Paying Respects To WSJ‘s Boston Bureau

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal announced that it was closing its Boston bureau.

“That there has been truly great reporting under the generalship of Gary Putka out of Boston over many, many years is not in doubt,” Journal managing editor Robert Thomson said in a memo yesterday. “But we remain in the midst of a profound downturn in advertising revenue and thus must think the unthinkable.”

The bureau’s contributions to the business paper, and journalism, won’t be quickly forgotten. The bureau contributed many long-form investigative pieces for the business paper and covered Boston-based mutual-fund firms, education and other local industries like biotechnology. And several reporters based there were part of team that was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for article about stock-option backdating.

Lamenting the loss of the bureau, former Journal reporter James Bandler wrote a letter to Romenesko yesterday:

“People often asked why Boston constantly produced such great work. Was it something in the water? I don’t think so.

It was simple really. The reporters were challenged to look hard for stories outside the daily news scrum. And then to report them. And report and report until they had it nailed.

The death of the Boston bureau is a sad day in journalism. But I know that the hard-working men and women in that bureau will again achieve great things.”

Earlier: More Business Journalism Layoffs: Wall Street Journal Closes Boston Office

(Photo of Boston via Flickr)