Tag Archives: Company Coverage
Donna Terek of the Detroit News writes about all of the freebies available to the auto journalists covering the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
“And that was a fitting gift as espresso was ubiquitous this year. Every other automaker set up a coffee bar to give frazzled journalists a much-needed energy boost.
“Up in the Michelin Media Rooms, journalists were treated to free tote bags and trophy-sized Michelin Man bobble heads, all-day beverages and box lunches and refreshing chair massages by students from Irene’s Myomassology Institute in Southfield. At one point, a mob formed around a woman giving away Powermat wireless charging stations for cell phones.
“At lunchtime, the crowd lined up for a huge sandwich buffet, but it couldn’t compare to the gourmet meal served at the Audi Cafe down on the show floor.
“‘This is the best food at the auto show. I love the chef,’ cooed Tomsic, as he tucked into a giant prawn appetizer followed by beef tenderloin with red wine reduction.”
Daniel Lyons, the technology editor at Newsweek who has written a fake Steve Jobs blog for years, writes Monday that he’s stopping the blog now that the Apple CEO is taking a medical leave of absence.
“Sadly, I’m pretty sure that won’t happen.
“I’m sure there will be stories where some reporter talks to people who know Jobs — his friends, his neighbors — and tries to wheedle out some tidbit of information.
“I fear there will be stories where some dirtbag (last time it was a guy from Forbes) hangs around outside bars near the Apple campus and ambushes half-drunk Apple engineers, asking them if they’ve seen Steve lately.
“I’m sure there will also be stories where a reporter talks to cancer specialists and tries to get them to speculate on what might be wrong with Jobs this time. They’ll talk about life expectancies for people, like Jobs, who have had liver transplants after suffering pancreatic cancer. They will try to make this all seem respectable. They will claim the cancer doc stories represent a kind of ‘teaching moment,’ an opportunity to explain some arcane medical stuff to the regular folk.
“They will rationalize the prying story by saying that Apple is a public company and investors need — nay, deserve — this information.”
Read more here.
Both CNBC and Bloomberg Television are carrying taped programming on Monday due to the holiday. But rival business news network Fox Business has been live and was able to cover the news that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave of absence.
Farhod Manjoo writes on Slate.com about how useless the Consumer Electronics Show going on this week in Las Vegas is for most tech journalists.
Manjoo writes, “The fact that CES is an enormous waste of time isn’t news to tech journalists. In private, gadget reporters will tell you that covering the show is a tremendous hassle and rarely yields any interesting news. But because CES demos make for great headlines and visuals — hey look, Steve Ballmer unveiled a tablet PC even before Apple did! — and because of the sheer volume of new stuff to post about, CES is a boon for gadget blog traffic and a honeypot for advertisers.
“To be sure, I’m very grateful that my reporting colleagues are all out covering the show; in the unlikely event that something of consequence is announced at CES, I’ll happily scour Engadget, Gizmodo, and other sites from the comfort of my home.
“But I doubt that’s going to happen. The last time we saw something interesting unveiled at CES was in 2009, when Palm showed off its Pre phone. (The Pre didn’t actually go on sale until June that year.) But that was a rarity. Most of the groundbreaking products to hit the market over the last few years — the iPhone, the iPad, the Kindle, the first Android phone, the Chrome OS, and pretty much everything else — were announced elsewhere. Apple always skips CES, and even the companies that attend seem to phone it in. Microsoft’s two great products of 2010 — the new Windows Phone and the Xbox Kinect — were nowhere to be seen at last year’s show.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Kevin Osborne, the news editor of Cincinnati CityBeat, writes about the ramifications of the hiring of Carolyn Washburn, formerly the editor of the Idaho Statesman, to be the editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer does not result in any confidence for the future of its business coverage.
Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) wrote in 2001: ‘The Idaho Statesman has a curious definition of ‘fact checking.’ The business editor of the Gannett-owned daily, Jim Bartimo, resigned when he was told that a story he had worked on about Micron Technologies, the area’s largest employer, had to be sent for pre-publication ‘review’… to Micron Technologies.’
“Previously The Statesman‘s business news practices were examined by The Washington Post‘s Howard Kurtz, in articles from January and February 2000. Kurtz’s article revealed that The Statesman reporter covering the Micron beat was married to a Micron employee.
“When Kurtz asked Washburn about the paper’s Micron coverage and whether it was afraid to be too critical, she replied, ‘It’s not that it has anything to do with their being the biggest employer. What we write can affect a lot of people in this community. It can affect the stock price.’”
Read more here. Washburn was a business reporter and business editor of the Lansing State Journal in Michigan from 1984 to 1987 and a business reporter and business editor at the Times-Union in Rochester, N.Y. from 1987 to 1991.
TheStreet.com media critic Marek Fuchs doesn’t understand why the media is falling all over themselves to report the analyst research coming out about General Motors when it is primarily from firms that underwrote its initial public offering.
Henry Blodget of The Business Insider writes about how Bloomberg News is able to get company earnings releases before its competitors.
Blodget writes, “It turns out that some companies don’t want to wait until the 4PM market close to post their earnings online, perhaps because they’re worried they’ll forget. So what they do is post them online earlier, but don’t link to the page from their web sites. This renders the page invisible–unless you know what to look for.
“Humans are creatures of habit, and the humans who post earnings releases on company web sites are no different than any other humans.
“Which means that if the web-page URL for a company’s second quarter’s earnings release was, say: www.disney.com/earnings/Q22010release
“It’s probably a safe bet that the URL for the third quarter’s earnings release will be: www.disney.com/earnings/Q32010release
“So the folks at Bloomberg just set their system up to ping the company’s server constantly in the hours before the press release is due to appear, in the hope that some dolt in investor relations will publish it before the market closes.”
Read more here.
Kosman writes, “Lawyer Robert Zarco, who represents the Cold Stone franchisees, said the program unfairly put the big chill on their businesses by relying solely on a former Florida franchisee Cecil Rolle, who already lost a legal battle against the company making similar, if not identical, charges.
“Rolle says he talked five franchisees out of committing suicide, Zarco said.
“Both the company and CNBC agree Cold Stone was given a chance to participate in the one-hour program — but declined. Rauch, though, said he did not know that CNBC would be reporting the suicide angle.
“A CNBC spokesman said: ‘After the initial airing, Cold Stone reached out to us. Despite having time to talk to the New York Post and others, they have not agreed to a time, date or place for an on-camera interview. Assuming they do, we will include their comments in all future airings in the coming years.’”
Read more here.
Gary Weiss of Portfolio.com writes about former CIGNA PR exec Wendell Potter’s book “Deadly Spin,” which details how the insurance industry used public relations to get what it wanted.
Weiss writes, “But who is to blame for that? At bottom, it’s my colleagues in the media. It’s our job to distinguish between front groups and real ones and to resist the lures of PR spin. ‘PR people cultivate reporters, ostensibly for friendship or mutual benefit, but more realistically for manipulation,’ Potter writes. ‘And in a disturbing trend, reporters can increasingly be cowed by powerful public relations reps because PR controls access to major news-makers in both business and government.’
“The problem is getting worse, he points out, as news outlets lose advertising dollars, de-emphasize investigative reporting, and become ‘increasingly dependent on public relations departments and agencies for content.’ It’s a sentiment that has been expressed before, but is especially refreshing coming from a former PR practitioner who has seen his profession at its worst.
“Potter’s startling and important book has gotten some attention since it was published last month, but hasn’t been reviewed by as many major news outlets as I’d have expected. That’s too bad, because this book is more than just one PR man’s tell-all book about the insurance industry. It’s a wake-up call.”
Read more here.