Journal‘s Metro Coverage vs. NYT‘s: Chatty Cathy Takes On the Grey Lady

The Wall Street Journal has launched its “Greater New York” section, striking its first blow against The New York Times in a newspaper war that should prove an enjoyable spectacle for media onlookers. The two papers’ approaches to metro news contrast sharply; it remains to be seen which will resonate more with readers.

The Journal‘s section brings a heavy dose of gabby human-interest stories. Although there are a few items that could foreshadow inroads into the Times‘ vaunted New York investigative coverage, “fun” pieces like “Rats Mob the Upper East Side,” “Swipe It, Swipe It Good” (“It” being a MetroCard), “Pasta Power Play Hits City” and “Salt Assault Gets Allies” outnumber harder works like “Police Let Terrorist Slip Through,” “State Weighs Emergency Borrowing” and “Killings Stir Harlem Fears.” Combined with the space devoted to advertisements, local real estate, sports and gossip (that last on a dedicated “Heard & Scene” page), the section’s overall effect is one of a hybrid between a broadsheet and a tabloid. Based on the first day’s offerings, it’s hard to imagine the Journal could — or would even want to — deliver a game-changing story like the TimesDavid Paterson coverage, for example.

The Times, meanwhile, looks much the same as it ever did. Even its subway coverage goes ultra-granular, as seen in today’s stop-by-stop breakdown of MTA ridership. Other top stories include a look at New Jersey Governor Christopher Christie’s fight with teachers’ unions and a study showing young New Yorkers make a lot of money. The paper did not offer any coverage today of the Upper East Side’s rat situation, and the news-to-ads ratio is much higher.

So far, the differences between the two papers’ approaches to the New York beat are palpable both in terms of tone and content selection. We’ll have to wait to see whether the Journal‘s take lures readers away from the Times.

But don’t take our word for it. After the jump, tables of contents for both The Wall Street Journal‘s and The New York Times‘ metro coverage.

Table of Contents for The Wall Street Journal‘s ‘Greater New York’ Section:


• “Police Let Terrorist Slip Through,” by Sean Gardiner
• “State Weighs Emergency Borrowing,” by Jason Gershman
• “Rats Mob the Upper East Side,” by Andrew Grossman
• “Angels Slide Past Yankees, Handing Bombers First Series Loss of Season
• “Fifth Avenue Gem Is Back on Block,” by Lingling Wei

A22 (City News):

• “Swipe It, Swipe It Good,” a how-to guide for swiping one’s MetroCard, by Ralph Gardner, Jr.
• “Aureole,” a “Lunchbox” item by Melanie Garayce West
• “State Leaders Weigh Emergency Borrowing” (from A21)

A23 (City News):

• “Killings Stir Harlem Fears” by Joel Stonington
• “Brooklyn School Tapped for Math Program” by Barbara Martinez
• “Blotter: Three-Year-Old Unharmed After Wandering Streets” by Joel Stonington
• “Blotter: Unidentified Body Found in Water Under Bridge” by Joel Stonington

A24 (City News):

• “Pasta Power Play Hits City” by Sumathi Reddy
• “Salt Assault Gets Allies” by Michael Howard Saul and Ilan Brat
• “Mayor Shoots for Peace” by Devlin Barrett
• “Regional Watch: Cellphone Service Planned for Grand Central Terminal” by Andrew Grossman
• “Regional Watch: MTA Weighs Cameras in Bus-Only Lanes” by Andrew Grossman
• “Regional Watch: Cub Loses Way, Finds College Campus” by Joel Stonington


• Macy’s ad!

A26 (City News):

• “The Ultimate Walk-In Closet: Christie’s Offers Art Storage in Brooklyn” by Kelly Crow
• “City Drives Car-Share Plan” by Michael Howard Saul
• “Army of Rats Swarms Upper East Side” (continued from A21)


• Delta Airlines ad!

A28 [no title, but is a real-estate page]:

• “Sale of 666 Fifth Poses Test” by Lingling Wei
• “Mark Hotel Left With Empty Feel” by Craig Karmin
• “The Assessor: A Tribeca Penthouse for $28 Million” by Maya Pope-Chappell
• “The Assessor: Manhattan Sees Gains in Condos” by Constance Mitchell-Ford”


• NYU Continuing Education Ad!

A30 (Heard & Scene):

• “Donor of the Day: ‘Precious’ Backers Give $1.3 Million for City Teens” by Shelly Banjo
• “Artful Buffet in Brooklyn” by Marshall Heyman
• “Trading Stock: From Bashes to B-School”


• Jersey Boys Ad!

A32 (Arts & Entertainment):

• “Just Opened: Broadway’s Unfulfilled ‘Promises’” by Terry Teachout
• “Met Hosts Memorial to ‘Gates’ Artist” by Pia Catton

A33 (Arts & Entertainment):

•”Auction House Turf War Comes to Midtown” by Erica Orden

A34 (Sports):

• “New York Football’s Odd Couple” by Matthew Futterman and Aditi Kinkhabwala
• “Heard on the Field: A Two-Sport Threat at the Meadowlands” by Aditi Kinkhabwala
• “Heard on the Field: Modell Not Counting on LeBron’s Arrival” by Vanessa O’Connell
• “Heard on the Field: Pick Is Just Ryan Cornering the Market” by Kevin Clark
• “Take a Number” statistics roundup

A35 (Sports):

• “Are Pinstripes Killing Vazquez?” by Darren Everson
• “My New Ground Rules” by Jason Gay
• “Mets’ New Slugger Bay Is All About Hills and Valleys” by Mike Sielski

Table of Contents for The New York Times‘ ‘New York’ and ‘Sports’ Sections”

‘New York’


• “Stop by Stop, Subway’s Decline and Growth in 2009” by Michael Grynbaum


• “Governor Christie vs. the Teachers: Nastiness in New Jersey” by Peter Applebome
• “New Yorkers Earn More, Early On, a Study Shows” by Patrick McGeehan


• “Low Income, Top Scores: A School Defies the Odds” by Sharon Otterman
• “Prosecutors Seek an 8-year Term for Bruno” by Nicholas Confessore


• “From New York Harbor’s Depths, Muck to Restore Islands in Jamaica Bay” by Sam Roberts


•”For Gardener, Love of a Park Comes With the Job” by Kareem Fahim
• “It’s Hard to Capture a Diverse City in 10 Questions” by Fernanda Santos
• “Questions Surround a Delay in Help for a Dying Man” by A. G. Sulzberger and Mick Meenan
• “He Is New York’s Mayor, but Bermuda Shares Custody” by Michael Barbaro (continued from A1)
• “St. Vincent’s Is Putting Building On Market” by Christine Haughney
• “Metropolitan Diary



• “With Derby Favorite Scratched, His Trainer Faces a Stark Reality” by Joe Drape
• “Rivera’s Understated Elegance” by Harvey Araton
• “Bred to Seek Blood” by Juliet Macur


• “Sounds of Baseball in New York” by Richard Sandomir


• “Pelfrey, Then Cloudburst, Close Out the Braves” by Joe Lapointe
• “After Girardi Is Not Decisive, Morales’s Homer Is” by Ben Shpigel
• “Price Lifts Rays But Isn’t Only One Throwing Strikes” by The Associated Press


• “Tennis Roundup: U.S. Surges in Fed Cup; Italy Awaits in Final” by The Associated Press
• “Tennis Roundup: Clijsters Could Miss French Open” by The Associated Press
• “Tennis Roundup: Verdasco Wins Barcelona Open” by The Associated Press
• “Sports Briefing: Streak Ends for Kenyan Men in London” by The Associated Press
• “Sports Briefing: Late Birdies Lead to Second PGA Victory” by The Associated Press
• “Sports Briefing: Chelsea Stays Ahead of Manchester United” by The Associated Press
• “Sports Briefing: Once-Suspended Kazakh Wins Belgian Race” by The Associated Press
• “Scoreboard,” a stats chart


• “Strides, Often Painful, but Always, Always Forward” by George Vecsey
• “Workouts Meaning Less at Draft” by Mike Tanier
• “Giants Invite a 33-Year-Old Collegian to Rookie Camp” by Judy Battista


• “Cavaliers Overwhelm the Bulls, With James Providing the Muscle” by Jonathan Abrams
• “Wade’s 46 Help Heat Avert Sweep by Celtics” by The Associated Press
• “Coyotes Weather Storm, Pushing Wings to Game 7” by Jeff Klein
• “Roundup: With Late Goal, Canucks Finish Off the Kings” by The Associated Press
• “Roundup: Sharks Get to Rest” by The Associated Press
• “Roundup: Hossa Cleared” by The Associated Press


• “Less Distance, More Practice” by Bill Pennington
• “Sex Scandal Is New Crisis for Troubled French Team” by Nadim Auth
• “Harvick Ends Winless Drought, but Just Barely, at Talladega” by The Associated Press