to the Opinion section
The battle between fact and opinion is raging at the "Wall Street Journal."
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The reporters at the Wall Street Journal are asking tough questions about the line between journalism and opinion.

Their target? The Wall Street Journal.

In a letter to new publisher Almar Latour, over 280 reporters, editors and employees at the publication and Dow Jones shared concerns about the paper’s Opinion pages. “Opinion’s lack of fact-checking and transparency, and its apparent disregard for evidence, undermine our readers’ trust and our ability to gain credibility with sources,” the letter reads. A recent op-ed by Vice President Mike Pence was used as one example; the coronavirus opinion piece later had to be corrected.

The letter proposed better labeling of editorials and opinion columns online, a stated demarkation between the Opinion and newsroom pages, removing Opinion pieces from the “Most Popular Articles” and “Recommended Videos” lists on the website (while creating a separate “Most Popular in Opinion” list) and a promise that reporters will not be reprimanded for writing about errors published in Opinion, “whether we make those observations in our articles, on social media, or elsewhere.”

The criticism of the opinion section follows recent and related moves at other publications, including James Bennet stepping down as editorial page chief at The New York Times and opinion writer Bari Weiss resigning from the Times soon after.

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