Monthly Archives: May 2009
Sacramento Bee editor Melanie Sill writes Sunday about a regular column written by Jon Ortiz about state workers and the business of state government that’s drawing an increase in readers in the California state capital.
Sill writes, “Ortiz sees ‘The State Worker‘ as a service, too, and that illustrates how the Internet has helped forge or strengthen direct connections between individual journalists and their readers.
“‘I’ve found that state workers aren’t looking for a cheerleader,’ he told me in the e-mail. ‘They want quick, accurate information and fair analysis of the issues they face.’”
Read more here.
Andrew Dunn, an intern on the business news desk of the Charlotte Observer, writes about using Twitter helps him be a better business reporter.
Dunn writes, “The first thing I did when I was assigned the story about companies using Twitter was to post a question on the site asking for good examples of local businesses with an active presence.
“Within a few minutes, I had 13 names.
“For work, I use Twitter to find sources, set up interviews and encourage more people to read my stories. I keep up with journalists at competing publications and search for story ideas and leads.
“To get news from around the country, I simply follow publications I like. If I miss something important, I can count on the other people I follow to get it in front of me -â€“ like rumors about the provost of UNC Chapel Hill leaving to become chancellor at Kansas (which came true).”
Read more here. Disclosure: Dunn isÂ a student in the business journalism program at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Barron’s editor and publisher Edward A. Finn Jr. writes in the latest issue about a redesign of the business weekly’s Web site.
Finn writes, “You’ll find breaking investment news near the top of the homepage, and more important, a new feature that gives you Barron’s view on a top story each day.
“Written mainly by veteran Barron’s writer Tiernan Ray, ‘Barron’s Take,’ as we call it, will in effect put you inside our newsroom. In the past few weeks, Tiernan’s made important calls on Tiffany, Hewlett-Packard, Infosys and Bank of New York Mellon, to name a few. ‘Barron’s Take’ is a feature worth checking out, especially if you’ve ever seen an important investment story and wondered, ‘What are the folks at Barron’s thinking about this?’ The timing varies, but most days, you’ll find ‘Barron’s Take’ posted on the top of the home page by 1 p.m. It will be free for a limited time, then available only to subscribers of Barrons.com.
“The man behind ‘Barron’s Take’ and a lot of other improvements on Barrons.com is Greg Bartalos. Greg worked as a senior editor for Barrons.com from 2001 to 2005, before leaving for three years to work as news editor and assistant managing editor of Yahoo! Finance. We were delighted to have Greg rejoin us as editor of Barrons.com in January. He has been instrumental in putting Barrons.com closer to the news and in working with Barrons.com general manager Gail Griffin on the site redesign. In coming months, Greg will develop community aspects of Barrons.com. As a first step, subscribers will soon be able to post comments on Barron’s stories.”
Read more here.Â
There is a world after business journalism, attests Victoria Manley, the former business editor of the Monterey County Herald in California, who left her job last year to pursue a career in the movies.
A brief in the Herald on Saturday states, “‘Up’ is the first Pixar film credit for The Herald’s former reporter and business editor, Victoria Manley. She got out of the journalism profession more than a year ago after following her animation dream on a path that led to Pixar.
“Manley, a former Aromas resident, is the assistant to the director/legal coordinator for the film.
“She reports that the past few weeks have been ‘crazy,’ with the film’s first showing at Skywalker Ranch, followed by the wrap party and the premiere in Los Angeles. But the work itself? Sublime.
“‘I can’t imagine a smoother operation,’ she said. ‘All ended on time, in budget, with nothing compromised.’”
Read more here.Â
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports Saturday that there have been layoffs at the Pacific Business News, the American City Business Journal paper on the islands.
A brief states, “Three employees were laid off from weekly business journal Pacific Business News yesterday as the recession continued to take its toll on advertising-supported media.
“Reporter Cathy Cruz-George, daughter-in-law of a newsroom manager; a longtime copy editor with more than 19 years’ service, and a graphics department employee were cut, according to a source close to those involved.
“Publisher Larry Fuller was not available, and Editor Jim Kelly declined comment.”
Read more here.
Talking Biz News posted an item last week about a new song called “Becky Quick” after the CNBC anchor from a Tennessee-based band called 40 Watt Moon.
You could listen to the song, but not see a video. Now, due to popular demand, the band has made a video available.
My favorite lyric: “Becky Quick — you’re the coolest chick I know.”
David Pierson, a Los Angeles Times business reporter, has joined the paper’s Beijing bureau to cover business issues in that country.
A memo from deputy business editor Marla Dickerson states, “A member of The Times Business section, heâ€™ll be covering business and economic issues in one of the worldâ€™s most dynamic economies. China is Americaâ€™s factory floor and Uncle Samâ€™s banker, and Beijing is seeking a much more assertive role in shaping the future of the world financial order. David will be our point man covering Chinaâ€™s economic rise, and the implication for the United States.
“David started at The Times in 2000 as a METPRO, and has covered cops, education and the San Gabriel Valley. He joined the Business staff last fall as a regional economics reporter. David is a graceful writer whose front-page efforts include a Column One profile of an Alhambra Big Boy diner-turned-Asian-noodle joint and what happens to public officials who mess with the Girl Scout-cookie mafia.
“David was born in Hong Kong and raised in New Jersey. He studied journalism at St. Johnâ€™s University in New York. He previously worked at Newsday.”
Read more here.
Fortune magazine columnist Stanley Bing — a pseudonym — is one of the best business writers today at using humor and sacrasm to make his point. His column has the coveted back page spot in each issue.
Software giant Microsoft Corp. announced this week a search engine called Bing that it will compete with Google.
That’s got Bing — the columnist, not the search engine — hopping mad. He released a statement on his blog. It reads, in part:
“Stanley Bing, FORTUNE Magazine columnist and best-selling author, today expressed ‘moderate outrage’ at the branding of the new search engine to be offered by Microsoft, also to be called Bing. At the same time, Bing the Author took the unusual step of offering an initial olive branch to Bing the Search Engine, proposing that the two powerful brands merge into one for which Mr. Bing could be the logo, corporate symbol and spokesman, to the extent that it fits in with his other duties.Â
“‘This is an unprecedented case of brand intrusion by one of the most powerful and wealthy corporations in the world,’ said Bing the Author, as opposed to Bing the Search Engine, which, unlike Mr. Bing himself, cannot be called for comment because it is not a person. ‘At the same time, I believe I can propose a solution to this problem that with work to the benefit of both Bings, me and the other one,’ he added.”
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Fox Business Network will spend the bulk of its coverage next week exploring the increase in government spending to prop up the economy and what that means to the average consumer. They’re calling it “Red Ink Week.”
Leading that coverage will be anchor David Asman, who will have special reports on his “America’s Nightly Scoreboard” show each day. Asman has investigated the effects on the economy, the taxpayer and individual states, interviewing politicians, industry experts, business leaders and small business owners.
Asman talked Friday afternoon to Talking Biz News about the upcoming reports. What follows is an edited transcript of that conversation.
1. Why did Fox Business decide to give some much time to this topic?
The sort of philosophy behind Fox Business is you have to stay within your means, whether it’s on a personla level, which Dave Ramsey addresses better than anyone else does, and if it’s good enough for the individual, it should be good enough for the government. What we’re saying is that the government is no longer repsentative of the advice it’s giving to individuals about being more careful with their money.
It’s more than just sort of the traditional looking at pork projects and waste and fraud. It’s saying that we have to restructure, in a very fundamental way, the way government works as a representative of the people and people’s desires. That hasn’t been addresed by either party. Republicans can spend as frivolously as Democrats.
The whole ides of what the government has been doing and what it feels it’s entitled to do needs to be addressed. On “Scoreboard,” we’re going to start by describing the problem, the way the federal government has gotten out of control. On the next night, we’re going to focus on state spending. And then we’re going to work our way into how to deal with all of this, both as a nation and as an individual. We don’t just want to explain the problem; we want to offer some solutions.
2. Were you surprised by anything that you discovered in the reporting?
We’re still reporting. We’re laying out the architecture for the week. I grew up in Washington, so it’s not unfamiliar territory for me. I have a background in covering this whole area, and it’s one of Roger Ailes’ favorite topics. It’s something that he loves to talk about and thinks is really critical to talk about.
3.Â How can you tellÂ this complicated story effectively?
The great thing about television news is that you have the time to do it. My father was a television producer who worked for NBCÂ from 1961 to about the mid-1990s. Before that, he was with CBS News and Walter Cronkite. So I grew up with television news, but I was dissatisifed with it because of the superficial nature,Â so I avoided it. It’s why I focused first on print with magazines and The Wall Street Journal. It wasn’t until Roger came to me in 1996 and said he was starting Fox News and said he was going to get in depth on topics. I wasn’t quite convinced. I did make the jump in 1997.
With a new channel, particularly one focused on business, we have so much time in the course of a day, you can really get in-depth with subjects. It will culminate with the “Scoreboard” show at the end of the day.
4. What was your personal interest in covering the story?
I did grow up in DC. Like most teenagers in the ’60s and ’70s, I was more of a liberal than I was a conservative until I began to see where all of the money was going. Building after building after building with bureaucrats shoving paper around. Â There is such a vast bureaucracy that sucks money. It may start out as a well-meaning idea or project, but at the end, the idea has been compromised by the bureaucrats and the interest groups who see a way to make money for themselves. So many of our tax dollars are going right into their pockets.
5. You used to work at The Wall Street Journal. Compare and contrast your reporting there to what you do now at Fox Business.
There is such a difference. Television is a different medium to work in than print. You use twice as much energy in television as you do in writing. Roger has us working 14 hours a day, so by those calculations,Â I am working more hours a day than there are. You have to multitask. I am working on three shows during the course of the day, so you know how to divide your attention in a way that you don’t when you’re working on one article. You use a different area of your brain.
6. What’s your impressions of how Fox Business is doing?
I think it’s doing great. I saw the startup of Fox News, and we’re exceeding all of our projections in terms of how many homes weÂ want to be in and how many viewers we have. There are times when we are beating CNBC. In terms of our reach andÂ our market share, I think we’re doing great. In terms of the content, I think we’re doing great as well. Roger is a very hands-off kind of guy. He hires who he likes and then he lets you go.Â He is a lot like Bob Bartley, formerly editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal.
7. What do you think Fox Business does better than CNBC?
Thinking of people than just other than those folks on Wall Street. We love capitalism. I think most of the people here do. But I also love the guys who are not as empowered as the billionaires and the millionaires. I like folks who are just starting out, but they don’t have the money. They have the enthusiasm and the ideas. We’re trying to broaden the idea of what is business news. I don’t think the other folks really care about anyone else than the people who care about what stocks are doing during the day.
When a lot of people are getting out of stocks, it’s even more important to broaden the base.
Marek Fuchs of TheStreet.com posts a video about how business journalists didn’t question Dell’s recent one-time charge for “organization effectiveness” since it expects to take similar charges in the future.