JOURNALIST Q&A: Dave Kansas

If the front page of The Wall Street Journal is one of the best-read places in the media world, then the newspaper's Money & Investing section can't be far behind. A collection of detailed reporting on the investment arena, the section, which was overhauled in 2002, was enhanced earlier this month with the introduction of a new daily feature, "Tracking the Numbers." The section's editor, Dave Kansas, talks to PRWeek about the new look.

If the front page of The Wall Street Journal is one of the best-read places in the media world, then the newspaper's Money & Investing section can't be far behind. A collection of detailed reporting on the investment arena, the section, which was overhauled in 2002, was enhanced earlier this month with the introduction of a new daily feature, "Tracking the Numbers." The section's editor, Dave Kansas, talks to PRWeek about the new look.

PRWeek: What inspired the changes to the section? Dave Kansas: We're always trying to showcase the many great stories that we have in the Money & Investing section. We found that a lot of those stories were getting closer to the tables in the inside of the section and getting a bit hard to find for some people. We thought we would move them up to the front, to make it more like the A section of the paper. So you'd have a strong C1, but also a strong C3 that's a showcase for news stories that are easy for readers to find. PRWeek: Some of the Money & Investing section's new features - such as "Stock Sleuth," which explains unusual trading activity in a stock - seem like elements you'd see in a magazine. Are you going for a change of tone in the section? Kansas: There's a desire among our readers to get more Wall Street Journal analysis of important issues, so it's a part of that trend to provide analysis to the readership in a little bit of a magazine-like format, taking a step back and trying to take a deeper, harder look at something and trying to provide The Wall Street Journal's expertise. PRWeek: It sounds like you're trying to get the word directly from analysts and money managers unfiltered? Kansas: Unfiltered wouldn't be the right word. However, we are attempting to go right to the source of the matter, to get as close to the point of transaction, if you will. As such, we can get real people doing real things in a frank and educational manner, and that will help readers understand the investment world better. PRWeek: How will you go about seeking out the analysts and money managers who will figure in the new features? Kansas: We're always interested in new ideas and new voices. We do have an editor dedicated to managing this space, and we do have reporters who are focused on contributing to it. But we're always open-minded to ideas that would fit the framework of a "Tracking the Numbers" feature. PRWeek: Have you added any staff to contribute to the enhanced section? Kansas: We've hired an editor, Gene Colter, who's been an editor at Dow Jones Newswires. He'll oversee the new feature, along with some other responsibilities, and we're in the process of hiring a new reporter who will focus on these new features and help produce them. But like "Heard on the Street" and other columns, we have the entire editorial staff to write the stories. Name: Dave Kansas Publication: The Wall Street Journal Title: Editor, Money & Investing Preferred contact method: 200 Liberty Street, NY, NY 10281 Website: www.wsj.com

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