Tag Archives: Coverage
Guthrie writes, “But first quarter 2009 could be a harbinger of tough times to come as financial services companies â€” CNBC’s bread-and-butter advertisers â€” are handing out pink slips like Halloween candy.
“According to network president Mark Hoffman, CNBC has continued to book business in the fourth quarter, though it has also taken cancellations. ‘Next year is a little murkier,’ he concedes. ‘We’re in uncharted waters. It’s been called a 100-year storm, and that feels accurate to me.’
“Dire financial forecasts aside, the network plans to capitalize on its current position as must-see-biz-TV. On Dec. 1, CNBC begins rolling out four 30-second promotional spots each week featuring its more than 40 anchors and reporters. The crowning iteration of the ‘I am CNBC’ campaign launched last year, the new spots depict anchors dishing out biographical goodies about themselves. They borrow a page from the American Express ‘My Life. My Card’ commercials that feature Hollywood celebrities such as Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and Ellen DeGeneres spinning yarns about life and career, not to mention how their credit card made everything possible.”
Read more here.
Nancy Barnes, the editor of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, writes Sunday about the paper’s series on rising food prices, which started today.
Barnes writes, “The world’s food markets have never been so interdependent, nor have its trading markets. A development in one part of the world — Chinese consuming more protein — can have consequences for the price of pork in your food aisle. A runup in the price of oil affects the cost of the packaging that goes into a box of Hamburger Helper. Investors, looking for the next sure bet, start pouring money into the futures market for grains, making food just another commodity (like oil) on which to place a bet.
“Any one of these events has a trickle-down effect through the entire food chain, which literally stretches from Papua New Guinea, where palm oil is produced, to your local grocery market. Add them all up and you have the recipe for what seem to be inexplicably higher prices.
“‘More than ever,’ said business editor Eric Wieffering, ‘the price you pay for food is beyond your control. The price you pay depends on what people in other parts of the world are doing.’
“Reporters who worked on this project learned a lot, and they hope our readers come away with a better understanding of how interconnected the world’s food supply is, where the weaknesses in the food chain lie and how these fault lines can erupt in the future with direct consequences for your grocery bill.”
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Sue Stock, the retail reporter for The (Raleigh) News & Observer, recently put together a detailed memo on how to cover Black Friday, the first shopping day of the Christmas season, for the rest of the business news desk.
She’s kindly agreed to share some of it with Talking Biz News readers. Here you go:
TIPS ON COVERING BLACK FRIDAY:
-Wear comfortable shoes, bring a bottle of water.
-Bring two pens because one always dies. Always.
-Do not wear your jacket in the mall. You’ll just get hot and then have to juggle your coat and your notebook.
-Bring your business cards because people don’t believe you’re with the paper.
-Park by one of the department stores. That’s usually the best place.
-Take the photographer’s cell phone number.
-If you’re traveling with the photographer, you will need to check in at the mall office so they know you’re on site. Otherwise, security will freak out. Security may still freak out so make sure you have your N&O ID with you as a back up.
-Great place to find people who have time to talk is at the kiddie play area or in the food court. This also allows you to sit for a minute and makes you less conspicuous. And people like to talk while the eat. They’ll share more.
ON THE INTERVIEWS:
-I know this is elementary, but when you are doing like 20 man on the street interviews in one day, you can tend to get a little lazy with some of them. Trust me… eight years of experience talking here. Ask everyone everything you can think of. Get super full IDs on everyone… town, age, occupation, who they are shopping for, how their spending compares to last year, etc. Who are they shopping with? Get names, ages and IDs on them too. It really really pays to be super super nosy. More so than normal. Because you never know which detail is going to be the one you need, and almost every year, it’s not the one I expected when I was interviewing them.
-Also don’t forget the physical aspects of the shoppers you interview. Which stores are their bags from? How many do they have? Do they look run down or still excited about shopping? Do they have receipts sticking out of their pockets? What are they wearing? If you don’t write it down, you won’t remember which shopper it was by the time you get back to your desk.
-Keep really good notes. It’s really easy to get the people mixed up when you have so many in your notebook. I actually fold the pages down in my notebook to separate people.
-(most important) Get every phone number you can out of them. If they’re shopping with sister, daughter, mother, get those numbers too. A surprising number of shoppers get home from the mall and either leave their phone in the car with all their bags while they go collapse or turn their cell off because they are mentally exhausted. There is always a question you wish you’d asked.
Sack writes, “With a budget that is expected to reach $3 million to $4 million in two years, the project is one of the most ambitious in a wave of nonprofit online ventures that have emerged as newspapers and magazines cut jobs and newsgathering budgets.
“Kaiser, which is based in Menlo Park, Calif., has hired two highly regarded journalists to run the Kaiser Health News, based in Washington: Laurie McGinley, formerly the deputy bureau chief for global economics at The Wall Street Journal, and Peggy Girshman, a top editor at Congressional Quarterly and previously at National Public Radio.
“Ms. McGinley said she and Ms. Girshman plan to recruit a half-dozen full-time reporters and several editors and to contract with numerous freelance journalists. They hope to begin producing original stories early next year.”
Read more here.
Greg Morago writes Thursday for the Hartford Courant how business journalism is taken on more credence with the current economic turmoil.
Morago writes, “That transitional focus to business and financial news has shone a spotlight on media business reporters in print and broadcast. The financial talking heads, business scribes, Wall Street analysts and market-watch hacks are now media’s most visible stars, thanks to the specter of recession. Money stars like Suze Orman, Jim Cramer and Maria Bartiromo have been joined by a crop of eager faces (many of them new to mainstream news consumers), all eager to give their take on the ups and mostly downs of the global economic situation. The stock market tumble and all its repercussions have brought business news and the business reporter front and center.
“‘More than ever, the general-interest reader wants to know about business news and more than ever business news is relevant to everyone,’ said Joanne Lipman, editor in chief of Conde Nast Portfolio. ‘Business news intersects with every aspect of life and that is more true now than ever.’
“Business news now routinely pushes its way to the top of the television broadcast, to the lead story in daily newspapers and the cover story in magazines. It would surprise no one that viewership is up at Bloomberg Television and Fox Business Network or that Internet traffic for business news is soaring (Yahoo Finance, the largest finance site on the Internet, experienced its biggest weeks in viewership last month). For CNBC, the global financial crisis has been a boon. CNBC’s ‘Business Day’ and ‘Market Hours’ both had their best month ever in total viewers and were both up more than 90 percent from last October.”
Read more here.
Seth Mnookin writes in the December issue of Vanity Fair about Norman Pearlstine, the former head of Time Inc’s magazine operations and The Wall Street Journal, who is now aiming to overhaul Bloomberg News, and Matt Winkler, the editor in chief now taking a step back.
Mnookin writes, “Over the past several years, as big-city dailies, including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, have either killed off or dramatically cut the size of their book-review sections, Bloombergâ€™s arts division has expanded its culture coverage with an eye toward placing more of its content in daily newspapers. One of the countryâ€™s metro dailies is looking into outsourcing all of its health reporting to Bloomberg News as a way of meeting corporate-mandated budget cuts without decreasing its coverage areas.
“Finally, after years of what resembled a policy of institutionalized neglect, Bloombergâ€™s multi-media divisions are being beefed up in a major way. In October, the company hired Andrew Lack, the former president and chief operating officer of NBC, to run Bloombergâ€™s Internet and radio operations and its 11 television channels, based everywhere from Germany to Japan. Like Pearlstine, Lack had been enormously successfulâ€”he transformed NBC News into the countryâ€™s highest-rated network news division in the 1990sâ€”and like Pearlstine, he jumped at the chance to join up with an organization that was focused on expanding its reach instead of stanching its losses.
“These ambitious efforts are in part driven by concerns about Bloombergâ€™s near-complete dependence on its terminals. While subscriptions are up around 8 percent over last year, the economic turmoil roiling the country does not augur well for the immediate future of any company that is so intimately entwined with the world of high finance. (Lehman Brothers alone had more than 3,000 subscribers, although some of those users will presumably end up with new jobs.) But diversifying also carries significant risks. By expanding its mandate, Bloomberg News is deviating from a mission that has proved to be so successful for so long: obsessively and single-mindedly providing content for the companyâ€™s core customers. But for the moment at least, it looks as if weâ€™re moving toward a world in which more people will get their information from Bloomberg News than from any other single source.”
Read more here.
Danny Shea of Huffington Post interviewed CNN senior business correspondent Ali Velshi about how the business media has covered the current economic crisis.
Here is an excerpt:
How would you describe the tone of CNN’s business coverage? What tone do you aim for?
The tone that we aim for at CNN is one that addresses the urgency of the matter — that conveys to people who maybe don’t think about money all the time, other than in their personal finances, don’t think of the economy — we’re trying to convey an urgency to them but at the same time not contribute to the panic that they’re feeling because they’re watching their 401(k)s dwindle.
It’s a very interesting road that we have to travel and we try to check that tone on a daily basis. And we really do, I’m not just saying that. We have discussions amongst a lot of our staff: “How do we think that worked, this tone?” “How do we feel we did in terms of conveying the message as accurately and informatively as we could have?”
Read more here.
Jamie Gold, the reader’s representative at the Los Angeles Times, responds Tuesday to a reader who wanted to know why the big increase in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Monday didn’t merit front-page coverage after the big drops last week were on the front page.
Gold writes, “The story about the Dow Jones’ ‘exuberance,’ as the print headline put it, ended up on the front of the Business section. The lead story on Page A1 Tuesday was news of the government’s pumping $250 billion into banks. On Monday, Reza might be encouraged to know, editors had discussed the possibility of putting the Dow Jones story out front on Page A1. But ultimately, as Business Editor Sallie Hofmeister said, whether a story will cheer people or not isn’t really a consideration on where it goes in the paper.
“‘While the market rally is very important,’ Hofmeister said in an e-mail, ‘there was no way of telling yesterday whether this was a one-day blip or a sign that we had hit the bottom. At the end of the day, the news about the banks was more important. We don’t determine the placement of stories based on whether they would cheer people up or not. It has to be based on the merits and the importance.
“‘Markets go up and down and while we were up dramatically yesterday and could have justified putting it on A1, there was too much competition, with the fire and the elections around the corner. Today, the Dow is back down, showing that we are in volatile times that make it difficult to draw a conclusion.’”
Read more here.
Richard Fuld, the CEO of Lehman Brothers, the Wall Street investment bank that filed for bankruptcy court protection, blamed the business media for part of the company’s problems during Congressional testimony on Monday.
New York Times reportersÂ Ben WhiteÂ andÂ Sharon OttermanÂ wrote, “Perhaps with an eye on questions about his public statements, Mr. Fuld stated in prepared testimony that he said ‘what I absolutely believed to be true’ when he remarked in 2007 that the worst of the credit crisis was behind Lehman.
“He attributed some blame to the media in his testimony, saying some coverage ‘has been sensationalized â€” based on rumors, speculation, misunderstandings and factual errors.’
“Mr. Fuld also noted that the same day Lehman filed for bankruptcy protection, the Federal Reserve eased lending requirements for other investment banks, something executives at Lehman say they believe could have saved the bank had it been done earlier.”
Read more here.
“Prisoners of Debt,” a series by BusinessWeek’s Brian Grow, Robert Berner, Keith Epstein and Geri Smith, received the $5,000 first-place award. “The Favor Factory” by The Seattle Times’ David Heath and Hal Bernton was awarded the $2,000 second-place prize.
These awards sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism are named for the celebrated investigative business journalism team of Don Barlett and Jim Steele, which has received two Pulitzer Prizes and numerous other national honors. Judging of the awards is based on that duo’s admonition to break new ground and ‘tell me something I don’t know.’
“In a traumatic year for the news industry and economy, this year’s winning entries prove the importance and relevance of solid investigations by dedicated journalists into excesses of both business and government,” said Andrew Leckey, director of the Reynolds Center. “All entrants in this year’s competition should be commended for remaining true to their professional responsibility to dig deeply into financial issues.”
Read more here to see the list of honorable mentions.