Tag Archives: Websites

Joe Weisenthal

Looking inside Business Insider

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A computer screen in the Business Insider lobby tracks how many visitors are on its website at all times of the day, and where they are coming from.

It peers down at the unused ping-pong table. I ask a staffer if she’d like to play a game, and she says I’d probably win in a tone that implies that she rarely plays. (Two male staffers engage in a game shortly thereafter that ends in a 21-18 score and a few expletives.)

Joe Weisenthal, the site’s executive editor, admits that he hasn’t played since the summer of 2011.

“I used to play all the time, but [staffer Jay Yarow] always beat me,” said Weisenthal. “In the summer of 2011, I played constantly. I’m so rusty that I would be too embarrassed to play here. The people who play a lot have gotten so much better than me.”

Business Insider is one of the new entries in business journalism. It’s part of a number of websites changing how business and economics news is being delivered.

In the past month, Business Insider has announced a new round of financing and plans to expand into the Great Britain market. That should happen in the third quarter of this year with the hiring of about a dozen staffers in London.

“That is really exciting to me,” said Weisenthal in an interview Wednesday at Business Insider’s office in Manhattan. “I just think there is an opportunity to bring our style of coverage to that market. I think we should do very well. And I like the idea that now that we have an office in San Francisco and then in London, we can be a true 24-hour news operation.”

Business Insider’s editorial staff is currently less than 100, much less than the business journalism behemoths of Reuters, Bloomberg and Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal, which employ thousands. But on Wednesday afternoon, it was busy breaking the Herbalife investigation story along with its larger competitors.

Weisenthal sits in the middle of the newsroom, shouting to reporters and tweeting constantly. On this day, he is wearing a black baseball cap, which one staffer says helps him focus. (Editor in chief Henry Blodget, who was traveling on Wednesday, also sits in the newsroom.)

Business Insider has recently expanded into writing longer-form stories as well. Weisenthal says it has no plans to expand its coverage areas. Instead, it wants to provide more depth to its current beats.

“In tech, there is an opportunity to go deeper into the companies we cover, such as Microsoft, Google and Apple,” he said. “You could theoretically have a person devoted to each one. We could certainly do more with markets and economics. We now have two retail reporters, and at one point we had no one devoted to retail.”

Weisenthal is also pleased with the site’s burgeoning video operation, which recently produced a story about the Dos Equis commercial “most interesting man in the world.”

“The video team is doing fun stuff that could not be adequately written about,” said Weisenthal. “Hearing him talk in a voice outside the commercial, I don’t think there’s anyway it could have been captured in a story.”

Coming is more graphics and more data, as well more from Business Insider’s paid research operation.

Which means less time for Weisenthal to improve on his ping-pong game.

“We need a new game,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind air hockey. But that might be too loud.”

bankrate-logo

Bankrate.com seeks data journalist

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Bankrate.com is looking for an enthusiastic journalist to work with its editorial desk on data-driven projects. Applicants must be skilled storytellers who are capable of quickly finding and analyzing data. The data journalist will join a two-person statistics team that works in all phases of story development. The stats team pitches its own ideas for the website while working with reporters and editors on other projects.

Bankrate’s data journalist must be interested in all aspects of news reporting – not just the numbers. Strong reporting skills are a must. Applicants also must be very comfortable with Excel spreadsheets. They should demonstrate an ability to find data sets and maintain a passion for accuracy and precision. Computer programming, JavaScript, web scraping and mapping skills are also strongly desired.

Responsibilities:

  • Locate, analyze and explain financial data for Bankrate’s vast online audience.
  • Develop contacts within public and private agencies that act as gatekeepers for financial statistics, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Reserve, Census, RealtyTrac, etc.
  • Work closely with Bankrate.com’s editorial team. Help them troubleshoot any issues with statistics.
  • Conceive and assist in building interactive maps and calculators.
  • Identify relevant Bankrate content for new products, partner needs and breaking news.

Requirements:

  • Strong ability with Excel spreadsheets.
  • Knack for finding story ideas and trends within the data.
  • Experience with turning statistics into maps, charts and calculators.
  • 2-3 years of reporting or editing experience.
  • Understanding of SEO and Social Media.
  • Enthusiasm and a penchant for acquiring new skills.

Please submit resumes and recent clips to resume@bankrate.com.

Portland Business Journal

Reflecting on 30 years in business journalism

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Craig Wessel, the publisher of the Portland Business Journal, writes about the paper’s 30th anniversary and how its business journalism has changed.

Wessel writes, “We had a different brand of reporter. They were trained to understand business, not demonize it. We engaged with the local business community with an understanding and respect for just how difficult it is to create a business, to grow a business, to be responsible for the livelihood of employees and, no doubt, to also hold business accountable to their responsibility to the community that supports them.

“That respect was returned and those beginnings have led to what I believe today is a relationship between our paper and the business community that is now very rare in the media industry: A relationship based on mutual trust, respect, and value.

“The things that made being a part of the startup team 30 years ago so special to me are the same things that have made the last 13 years, after coming back to Portland as publisher of the paper, the best years of my career. We have the position and the opportunity to continue to redefine how local journalism and business publishing succeeds in an explosive media landscape.

“In stark contrast to the gloomy reports about the decline of traditional media, our regional executive audience has grown more than tenfold in the last four years. We continue to publish our flagship paper every week to more than 55,000 regional executive readers. In fact, we have grown circulation for that product nine of the last 12 years (the recession was nobody’s friend). In addition, we’re now a 24/7 business news organization generating 1.3 million page views per month on the Portland Business Journal website.”

Read more here.

Reuters Logo

Reuters.com seeks social media editor

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Reuters.com is looking for a journalist with social media savvy and impeccable news judgment to manage its editorial social media distribution and live blogging efforts around breaking news.

The ideal candidate will have a strong background in social media and innovative audience development efforts but a traditional sense of news judgment, a strict adherence to Reuters Trust Principles and understanding of global news.

Responsibilities:
- Managing Reuters’ editorial social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google+
- Working with vendors around live blogging software and other services
- Organize newsroom-wide efforts around live-blogging breaking news and events
- Be a key player in setting and maintaining Reuters’ editorial standards around social media
- Developing specific audience development plans around targeted areas of coverage
- Engaging Reuters editorial staff globally to participate effectively in social media promotion of their stories
- Be a presence in professional organizations

To apply, go here.
Jeremy-Singer-Vine-Waste-Land

BuzzFeed hires WSJ data reporter Singer-Vine

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Ricard Bilton of Digiday reports that BuzzFeed has hired  hired Wall Street Journal data reporter and programmer Jeremy Singer-Vine, who helped produce the Journal’s data-heavy ‘What They Know’ digital privacy series and its investigation into nuclear processing and storage facilities.

Bilton reports, “His role at BuzzFeed will be to dig into similarly dense data sets to find the kinds of stories that would otherwise go untold.

“The hire is a piece of a trend, putting BuzzFeed in lockstep with publications like Vocativ and Ezra Klein’s ‘Project X,’ both of which are also playing up the importance of data journalism in their editorial.

“Since hiring editor-in-chief Ben Smith from Politico in late 2011, BuzzFeed has expanded its politics, technology, and foreign affairs teams to become a serious news organization of over 130 people. It’s also hired six investigative reporters, including Aram Roston, who won two Emmys for his work at NBC News.

“‘Since [BuzzFeed's] been around for seven years and doing journalism for two, people’s perceptions lag behind reality. There are still people not aware of the full depth of our journalistic enterprise,’ said Mark Schoofs, head of BuzzFeed’s investigative unit. ‘But their numbers are dwindling every day.’”

Read more here.

Business Insider new

Why Business Insider is expanding to England

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Rachel Bartlett of Journalism.co.uk writes about the planned Business Insider expansion into Great Britain.

Bartlett writes, “As for the introduction of a UK team, Hansen told Journalism.co.uk that there were a number of reasons why the Insider was keen to set up in the UK.

“For a start, UK traffic to the site is ‘significant’, she said, and there is the added benefit that the US and UK ‘share a language’.

“But she also stressed the importance of the city’s financial sector. ‘London is – with all due respect to my friends in New York – arguably the financial capital of the world,’ she said.

“‘If we’re a business publication we need to care about that very much. We’re very excited about the 24/7, or 24/5, opportunity that we get from publishing out of London’.

“But she added, a key factor in the decision is the desire to join what she described as what ‘may be the most sophisticated media market in the world’.

“‘It is incredible what you have here,’ she said. ‘Four daily newspapers in London. It’s amazing.’”

Read more here.

Dawn Chmielewski

Re/code hires Chmielewski from LA Times

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John Corrigan, assistant managing editor for arts and entertainment at the Los Angeles Times, sent out the following staff announcement on Wednesday:

After a great run at The Times covering entertainment and technology, Dawn Chmielewski is leaving to work for the tech news startup Re/Code.

Among her many memorable stories, Dawn chronicled Disney’s struggles with “John Carter,” one of the costliest film flops ever, and (with Harriet Ryan) broke the story of the Hollywood casting agent who worked with child actors, even though he was a registered sex offender.

More recently, Dawn led our coverage of Netflix, writing last week’s A-1 story about the deal it cut with Comcast to keep its video streams running smoothly.

Dawn’s deep knowledge of technology helped shape our coverage of Hollywood, and she’s regularly contributed breaking news to Company Town’s report. And who could forget her first-person Column One about participating in “Dancing with the Stars?”

Dawn’s last day will be Friday, March 14. We’ll have details on her send-off soon.

Forbes home page

What makes for a top post on Forbes.com

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Lewis Dvorkin, the chief product officer at Forbes, writes about the stories on its website that get the most reads.

Here are some of his conclusions:

1) Reporting Matters: Staff reporter Parmy Olson’s exclusive rags-to-riches story of WhatsApp founder Jan Koum hit the Top 15 four times — a full week after it was first published. It generated 10% of its total page views in the 7-day period and drove significant next-page traffic. In a digital-to-magazine triumph, her Inside Facebook’s $19 Billion Megadeal cover for the Billionaire’s issue was also a Top 15 post.

2) The Pile On: Former New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines was famous for “flooding the zone” — sending as many reporters as possible to cover a major story. On the Web, writers can flock to niche stories — and audiences respond. Right now, Tesla and Bitcoin posts are golden.

3) Text Over Galleries: In a smartphone world, news audiences gravitate to headlines and stories (photos of red carpet dresses excluded). A post about Michael Jordan earning $90 million last year generated the only non-Billionaires gallery to hit the list all week.

4) Search Still Rules:The Top 100 Inspirational Quotes was published in May 2013. It was on the Top 15 list six times. The upside: 8 million page views so far. The downside: little retention value.

5) Go-To Companies: Apple, Samsung, Walmart. They are audience favorites all the time. Facebook and Twitter? Nope. There’s something about things you can hold and retail.

Read more here.

WSJD personal tech

WSJ launches personal tech page

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Wall Street Journal global technology editor Jonathan Krim posted the following on its website Wednesday:

Welcome to WSJD’s new home for personal technology coverage. Here you’ll find concentrated news and reviews about the devices, apps and other products that touch our lives every day, at home and at work.

Need help making decisions? Our coverage will include in-depth reviews and videos, spearheaded by columnists Geoffrey Fowler and Joanna Stern. Our regular #AskWSJD allows you to submit questions that they answer in video. And check out our One-Minute Video reviews on a variety of gadgets.

Our new Personal Tech News blog will showcase regular items and updates on new products, advice and consumer alerts about software updates and security breaches, and more.

Finally, you can search for items on specific products or categories.

Read more here.

Business Insider new

Business Insider raises $12 million from investors

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Business Insider raised an additional $12 million in funding from investors including Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, reports William Launder of The Wall Street Journal.

Launder writes, “The site plans to use the money for growth efforts including hiring more journalists and photographers as well as to help finance a launch into the U.K., Business Insider Chief Executive Henry Blodget said. The money will also go to expanding the site’s subscription research and advertising staff.

“Business Insider has emerged as a popular source for online business and general interest news, spanning topics from Warren Buffett to the Oscars. In January, Business Insider ranked as the fourth largest business news site, drawing a total of 25.4 million unique visitors on desktop and mobile devices, according to comScore. That is more than AOL Inc.’s Money and Finance and Bloomberg L.P.’s news site.

“Mr. Bezos’ investment firm, Bezos Expeditions, was the lead investor in the latest funding round, according to a person familiar with the company. Other investors in the latest round include RRE Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners and publishing executives Jim Friedlich and Gordon Crovitz. Those investors, like Mr. Bezos, have previously provided funding to Business Insider.

“Representatives from Amazon, Bezos Expeditions, RRE and Institutional Venture Partners weren’t immediately available for comment. Mr. Friedlich and Mr. Crovitz confirmed their investment.”

Read more here.