Homework assignment: as we have seen before, there is a testable hypothesis to apply to the evolution of the Wall Street Journal.
Hypothesis: Under the ownership of Rupert Murdoch and the editorship of Robert Thomson*, the Journal has deliberately been bringing its news operations into closer alignment with its editorial-page views.
Sub-hypothesis: You don't see this shift in the line-by-line content of the stories themselves but rather in the headlines, subheads, and placement of the stories in the paper. That is, we're looking at editors' work rather than reporters'.
Being hypotheses, these are subject to testing and disproof. The experiment goes on.
* Thomson took broader News Corp editorial responsibilities this year; Gerard Baker is his successor as WSJ managing editor.
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James Fallows is a staff writer for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. He and his wife, Deborah Fallows, are the authors of the new book Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America, which has been a New York Times best seller and is the basis of a forthcoming HBO documentary.