The Wall Street Journal ...


BuzzFeed reaches over 25 million unique visitors each month.

No doubt, business publications ogle this number, but I didn’t expect The Wall Street Journal to actually try its hand at BuzzFeed storytelling.

Not satisfied with the standard fare that recaps a Department of Labor study on how Americans use their time, the Journal created a slide show that supposedly plays off of the study.

How can I put this gently?

It’s dreadful.

There should be a disclaimer warning readers, “Do not try this at home.”

WSJ Slide 1


WSJ Slide 2


WSJ Slide 3

WSJ Slide 4


WSJ Slide 5


WSJ Slide 6


WSJ Slide 7


WSJ Slide 8

I wonder if anyone at the Journal has figured out that BuzzFeed storytelling is not as easy as it looks.

As Exhibit A, I point to the slide with the “riveting” caption:

  • Americans spend an average of 4 hours and 4 minutes per weekday working, 1 hour and 9 minutes on weekends and holidays. This dolphin works in a traveling dolphin circus in Indonesia.


That’s not amusing, much less funny.

So how did this happen? How did a media property that has 35 Pulitzers end up here?

I’m guessing the Journal’s management team in the quest to improve the financials asked the question: How can we repurpose content with minimal effort to generate more views? And some Einstein delivered a presentation that made a case for riffing on articles with slide shows depicting animals or babies and how interns at slave wages could put together such content.

Maybe the Journal should send its interns to BuzzFeed’s storytelling school.


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