Tag Archives: Job changes
by Liz Hester
Laura Baverman has been a business journalist since starting her career at the Cincinnati Business Courier in 2005 as a real estate and technology reporter.
There she cultivated her love for covering entrepreneurs and start-ups as part of her beat reporting. In 2009 she moved to the Cincinnati Enquirer where she continued to write about real estate and entrepreneurship. After moving to Raleigh in October 2012, she began freelancing for publications such as American City Business Journals, The (Raleigh) News & Observer, USA Today and Raleigh Public Record.
In the last month, she became the editor of ExitEvent, which works to develop the start-up community in the Triangle.
She spoke with Talking Biz News about her journalism career and her move to her new role. What follows is an edited transcript.
Talking Biz News: When you were freelancing, how did you find and pitch stories? What was the most challenging part?
Laura Baverman: I had several months before I moved to make connections and I asked everyone I knew about who might need freelance work. My editor at the Enquirer knew the editor at USA Today. I saw they weren’t really covering start-ups and I told them how I could fill in the gaps.
It was important to leverage my networks. A lot of this comes back to relationships. You have to keep them up over time even when you move on to another position. A few other publications reached out to me about writing for them after finding me on social media. I also did some content marketing – blogging and ghost writing – for some clients. Leveraging my network was the key thing to being successful.
Once I began to pitch stories, I would consume as much news as possible. I would scan Twitter to find topics. I also used Google trends, or BuzzFeed pages and Yahoo to see what people were talking about. I would look at what those I admired were writing about and then figure out an angle that wasn’t being told.
To find local stories, I started to network and talk to the people I met in the community to source stories. That was a little harder because I was new and I had to work to build my connections.
TBN: What was the hardest part about working for yourself?
LB: The hardest thing was having multiple bosses. Even though I was working for myself, I had a lot of different bosses. It was hard to manage expectations because everyone wants the same thing at the same time. At the paper, I could ask my editor to prioritize what needed to get done. Working for myself, I tended to take on everything.
I was constantly trying to exceed expectations, but sometimes it was a struggle just to meet them. The balance of reporting and editing was hard.
TBN: How did you get involved in ExitEvent? What excited you about the opportunity?
LB: Connections. I can’t emphasize that enough. It’s important to have good relationships and make impressions in a positive way. The person running the site reached out to me. ExitEvent was started by a local entrepreneur who wanted to fill a gap in the region for early-stage companies and wanted a network for entrepreneurs. It was about sharing information with the community.
It started out as planned monthly events for entrepreneurs and investors. I really liked that the company was a family-owned businesses and cared about employees.
I also love entrepreneurs and their stories. I like to think I have a critical eye. After covering the beat nationally, I know what it takes to succeed.
TBN: Where do you see journalism heading in the next five years?
LB: It’s interesting. Content marketing is evolving a lot. What we’ll see happen is companies trying to do content marking will end up sponsoring work done by journalists. What has to be clear is that journalists have complete editorial control and companies have control over where to put their names. Companies like to control the message, but to be authentic and effective they need journalists to write content without the oversight of a company.
I also thing there will be more sharing of content between local and national sources. For example, the New York Times won’t be able to staff every community. If I can bring an advertiser to the table and work out a revenue sharing agreement along with providing content, that creates value for everyone. The sponsor gets more than just quality content from someone who knows the community and we get national press. A lot of community building is going on within the start-up community. Many companies want to support that and they will be interested in sponsoring ads and content.
There will also need to be a movement toward more authenticity in content and more transparency. Most contributors we have write for us on a monthly basis and have a viewpoint. There’s a place for that content. It helps us with the challenge of staffing. People also want to hear from those who aren’t writers. They want to get thought leadership from people who aren’t journalists.
In terms of making money, I think there will be more syndication of content agreements tied to advertising. We also plan a lot of events, which is not going away as a strategy for journalists to make money. We try to stay away from a panel or straight networking event. ExitEvent was built around sponsored networking events, but now we strive to do those in a creative way.
by Chris Roush
Matthew Von Pinnon, the editor of the Fargo Forum in North Dakota, writes about how the paper is expanding its business news coverage.
Von Pinnon writes, “We’ve noticed it, and you have, too. We’re in a go-go business environment here, one that seems poised to grow exponentially in coming years. More businesses are opening every day, offering more goods and services to the growing number of people who flock to this region for new opportunities and an improved way of life. And that’s compounding the need for more goods and services.
“We’re on the cusp of big things. Not a day goes by that this newspaper is not writing about some new place or new idea seemingly springing up out of nowhere. It’s exciting. There’s a real entrepreneurial spirit taking hold, and we aim to tell that story in bigger and better ways.
“We’re doubling our weekday space devoted to Business. We’re also adding to its reporting power, dedicating three full-time reporters to the beat, as well as any other resources we can throw at it.
“Veteran reporter Sherri Richards is our new Business editor. She’s joined by two other veterans of the area and newspaper: Dave Olson and Angie Wieck.
“Our team aims to cover Business and work more thoroughly than it’s ever been covered here. Oh, and about that popular Saturday Business section, with all those names and faces: It’s not going anywhere.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Dan Farber, who was editor of technology news site CNET.com and then editor of CBSNews.com, has left the company.
For the past two years, he has been editor of CBS Interactive. Farber was also once an editor at Ziff-Davis.
In a post on his personal website, Farber writes, “It’s time for a new beginning. After more than 30 years working for various media companies as a writer, reporter, blogger, editor, designer, spellchecker, talking head, photographer, coach, I am leaving the nest. Today is my last day at CBS/CNET/ZDNet.
“It was a great journey, one path always leading to another, working with talented, dedicated people, blazing trails on the front lines of the Internet revolution.
”The journey and revolution continues, and I will be looking to help others on the path.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Fearful of layoffs and unhappy with work conditions, employees at a unit of Bloomberg LP have launched a campaign to unionize, Peter Elkind of Fortune writes.
Elkind reports, “The drive, to join Local 32035 of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, involves about a hundred salaried data analysts at Bloomberg’s large campus in Skillman, N.J. They work for the company’s struggling Bloomberg Law division. If successful, it would be the first time any group of Bloomberg employees has voted to join a union.
“Bloomberg spokesman Ty Trippet declined to comment.
“Success in organizing the Bloomberg employees would represent a boost for newspaper guilds. Unions in the industry have lost leverage as change has ripped through the news business over the past decade. (Employees at Fortune’s publisher, Time Inc, are represented by a guild.)
“Bloomberg has historically been inhospitable to organized labor. A 2004 drive to organize the company’s New York headquarters staff ultimately fizzled without a vote.
“The company, which employs more than 15,000, acquired its only union in 2011, with the $992 million purchase of the Bureau of National Affairs, which is based in suburban Washington D.C. and publishes newsletters and reports on business, law, and government. About 700 of BNA’s workers belong to two Newspaper Guild bargaining units, which have represented workers there for decades.
“In a 2013 cost-cutting move after the acquisition, Bloomberg consolidated BLAW (as its legal-data service is known) with BNA in Washington, resulting in about 80 layoffs.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
More than half of business editors surveyed find graduating journalism students unprepared to cover business news, according to research from a Missouri State University professor published in Journalism and Mass Communication Educator.
The survey queried more than 240 business editors across the country, and received 73 responses. Of those that responded, 50.8 percent said that graduating seniors were “moderately unprepared” while another 6.2 percent said they were “extremely unprepared.”
The results, however, are better than those from a similar survey a decade earlier. When a similar survey was done in 2002, 64 percent said students were “moderately unprepared” while 16.1 percent responded that they were “extremely unprepared.”
The research also found that more than three out of every five business editors would be willing to pay a higher salary for a business reporter right out of journalism school if he or she had training in accounting or financial reporting. That is in line with what was found in the 2002 survey.
In 2002, about tone third said they would pay $501 to $1,000 more, but that number rose to 41.7 percent in 2012.
The research was done by Mary Jane Pardue, a journalism professor at Missouri State who is also on the board of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. It was published in the Spring 2014 issue of Journalism and Mass Communication Educator.
Pardue wrote that the study “shows that there is a continuing need for better-training business journalists and in some cases a willingness on the part of editors to pay more for journalists with special skills.”
She added that the research presents a question to journalism schools: Why haven’t they improved training for students to understand numbers?
“While few journalism students select business reporting as an area of focus, perhaps because of their ‘fear’ of using numbers, it can be argued that every beat a journalist covers has a business, financial, or economic component,” concluded Pardue. “Hence the call comes again for academia to recognize that there continues to be profound inadequacy in journalism education at a time when learning basics such as handling numbers in a story is more critical than ever.”
by Chris Roush
Jack Marshall, a reporter for Digiday, has been hired by The Wall Street Journal to cover advertising and marketing.
Marshall writes, “I’m excited to get started at the Journal, but I’m also sad to be leaving Digiday. It’s a great company run by some of the most talented people in the business, and I’m extremely proud to have contributed to what it’s accomplished. The content and conferences Digiday produces continue to excel, and it has established itself as a leading voice in the digital media world.
“I’d like to thank Nick Friese and the entire team for making Digiday such a fun place to be since I joined in 2011 – particularly those I’ve worked closely with in editorial including Saya Weissman, Josh Sternberg, Clair Lorell, Haniya Rae, Brian Braiker, and more recently John McDermott and Ricardo Bilton.
“I’d especially like to thank Brian Morrissey for all his help and guidance over the past two and a half years — for which I’m more grateful than can be expressed in a blog post — and for letting us publish ridiculous Twitter bio generators and articles about Louis C.K.
“More details to follow on what I’ll be doing at WSJ, but I’ll be at Digiday through March 5th. Until then, you know where to find me.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Dagmar Aalund, politics and economy editor, Europe, Middle East and Africa, at The Wall Street Journal, sent out the following staff announcement on Friday:
We’re very happy to announce the arrival of two new editors on the politics and economics desk in London: Matt Surman, Deputy Editor, Politics and Economics EMEA, and Craig Nelson, News Editor, Middle East and Africa. They are a vital part of our effort to get stories edited and up online more quickly during the European day and produce coverage to stand for all platforms.
Before joining The Wall Street Journal, Matt Surman worked for 10 years as an editor and reporter at the Associated Press — most recently as an editor on the Europe Desk in London, handling breaking news and enterprise stories from Europe, Central Asia and Africa. He started at the AP as a reporter in Berlin, and also worked in New York editing U.S. news for international readers. He was previously a reporter at the Los Angeles Times and the Press-Enterprise in Southern California. Raised in a military family, Matt moved frequently, but he considers the Seattle area home. He is a graduate of Yale University and has a masters in journalism from Columbia University.
Craig Nelson was previously foreign editor at the National in Abu Dhabi and has extensive experience as an editor and correspondent focusing on both the Middle East and Africa. He lived in Jerusalem, covering the region for five years for Cox Newspapers, including reporting on the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the war in Lebanon in 2006. Before that, he was East Africa correspondent for the Associated Press in Nairobi. He was also Moscow correspondent for the Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald for two years. Craig will work closely with Middle East bureau chief Bill Spindle and Africa bureau chief Peter Wonacott in editing and shaping copy from the region. Born and raised in Minnesota, Craig is a graduate of Carleton College and attended Union Theological Seminary in New York.
Please give them a warm welcome.
by Chris Roush
Rich Miller, a well-known political columnist in Chicago, has been hired by Crain’s Chicago Business to write a regular column, reports Robert Feder.
Feder writes, “Starting Friday, Miller’s column will appear twice monthly on chicagobusiness.com and eventually will be seen in Crain’s weekly print publication as well.
“The move marks a return to Chicago media for Miller, 51, whose eight-year run as a free-lance columnist for the Sun-Times ended in January.
“‘I thoroughly enjoyed my years writing for the Sun-Times and I’m looking forward to a new challenge with Crain’s,’ Miller said Thursday. ‘[Crain’s political columnist] Greg Hinz has been a good friend for a very long time, and his encouragement convinced me that I should embrace this change. So far, I’ve totally enjoyed dealing with the management, and I’m looking forward to the publication of my inaugural column.’
“Miller’s crossing coincides with major initiatives at both Crain’s and the Sun-Times to boost coverage of government, politics and public affairs. As reported here earlier, the Sun-Times is about to marshal all of its political and government content in a new digital platform, sponsored by Jasculca Terman Strategic Communications.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
New York Times business editor Dean Murphy sent out the following email announcement on Thursday:
For the past seven years, Kevin McKenna has done a stellar job reinventing, elevating and integrating our online report – so successfully, that in essence he has made his current web job an anachronism of sorts. Kevin will become Deputy Business Editor for News, a newly created position that better reflects the direction our news operation has taken — integrating his current web role with the day-to-day running of our year-old news desk.
Kevin will oversee the production and presentation of our news – regardless of the platform. He will have responsibility for the daily news report, print and digital, including supervising our web producers and our morning and late news editors. He will also coordinate our collaboration with the video, graphics, social media and design groups. On the BizDay news desk, Kevin will work closely with Aimee Harris, John Woods and Jack Lynch, and with producers Kevin Granville, Kelly Couturier, and Tamara Best.
His new position is about presenting all of our news in all of its forms – web, mobile, print, social media, video – with creativity and imagination and to the exacting standards of The Times. Anyone who has worked with Kevin during his nearly three decades here knows that there is no more capable, knowledgeable and dedicated editor. He oversaw the launch and early phases of The Times website, worked on the foreign, metro and news desks, served double stints as technology editor, and edited the former Circuits section before it was integrated into BizDay. And now once again, Kevin will be at the cutting edge of our changing report.
After a year as the anchor of BizDay’s news desk, Adrienne Carter is also on the move.
Adrienne will become International Business Editor, overseeing our correspondents across the globe and coordinating coverage of business and economic news with the INYT. Adrienne is ideally poised to take on this important role. In her current job, she has worked tirelessly with our colleagues in London, Paris and Hong Kong to elevate and integrate our business report, and has had a hand in editing stories from all corners of the globe. Adrienne came to The Times in 2010 as the DealBook morning editor, after tours at Money and BusinessWeek as both reporter and editor (as well as a brief stint overseeing an internal Web site for financial advisers at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney).
She is not only the first licensed broker to serve as International Business Editor (that I know of, anyway), but she takes her new job just weeks after her debut as an international business writer with a dress-page piece about a luxury resort in Vista Flores, Argentina. No, she won’t be a player/coach, but we should probably prepare for more pieces about exotic getaways in distant lands.
Adrienne and Kevin will take up their new posts on March 10.
by Chris Roush
Linda Austin, the executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism for the past five years, has resigned to become project manager of APME’s NewsTrain.
Austin writes, “The change fits with a shift in my personal life. I am moving back east, where I am starting an international training consultancy. Stay tuned for details @LindaAustin_.
“I have so enjoyed working with you all to improve business coverage. Receiving feedback such as this on a regular basis has been unbelievably gratifying:
- “I’ve always been thrown into beats and stories without any preparation. The Reynolds Center is a godsend.” – Mary Lisa Gavenas, freelancer
- “I regularly check the site for tips and resources – and I always come away knowing so much more.” – Lily Leung, Orange County Register
- “The Reynolds Center transformed me into a better business journalist.”– Brad Kane, Hartford Business Journal
“Those kind words are echoed in the annual survey we do of our trainees. Ninety-six percent graded our training as either an A or a B, and 94 percent said they would recommend Reynolds training to a colleague.
“Maintaining that record now falls to my top-notch colleagues, who are more than up to the task. Working with them to help other journalists improve their skills is an amazing opportunity. So, I know that the search for my successor will turn up outstanding candidates. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact Sandy Mancilla at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.”
Read more here.