Stories by Chris Roush Chris Roush
by Chris Roush
Quartz, the business news website from The Atlantic, is seeking a full-time Lifestyle Reporter to define and execute a framework for lifestyle coverage that is smart, creative, digital, and global, and implementing it on a daily basis.
The position involves daily writing, and potentially some editing of freelance and staff contributors.
Key to success in this post is an obsessive interest in international lifestyle topics and talent for writing about them with flair and creativity at the pace of a digital newsroom.
For a full description and to apply, click here.
by Chris Roush
Wall Street Journal managing editor Gerard Baker sent out the following staff announcement on Tuesday:
I’m delighted to announce several appointments that will strengthen our investigations team, enhance our data-reporting resources and advance our push into immersive storytelling so that we can broaden and extend our storytelling capacity in the emerging digital era.
Mike Siconolfi is appointed Editor, Investigations, forming a new group that will combine our existing teams of investigative reporters and data reporters under one roof. Mike’s team, working closely with the senior newsroom leadership, will be tasked with producing more and more frequent investigations off news events, developing revelatory running enterprise stories and executing ambitious projects. As part of its mandate, the team will interact closely with editors and reporters across the entire news organization, with a charge to deepen the investigative and data skills of the entire staff. Mike’s team will have one overriding objective: to shine the public light of accountability into the darker recesses of the corporate, political, legal, governmental and financial worlds.
Mike, a 30-year veteran of the Journal, is uniquely suited to this vital role. As a reporter who covered Wall Street and as a deputy in Money & Investing and senior editor reporting to Page One, he has both broken and overseen many memorable stories in the past two decades, including revelations in a bond-trading scandal at Kidder Peabody that triggered the CEO’s ouster and General Electric’s sale of the firm; an investigation detailing collusion in the Treasury-bond market; series on research-analyst conflicts and on IPO “spinning,” which led to multiple investigations and new regulatory rules; the coverage of NYSE pay practices that led to the departure of CEO Dick Grasso; and the insider-trading, political-intelligence and high-speed trading stories we’ve run in recent years. Mike will report to Rebecca Blumenstein.
A crucial component of Mike’s team will be an enhanced data journalism effort that will be led by Tom McGinty and Rob Barry. Expanding our data reporting capability in a data-rich age is a priority, and Tom and Rob and their team will be working with all of you to deepen our data literacy. Tom has been an investigative reporter at the Journal since 2008, where his subjects have included grading abuses in the New York State Regents Exams, class-action trial attorneys who plied state-level officials with campaign donations to secure them as clients and the questionable surgical history of an Oregon spine surgeon who lost his license to practice as a result of the Journal’s stories. Rob has been an investigative reporter at the Journal since 2011, where his topics have included healthcare, foreign and domestic elections, airline safety and student loans. In one memorable piece, he worked with Greg White to analyze Russian parliamentary results that pointed to widespread fraud; more recently, he has worked on a series of stories about trading by corporate insiders and an investigation into the migratory patterns of troubled stockbrokers.
Mike Allen will take on a newly created role as Assistant Managing Editor, Enterprise Projects. Mike led the way into a new arena of storytelling last year with his visionary stewardship of and enthusiasm for the extraordinary Trials project. I’ve asked him to take us much further in using the terrific new tools available to us to tell stories in a digital age, which truly open many new pathways to inform and delight our readers. Mike will bring his own well-known gifts for narrative to the task of building an interactive team that cuts across departments to bring new dimensions to many of our best stories.
Mike got his start at the Journal in 1986 writing about the civil war in Nicaragua, and has dedicated the decades since covering all manner of conflict, foreign and domestic. In the Dallas bureau, his beats included banks, insurers and the PC business. He edited the paper’s first regional publication, Texas Journal, then moved to New York as assistant foreign editor, overseeing coverage of the emerging-market debt crisis. He created a money-laundering beat for the paper and spent the better part of a year getting to know shady people in sunny places, including Antigua financier Allen Stanford. After stints as a Page One editor and Latin America bureau chief, he became deputy Page One editor. As global enterprise editor, he has helped shape some of the most important stories the Journal has produced in recent years, and I am grateful for the work he has done there. In his new role, he will continue to report to Alex Martin.
Please join me in congratulating Mike, Rob, Tom and Mike in their important new roles.
by Chris Roush
CNBC.com posted its best January ever in terms of unique visitors, according to comScore Media Metrix.
The site was visited by 8.7 million unique users last month, up 31 percent compared to the same time period last year.
CNBC.com’s total unique video viewer volume reached a record high of 3.1 million in January, up 247 percent year-over-year.
In addition, CNBC mobile web recorded its highest monthly unique visitors – 6.3 million, up 139 percent year-over-year — in January, according to Omniture.
On the heels of its relaunch, CNBC’s Android application was up 30 percent year-over-year in monthly unique visitors, and January was its second best month ever in terms of this metric.
CNBC’s iPad app posted 451,000 unique visitors, flat compared to last year at this time.
by Chris Roush
Lewis Dvorkin, the chief product officer at Forbes, writes about how the business magazine reacted when it discovered its website had been hacked last week by the Syrian Electronic Army.
Dvorkin writes, “We took quick action on Thursday to lock down the platform, limiting our ability to publish. We made what we thought were corrective adjustments, then reopened the system for staffers and contributors to continue their work. Hours later, it became clear the attack was continuing. Once again we locked down the platform, making additional modifications. It was reopened for the overnight hours. Friday morning brought more of the same, so we decided to shutdown the normal publishing process for the holiday weekend.
“On both Thursday and Friday (and throughout the weekend), Forbes.com itself remained continuously available to the public. Traffic on Thursday was normal for a weekday, as it was for a Friday before a Monday holiday (archival content accounts for an increasing share of our usage). On Friday, we took steps to map computers in our New York office to a ‘safe haven’ server so staff reporters could publish. We set up a special email box for contributors to drop their posts. FORBES producers would grab them and publish them to the contributor’s page. Our loyal contributors eagerly participated in the make-shift process.
“Communication with our audience and contributors became critical, though separating threat from fact took time. We used our Twitter and Facebook pages to notify registered readers of Forbes.com that their email addresses may have been exposed (again, it’s now been confirmed they were). We also published a headline on the Forbes.com home page. Even though passwords used by consumers to log on to Forbes.com were encrypted, we strongly encouraged that they be changed when sign-on became available again. We were in contact with contributors through email and other means.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Bloomberg Pursuits magazine is trying to make a push for a broader audience, writes Alexandra Steigrad of Women’s Wear Daily.
Steigrad writes, “According to Pursuits editor Ted Moncreiff, the title is trying to extend its reach into the women’s fashion market, despite the fact that 60 percent of the magazine’s readers are men. ‘There’s a lot in here for both sexes,’ Moncreiff said of the spring issue, pointing to the fashion spread shot in the United Nations, following the final stages of the building’s $2.1 billion renovation.
“The issue, which will be released by March 15, features a stronger fashion angle, albeit a ‘Bloomberg-ized’ one that centers on workwear.
“Although it isn’t the first recent fashion shoot at the UN — Vogue shot National Security Advisor Susan Rice in its September issue — Moncreiff noted that what’s interesting is that Pursuits was able to gain access to key locations, such as the Security Council Chamber, post-facelift. ‘Nothing was off-limits,’ said the editor, who admitted that convincing the UN to allow Pursuits in to shoot took four ‘long’ months of negotiation.
“Shot by Ralph Mecke on Jan. 9 and 10, the spread depicts scenes from inside the halls of the UN, as well as in front of UN Plaza, and it accompanies a feature on the renovation penned by Justin Davidson.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Carolyn Callison Murray, the editor of the Myrtle Beach Sun News in South Carolina, writes about why the paper didn’t publish stock listings last week, when bad weather hit the state.
Murray writes, “Frequently during such times, newspapers will establish early deadlines to make it easier for carriers to get the print edition delivered, and we established 5 p.m. deadlines for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday’s editions. It worked reasonably well as far as deliveries went, but despite notes published in each day’s edition, by Friday we spent a significant amount of time explaining to readers that no, we have not in fact decided our readers are not smart enough to understand the stock tables and we’ve decided not to run them anymore.
“I’m not kidding, that’s the conclusion one caller jumped atop and shared in a lengthy voicemail message.
“I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to leaping to the worst possible scenario if worrying about the safety of a loved one, but I try to extend good will when something else has caused me to question a less-than-undertandable action by a person or business.
“The stock market closes each day at 4 p.m. Eastern time, but the information doesn’t come to us immediately upon close of trading. It takes the wire service until at least 6 p.m. and usually closer to 6:30 to get the data documented and shipped to us in the format necessary for publication. A 5 p.m. press time meant that we were unable to include that information.
“It was back in the paper by Saturday, where it will remain unless it’s a holiday that closes the exchange (as was the case on Monday) or we have to make another choice between delivering the print edition and including the stock/mutual fund numbers. In that case, we will again err on the side of our delivery times.”
by Chris Roush
Lauren Lawley Head, who had been editor of the Dallas Business Journal since January 2012, has left the American City Business Journals publication to join Success Partners as general manager of Direct Selling News.
Her last day was Friday.
“I have great respect for the DBJ and for ACBJ, and I count myself lucky to have had the chance to spend 15 years with an organization that gave me many opportunities to grow my career,” said Head. “At the same time, I am excited about joining the DSN team and for the growth opportunities ahead.”
Previously, head had been editor of the Pittsburgh Business Times since February 2003. Its reporting team won back-to-back awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2010 and 2011 for its coverage of pharmaceutical company payments to physicians.
“We appreciate Lauren’s many contributions to ACBJ across the years,” said Emory Thomas, the chief content officer at ACBJ, in an email. “She has played important roles in multiple newsrooms for us, and we wish her the very best with her new direction.”
She had also been managing editor of the Dayton Business Journal.
She got her start at ACBJ as a reporting intern for the St. Louis Business Journal in the summer of 1997. When she graduated from college, she joined the Cincinnati Business Courier as a reporter, where she got to cover technology during the height of the dot.com boom and then took on the health care beat.
Head is a University of Missouri graduate.
by Chris Roush
Matthew Dolan of The Wall Street Journal writes about journalist Angelo Henderson, who won a Pulitzer Prize for the Journal in 1999 and who died this weekend at the age of 51.
Dolan writes, “Other stories with his byline delved into the world of styling contests for African-American hair and the tricked-out wheelchairs used by disabled basketball players in the inner city.
“Paul Steiger, the Journal’s former top editor who founded the investigative website ProPublica, called Mr. Henderson’s nearly 3,500-word front page, prizewinning story among the most dramatic the paper ever published.
“‘It provides a harrowing, yet empathetic, look at an attempted drugstore stickup that ended in death—the kind of crime that usually fades from public consciousness after a brief blur of publicity,’ Mr. Steiger wrote in his Pulitzer Prize nomination letter for Mr. Henderson.
“Mr. Henderson’s boss in Detroit remembered the young reporter coming to him one January day to tell him about a small story he had heard about involving a Detroit shooting. ‘I said, ‘What shooting? It is Detroit, there are a lot of shootings,’ said Bob Simison, the Journal’s former Detroit bureau chief.
“But Mr. Henderson was convinced it could be a compelling story for the Journal if he were able to describe what it was actually like for a store owner to shoot a man to death to save the life of himself and his store clerk. In the story, Mr. Henderson was able to convince the reluctant druggist to tell his story. He also spent months tracking down the assailant’s family in Chicago, providing an intimate look at the lingering impact of crime and violence on both sides.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Nicole Perlroth of The New York Times profiles Brian Krebs, a former Washington Post tech reporter whose Krebs on Security blog is the leader in covering cybersecurity.
Perlroth writes, “Mr. Krebs, 41, tries to write pieces that cannot be found elsewhere. His widely read cybersecurity blog, Krebs on Security, covers a particularly dark corner of the Internet: profit-seeking cybercriminals, many based in Eastern Europe, who make billions off pharmaceutical sales, malware, spam, frauds and heists like the recent ones that Mr. Krebs was first to uncover at Adobe, Target and Neiman Marcus.
“He covers this niche with much the same tenacity of his subjects, earning him their respect and occasional ire.
“Mr. Krebs — a former reporter at The Washington Post who taught himself to read Russian while jogging on his treadmill and who blogs with a 12-gauge shotgun by his side — is so entrenched in the digital underground that he is on a first-name basis with some of Russia’s major cybercriminals. Many call him regularly, leak him documents about their rivals, and try to bribe and threaten him to keep their names and dealings off his blog.
“His clean-cut looks and plain-speaking demeanor seem more appropriate for a real-estate broker than a man who spends most of his waking hours studying the Internet’s underbelly. But few have done more to shed light on the digital underground than Mr. Krebs.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
The George Polk Award for Business Reporting will go to Alison Fitzgerald, Daniel Wagner, Lauren Kyger and John Dunbar of The Center for Public Integrity for “After the Meltdown,” a three-part series demonstrating that regulators and prosecutors have failed to hold a single major player on Wall Street accountable for the reckless behavior that sparked the 2008 financial crisis, allowing them to live lavishly in its aftermath and permitting some to resume the sort of investment activity that plunged the nation into a deep and debilitating recession.
In “After the Meltdown” the Center for Public Integrity revisits the subprime lenders, Wall Street banks and government regulators that were most responsible for the crash — and finds few if any have been held accountable.
The George Polk Awards in Journalism are conferred annually to honor special achievement in journalism. The awards, which place a premium on investigative and enterprise reporting that gains attention and achieves results, were established in 1949 by LIU to commemorate George Polk, a CBS correspondent murdered in 1948 while covering the Greek civil war.
The 2013 George Polk Awards will be presented at a luncheon at The Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan Friday, April 11. All of the winners can be seen here.
Read the Center’s story about the series here.