Tag Archives: Information
by Chris Roush
Mark Katches of CaliforniaWatch.org writes how Fresno Bee business reporter Tim Sheehan‘s trip to Spain to look at its bullet train system and how it might work in California was funded by 12 different news organizations that will all publish his work this weekend.
Katches writes, “The reporting trip cost about $4,000. At a mid-sized regional newspaper like The Fresno Bee, that type of price tag might have put an international trip out of reach – especially in this economy. But The Bee wasn’t going it alone.
“Twelve news outlets across the state pooled resources to fund the trip – most pitching in about $400. (The smallest organizations with less than 40,000 circulation chipped in half that amount.) Joining The Fresno Bee and California Watch were The Bakersfield Californian, The Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco Chronicle, U-T San Diego (formerly The San Diego Union-Tribune), The Orange County Register, The Modesto Bee, The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise, KQED Public Radio, The Tribune of San Luis Obispo and the Merced Sun-Star
“All of these partners will publish or broadcast Sheehan’s stories starting Jan. 15. California Watch, which is part of the Center for Investigative Reporting, produced a video with footage taken by Sheehan. We also created graphics for the group.
“The trip was a major step forward in a growing collaborative effort by California news organizations to cover high-speed rail in a way that makes good business sense.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Jeff Bercovici of Forbes.com reports that The Atlantic business news site is expected to launch later this year.
Bercovici writes, “The company has begun hiring in preparation for a mid-2012 launch. The site doesn’t yet have a name, but, unlike the Atlantic Wire, it will be a pure standalone brand, says Atlantic Media president Justin Smith. ‘It’s safe to say this will be the biggest launch we’ve attempted,’ he told me in December.
“At the time we spoke, Smith had yet to hire an editor in chief for the new property, but that appears to have changed: Kevin Delaney, managing editor of WSJ.com, is leaving the News Corp.-owned paper to head up an unspecified, secret project at Atlantic, reports Kara Swisher. Reached by phone, Delaney confirmed that he’s going to work for Atlantic Media but said he was unable to discuss exactly what he’ll be doing there.
“Meanwhile, Smith, contacted today, had no comment about Delaney, but here’s what else he told me in December about the new site: In broad outline, the concept hasn’t changed much since the company shelved it in 2010 to focus resources on overhauling one of its other brands, the National Journal Group. ‘There’s this accelerating globalization of the economy, and a growing marketplace of executives looking for content, insights, tools and services on how to engage with this increasingly global economy,’ explained Smith.
“With the economy sputtering and forecasters predicting slower-than expected growth in ad spending, it might not seem like the ideal time to be pouring money into a new venture that will have a full-time staff of 25 by the time hiring is complete.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Another Talking Biz News society correspondent has provided this take on the 69th annual Financial Follies, hosted Friday night by the New York Financial Writers’ Association at the Marriott Marquis:
There was one punch line — one wonderful punch line — from the Follies that made it all worth it.
And I only half remember it. I can’t recall the set up, or what came after but it doesn’t matter. It ended with John Corzine, the disgraced former Chairman and CEO of MF Global, being called a “Stupid MF-er.”
The line sent my table into a tizzy. How had this phrase not been used 100 times already since the scandal broke we wondered? And if it had how had none of us had heard it before? It was so obvious! So beautiful. A joke for us business news nerds. And wanted to hear more, except, well. we didn’t really hear that. We saw it on the teleprompter.
That’s because we couldn’t hear anything at all. I don’t know if it was the microphone system, the drunks shouting in the room or the acoustics, but the dancers and vocalists on stage might as well have been mutes for all we knew. Conversations arose at my table, and I assume every other table, about how you couldn’t hear anything, which had the effect of drowning out the performers further. The dancing seemed on point. The mock news video clips looked like they were probably funny.
But if you can’t hear it, well than you just can’t hear it. But does anyone REALLY come for the show? Plus, we already got the golden “Stupid MF-er” joke. Did we really need to hear anymore? You can only go down from there.
So how did the Follies compare to follies of the past? It was exactly the same. Same menu, same jokes about the U.S. borrowing money from China, the same nerdy reporters spending the night bringing up Dodd Franks and Italian debt yields and then trying their damnest to stop talking about Dodd Frank and Italian bond yields. The same occasionally drunk fund managers and annoyed flacks who leave as soon as their guests are tipsy enough to wander off on their own.
But so what? No matter what anyone says there will always be something special about being inebriated in the middle of Time Square while wearing gowns and tuxedos, and there was magic in the air. And in a land of drunken nerds, there are no nerds.
It was the follies of course, the one day PR professionals host journalists they pretend to like at the Marriott Marquis so the real star of the night was the wine. As long as cups were filled there were no complaints. And from start to finish oh, how it flowed, especially with rumors flying that there might not be any open bars to top the night off with once the main event was over. Slurred speech was widespread.
One graceful reporter allowed another reporter to borrow his tuxedo vest to cover up copious wine stains, while a fixed income investor holding a glass of wine had problems remembering and this was at a preparty. When the show was over bands of vulture’s roamed abandoned tables to procure whatever unused wine was left over.
Near the end of the event there was furious texting of one last rumor of one last open bar. Well, it was open if said you were invited by Brunswick. So we were all with Brunswick of course, and the magic continued late into the night.
As reporters filed out at the end there was some snickering about reports of Occupy Wall Street Protesters who came to protest the event, but ended up at “Follies” the musical instead. “I bet they looked silly” was the sentiment among reporters, gleefully oblivious to curious stares of tourists wondering about drunken flocks of walking, stumbling, hopping and skipping adults in prom garb walking north, and then back south looking for the Rum Room. Or was it the rum lounge? There was much debate.
The next day, while trying to sneak naps in a failed attempt to sleep off the effect from the previous night’s affair a text from a colleague read “I hate the follies.” I remember nearly identical texts from her last year, and the year before that.
She’ll be back. We all will, to talk about Dodd Frank and Italian bond yields. And how I pray for another chance to use Stupid MF-er again, just one time.
by Chris Roush
A non-profit organization is seeking grants from journalists to help pay for investigative business journalism projects.
Public Business supports original reporting on the wider implications of business. It is looking for deeply researched stories about companies and the impact they have on the economy, the environment or society. It welcomes proposals for projects of all lengths, but it is particularly keen to receive proposals for medium-to-long form work.
Its grants cover the hard costs of reporting, such as travel, interpretation, security and other logistics, obtaining or reproducing documents, etc. The amount of the grant will depend on the project proposed, but most grants will fall between $2,,500 and $6,000.
It does not provide a stipend for the reporters, who must be paid – either as staffers or as freelancers – by the news outlet publishing the work. Its grants cover hard reporting costs to enable reporters to do more than news budgets allow them, but its stories are not wholly free to news outlets.
While it welcome proposals that include an agreement from a news outlet to publish the work, it does have relationships with several news partners, and are prepared to place stories directly.
Its grants come with an obligation to participate in an emerging platform for collaborative and transparent journalism. Namely, grantees will have access to our network of academic and nonprofit researchers of business, as well as to material these researchers produce. Grantees will be expected to share – securely, on our site – their own material (data, documents, interviews) for fellow researchers to read and comment on. Selected material from this exchange will be made public on our website, and journalists and researchers will be encouraged to use its blog as a platform to continue their discussions. Its goal is ultimately to build a public archive and conversation hub about business and its implications.
To apply, please submit the following:
1. A description of the project, why it matters now, and how it satisfies our mandate to cover the wider implications of business. A list of stories that exemplify this mandate can be found here.
2. A detailed budget for the amount of money requested.
3. If relevant, a letter of commitment from participating news outlet.
4. An indication of what forms of source material this story might make available to our platform.
5. A resume, and links to previous work in any and all media.
Please include email and phone contact, and submit applications to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Monday, Nov. 28.
by Chris Roush
Jim Romenesko, who has blogged about the world of journalism for the past 12 years for the Poynter Institute, has resigned Thursday after the non-profit journalism organization raised questions about unattributed information on the blog.
Romenesko’s blog was the inspiration for Talking Biz News. In the early years of Talking Biz News, he helped build its traffic by linking to its posts. He also provided feedback and advice to me when I asked via e-mail.
I have never met Jim Romenesko, but for the past several years I have sent him a Christmas card in appreciation for everything he did for me and for Talking Biz News. I often sent him tips of journalism news that had nothing to do with business journalism, and we chased after the same scoops often.
After the Poynter Institute posted a story raising its concerns, I responded this afternoon by posting on Jim’s Facebook page that I felt he always treated Talking Biz News fairly when he linked to it on his blog.
I can’t wait until he launches his new blog.
by Chris Roush
A survey released Monday shows that 81 percent of journalists turn to corporate websites when looking for story ideas, reporting on breaking news or seeking a corporate representative.
According to the business journalists surveyed, the most useful information on a corporate website includes: Contact information (98 percent); search capabilities (94 percent); text documents (87 percent); PDFs (84 percent) and publication-quality graphics or photos (79 percent).
“Despite the growth of social media, the survey shows that journalists still frequently turn to corporate websites for information,” said Mike Neumeier, principal of Arketi Group, in a statement. “Companies should continue to devote resources to their websites, along with other online communication channels.”
This year’s survey found that 92 percent of journalists have a LinkedIn account, an increase from 85 percent in 2009. In addition to LinkedIn, 85 percent of journalists are on Facebook (up from 55 percent in 2009) and 84 percent use Twitter (24 percent in 2009).
The 2011 Arketi Web Watch Survey seeks to understand the opinions of business journalists and their use of technology. Seventy-five percent of respondents have been in the field of journalism for 10 or more years, with almost half stating they have been a journalist for more than 20 years. The online survey with 98 journalists responding was conducted in the spring of 2011.
Download a copy of the survey here.
by Chris Roush
Ioanna Makris, Caroline Courtney and April Cunningham are journalism students at Texas Tech who work for the student newspaper, the Daily Toreador.
In recent weeks, they have reported the story about the ownership of a parking garage that was built adjacent to campus. As you can see if you click on the attached links, it’s been a big money-loser for the university and a boon for some key alumni.
I asked Makris, Courtney and Cunningham to write how they got the story.
It was difficult to write a story with so many numbers and facts in a compelling and interesting manner, but we knew it was the only way to hold the reader’s attention. It was absolutely essential that every piece of information was accurately reported and that every number was understandable to the reader.
We read the story at least twenty times before handing it over to the editors. After their stamps of approval, the story was finally ready for publication. All our documents were online, our graphics were ready to go, and most importantly, the story was completed.
The next morning, emails began flooding our inboxes and phone calls were endless. The Texas Tech alumni were shocked at the quality of journalism produced by the university paper. The students at the university were upset to hear about the arrangement. And of course, with any investigative story, we also heard some negative feedback.
Investigating this story presented plenty of roadblocks, but an equal number of breakthroughs. Sources yelled at us and discouraged us, but as reporters, it is our job to hold authorities accountable to the people for whom they work. We wanted to ensure Texas Tech University and all other parties involved were being truthful and honest with the student body, the alumni and the staff of the university. However, we feel we are not done.
Despite more than three months of digging, our job is still not over. We are continuing to research and produce follow-up stories so that our readers will be fully informed and our authorities will be fully accountable. By writing the first story we made a promise to the Texas Tech University system that no rock will be left untouched, and we will continue to discover what other secrets the parking garage and other things around Texas Tech are being hidden.
by Chris Roush
Business editor Don Worthington of the Rock Hill Herald is getting into the Halloween spirit at Carowinds, an amusement park between Rock Hill, S.C., and Charlotte, N.C.
His column about why he dressed up at the park will run on Oct. 31.
by Chris Roush
Brad Meacham, a former business journalist with Bloomberg News and the Seattle Times, is running for a spot on the Seattle City Council.
Emily Heffter of the Times writes, “Meacham, 38, grew up in Des Moines and went to Columbia University. He has changed jobs every two or three years, working for Panasonic and as a reporter for Bloomberg News in Japan, as a Seattle Times business reporter and an editor for a New York business magazine, for MSN Money, and finally in internal communications at T-Mobile until May.
“Since then, Meacham has been running for office full time.
“In 2008 and 2009, he chaired the Municipal League of King County, a venerable local nonprofit that evaluates political candidates. Meacham was a controversial leader at the struggling, mostly volunteer operation.
“He left on poor terms with some other board members, who felt his leadership style was too harsh. Meacham says he is proud of the work he did to recruit younger board members, add staff members and double the budget.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
With the Wednesday death of Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs, let’s look back at his influence and impact on business journalism as he often tussled with members of the profession.
Jon Friedman, the media columnist for Marketwatch.com, writes Wednesday evening that “One of Jobs’s greatest accomplishments was his mastery with the media, which in turn produced all kinds of good will with consumers, Wall Street and the pundits who shape public opinion.”
His influence on business journalism was widespread. Consider:
1. When The Wall Street Journal advertised internally for a new Apple beat reporter in July, it noted that the job was one of the “most important, and toughest, beats” at the paper. It also stated that, “The reporter must address a possible leadership transition with sensitivity and care.”
2. Reuters job posting for an Apple beat reporter in March stated, “Our readers need to know everything about the company’s plans, from CEO Steve Jobs’ future to how Apple can top the iPad — and they need to know before everyone else does.”
3. Daniel Lyons, the technology editor at Newsweek who had written a fake Steve Jobs blog for years, stopped the blog in January after the Apple CEO took another medical leave of absence. Lyons felt it unseemly to make fun of someone who was seriously ill.
4. In July 2008, Joe Nocera, a business columnist for the New York Times, wrote about Jobs and the recurring questions about his health and why the company should disclose more detail about it. Nocera also reported that Jobs himself called during the course of his reporting, but would only talk off the record. It’s an agreement that Nocera upheld — and was later criticized for doing.
5. Tonight, as tech reporters scramble to cover the news, the entire Wired homepage is in black. It’s a fitting tribute.
Covering Apple and Steve Jobs was one of the toughest gigs in business journalism. And it was probably the most rewarding. Jobs rarely exposed himself to business journalists, but he also was one of the greatest stories in business and economics news in the past 15 years.