The Wall Street Journal is fronting its new "Speakeasy" website with perhaps the sultriest headcut it has ever run, a stipple portrait of hotshot young reporter Rebecca Dana. At least the paper nailed one part of it's blogging strategy!
You'll recall Dana as the report who parted ways with a plum new job at the New York Times in 2007 after joking she was going to "kick [future colleague] Bill Carter's ass." She later did kick Carter's ass, at the Wall Street Journal, except with a scoop about Katie Couric that never came true. Whoops! (In fairness, it could be argued that Couric was going to leave the Evening News after the election, as Dana reported, but was aided by her devastating interviews with VP nominee Sarah Palin, interviews that may have shaped the course of the election.)
Media reporter Dana has perhaps grown more sophisticated with time, at least judging by changes in her facade. Compare the chic woman in the headcut up top to the t-shirted girl in the picture at left, disseminated in 2006 (via). (UPDATE: Dana "hates" the headcut, see bottom of post.)
The new headcut at least represents a clueful bit of marketing for Speakeasy, which the Journal doesn't seem to know what to do with. WSJ.com's managing editor can't even decide whether to call it a "blog," preferring the term "real-time column," terminology as charmingly anachronistic as "horseless carriage," as Steve Yelvington pointed out.
And the blog's — er, column's — content hasn't yet lived up to the breezy, indiscreet tone implied by its logo, which features a Martini olive; or to the mission as it's apparently been described to Journal reporters: they are to pass on tidbits overheard at parties, we hear, a tricky proposition for writers trying to impress sources with their journalistic diligence.
A sizzling headcut, in comparison, provides a less complicated sort of entrée.
UPDATE: Dana, writes, "Aaahhh, I hate it!!!!!!" So it would appear the stipple-portrait paparazzi are out of control. Either that or her editors insisted on the sultry/spy headcut. For the record, here's how Dana actually looked as of last year.