Tag Archives: Information

Former biz journalist running for Seattle City Council

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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.

Steve Jobs and business journalism

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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.

TheStreet.com and Gatehouse Media strike content deal

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TheStreet.com announced that it has reached a deal to provide its investing and personal finance content to GateHouse Media newspapers.

TheStreet, which publishes more than 3,000 original articles and 500 unique videos each month, will make its content available for GateHouse Media to integrate into its local business coverage.

“Combining our depth and breadth of financial coverage with GateHouse’s strong presence in the local markets they serve will enhance the digital growth strategies of both companies and solidify TheStreet in its position as the Internet’s Business Section, reaching a highly targeted, unduplicated, engaged and affluent audience,” said Daryl Otte, the CEO of TheStreet.com, in a statement.

GateHouse, formerly Liberty Group Publishing, has 79 newspapers. Its newspapers include the Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin, the Register-Mail in Galesburg, Ill., the Rockford Register-Star in Rockford, Ill., and the Quincy (Mass.) Patriot-Ledger.

Read more here.

It’s good to be Michael Lewis

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Jessica Pressler of New York magazine profiles business journalist Michael Lewis, the author of “The Big Short” and a Bloomberg News columnist.

Pressler writes, “Lewis is often referred to as a business writer, and this is sort of true, in that his narratives usually focus on some kind of market, be it for bonds or baseball players. But he’s a business writer only in the same way that Malcolm Gladwell is a business writer. What most interests him are people and how they behave. He tends to favor stories about mavericks — like the Tuohys, Beane, Whitney, and Steve Eisman, the eccentric short-seller star of The Big Short — smart people who identify gaps of logic and market inefficiencies, and take advantage of them.

“He can write about these kinds of people with such skill in part because he is one of them. At a time of peril for his industry, Lewis has managed to build what amounts to a personal empire of long-form journalism, with a Warren Buffett-like collection of brands and eye for the next big thing. ‘He’s got good instincts for the individual story and for the broader picture of where that story belongs,’ says Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. ‘The big story of the day is the world financial crisis, and he’s the most kick-ass business writer out there.’

“His aptitude for translating and enlivening financial concepts has made him an indispensable observer of the crisis: In May 2010, Politico reported that The Big Short had been name-checked on the official Senate record at least fifteen times since its publication just two months before, and that Hill staffers had been calling Lewis at home for advice. ‘I was watching television the other day, and Barney Frank was quoting him like he was a Nobel laureate,’ Whitney tells me. This spring, Lewis was invited to Washington to speak to the Democratic Caucus. Afterward, senators came up to him, fanlike, asking for autographs. ‘I have to believe that’s how a lot of those senators learned about the crisis,’ says Whitney.

“This week, he’ll publish a follow-up, Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World, a collection of hilarious reported essays he wrote for Vanity Fair that finger Icelandic elves, greedy Greek monks, and a German obsession with shit as a few of the culprits for the European economic collapse. With the continent in an economic meltdown nobody seems to really understand, these witty ethnographic studies have been received like Rosetta stones. It will be no surprise if senators are soon consulting them, too.”

Read more here.

Wall Street Journal revises privacy policy

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The Wall Street Journal revised its website privacy policy on Tuesday to allow the site to connect personally identifiable information with Web browsing data without user consent.

Julia Angwin of The Journal writes, “Previously, the Journal’s privacy policy stated that it would obtain ‘express affirmative consent’ to combine personal data with ‘click stream information’ culled from the website.

“The company said that combining the two types of data would ‘allow us to provide customized Wall Street Journal service information to our users,’ said Alisa Bowen, general manager of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. ‘It is not being applied retrospectively and only applies going forward to new registered users and subscribers.’

“The change is part of a larger effort by the Journal to streamline and simplify privacy policies across its network of websites, which include WSJ.com, Marketwatch.com, AllthingD.com, Barrons.com and SmartMoney.com.

“The new privacy policy applies to all the websites in the Wall Street Journal Digital Network. It contains expanded disclosures of online tracking techniques and contains links to opt-outs from third party tracking networks. It also adds a disclosure that it collects mobile device IDs. The company says that it only shares the mobile identifiers with companies that provide internal analytics.”

Read more here.

NYFWA looking for Financial Follies dancers and singers

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The New York Financial Writers’ Association is  gearing up for the 2011 Follies, which will be hold Nov. 18 at the Marriott Marquis.

The staff is hired, the show is written, the  hotel is booked.  All they need is  business journalists.

If you have ever wanted to be  on stage, here’s your chance to work with your colleagues and NYC theatre  professionals.  No talent  required.  Just a willingness to have a lot of fun with a lot of wonderful people.  No pressure, no stress.  We even buy dinner on rehearsal  nights.

The following is the  rehearsal schedule: Ripley-Grier Studios, 520 8th Ave FL16, 6-9 p.m.: Wednesday,  October 12; Monday, October 17; Wednesday, October 19; Monday, October 24;  Wednesday, October 26; Monday, October 31; Wednesday, November 2; Monday,  November 14; Wednesday, November 16.

SIR Studios, 475 10th Ave.: Monday,  November 7 and Wednesday, November 9 (6-9 p.m.); dress rehearsal, Saturday,  November 12 (10-4  p.m.).

For more information, contact NYFWA executive manager Jane Reilly at Nyfwa@aol.com.

Columbia Journalism Review to publish book of best business journalism

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The Columbia Journalism Review plans to compile the best business reporting of the past year and publish it in book form.

Dean Starkman writes, ” A team at the Columbia Journalism Review — yours truly, Dean Starkman, Ryan Chittum, Martha Hamilton, ex-of the WaPo and now of Politifact, and Felix Salmon of Reuters — are putting together a book of the best of the best business writing of the past, oh, 18 months or so.

“To be published by Columbia University Press next spring, the book (great vacation reading!) will pull together the cream of the cream, the very best in (English-language) business writing from around the world. Team BBW2012 has been searching high and low, far and wide, etc., over any remotely business-related subject—corporate, financial economic—and from any medium: print, Web, radio, TV(?). The sources can range from mainstream (e.g. Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair) to lonely blogger, alt media, journalist, non-journalist. We’re ready to read.

“We’re already launched and have found some amazing things. But there’s room for more. There’s only one requirement: it must be great.

“Send links to dean@deanstarkman.com.

“This is a crowd-sourcing request. There’s no reward or anything. But you will have a chance to define what’s ‘best’ in business writing, which is not a small thing.”

Read more here. Vintage Books published a similar compilation from 2001 to 2004 that was edited by Andrew Leckey.

Business reporter’s desk appears in “Contagion” movie

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Benny Evangelista, a technology reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle, writes about how his desk has a role in the upcoming movie “Contagion” starring Jude Law.

Evangelista writes, “Director Steven Soderberg supposedly picked out my desk himself. I can see why – it sits smack dab in the middle of the newsroom, with a good view of the big Chronicle sign on the wall, perfect for a couple of setup shots.

“And frankly, my desk is in a perpetual state of clutter. I like it that way. I used to have a sign that read, ‘A Clean Desk is the Sign of a Sick Mind,’ but I can’t find it anymore.

“In short, it’s Hollywood’s stereotypical idea of a reporter’s desk.

“And this isn’t the first time my desk played a role in a movie.

“When I was still a business reporter for the Oakland Tribune, two production members for the 1999 crime drama “True Crime” visited the newsroom. They were immediately attracted to my desk, which at one point was so messy, the fire marshal ordered me to clean it up. They took numerous photos.

“The movie was filmed in another building, and Eastwood’s character – a womanizing Tribune reporter trying to clear a Death Row inmate – sat in a newsroom that looked far nicer than the real one.

Read more here.

How “Marketplace” became a business news behemoth on the radio

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James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times writes Saturday about “Marketplace,” the radio show that explains business and economic news to the masses in a way that’s entertaining.

Rainey writes, “‘Marketplace’ (which airs locally at 3 and 6:30 p.m. weekdays on KPCC-FM [89.3] and at 2 p.m. on KCRW-FM [89.9]) has grown into a behemoth and spawned several spinoffs because it does more than merely ‘the numbers.’ The half-hour show specializes in finding the owners who’ve lost homes in the mortgage crisis, commiserating with the growing legion of unemployed and, this week for example, personalizing the retirement of Apple’s Steve Jobs with a first-person account from a former co-worker.

“The cumulative weekly audience for the half-hour ‘Marketplace’ and its related programs, like Marketplace Money and the Marketplace Tech Report, has grown to a combined total of 9.3 million per week. That’s compared with 5.3 million a week in 2001, shortly after the franchise was bought by the Minnesota-based public radio power that is now called American Public Media.

“More than 500 public radio stations carry the shows. That includes ‘Marketplace Money’ on the weekend and ‘Morning Report,’ updates that public radio stations tend to sprinkle into weekday breaks in National Public Radio‘s ‘Morning Edition.’

“‘Marketplace’ has survived for more than two decades. But before it came along, tweedy public radio hadn’t embraced business programming. Then a journalist named JJ Yore, who had covered public media, moved West from Washington, D.C., to launch ‘Marketplace,’ which began with only three other full-time employees. Yore just wanted to tell good stories and to send a message by basing the program far outside the financial industry’s cozy home base.”

Read more here.

Biz journalists make $56,000 a year, according to study

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U.S. business journalists reported a median salary of $56,220 for 2010-11, according to research for the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism released Tuesday.

Linda Austin of the Reynolds Center writes, “Those figures come from phone surveys of 773 randomly selected business journalists, about 60 percent of whom were interviewed in 2010, with the rest questioned in 2011. The median means half make more and half make less.

“The research was commissioned by the Reynolds Center and conducted by Behavior Research Center Inc., a market-research firm in Phoenix.

“The 2010-11 median is lower than the $65,000 to $70,000 that was volunteered by 394 business journalists in an informal online survey by the Society of Business Editors and Writers last year. It finished collecting data for its 2011 survey Aug. 12.

“In the Reynolds research, fewer business journalists reported a drop in pay than when the same question was asked in 2010. Last year, about one in three reported a decline in pay over the past two years, compared with fewer than one in five this year.”

Read more here.