Tag Archives: New York Times
by Chris Roush
Glenn Kramon has officially been named tech editor of The New York Times, according to a memo from business editor Dean Murphy.
In the email memo, obtained by the New York Observer’s Kara Bloombargen-Smoke, Murphy writes:
He has overseen an impressive run in long-term enterprise, supervising or editing dozens of projects that have captivated readers, set the national debate and won a bevy of prizes — at last count nine Pulitzers among them. His standards are exacting and his enthusiasm for great journalism infectious. And he is a generous and collaborative colleague.
Glenn Kramon has spent the past seven years working his enterprise magic for multiple departments as assistant managing editor in New York. We are pleased to announce that he will now take his act on the road, moving to San Francisco as technology editor for Business Day.
This is an exciting moment for Bizday, as one of the paper’s most accomplished editors focuses his attention on one of our most vital and dynamic areas of coverage. It also a coming home, of sorts, for Glenn. He not only served as business editor, but also had a stint as tech editor back when the Internet was as much mystery as business model.
Tech is now a mainstay of business journalism, and thanks to Damon Darlin’s leadership, our tech team’s coverage is second to none. During his seven years, Damon has expanded the tech team, broadened its coverage to include the impact of technology on society and built Bits into a must-read blog. Damon will be moving to an assignment in New York — more on that later — while Glenn continues to expand tech’s presence both in print and online.
Glenn will begin his 2.0 mobile version later this winter once he clears through the stack of prize entries teetering on his desk. In the meantime, Damon will manage the transition.
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Bob Tedeschi, the former app columnist for The New York Times, has helped create “Bobo Explores Light,” an award-winning best-selling iPad application, reports Claire Atkinson of the New York Post.
He moved off the column after alerting his editors about the app, Atkinson writes.
Atkinson writes, “‘Bobo,’ created with two executives at Game Collage, has hit No. 1 in 12 countries in both the education and book categories.
“Costing $4.99, ‘Bobo,’ which launched Sept. 15, 2011, is currently the No. 72 top-grossing iPad app, according to AppData, and is the first children’s educational app to make the App Hall of Fame.
“While even some developers have no idea how many downloads are needed to reach the top of Apple’s charts, the more popular free apps need at least 100,000, according to executives at Flurry, a mobile app measurement firm.
“Ironically, Tedeschi’s app creation was first discussed with a Times editor as a possible story that would address how hard it was to make a living developing apps.
“The story assignment was eventually dropped — but Tedeschi continued pursuing the idea.”
Read more here. Tedeschi is now a gardening columnist for the paper.
by Chris Roush
Jim Romenesko has excerpted some parts of an interview that New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg did with Longform.org about journalism and his career.
Here is an excerpt:
On interviewing with the New York Times
“I went in and I said, ‘I want to apply for the telcom job.’ We talked about telecom. I know nothing about telecom, but I sort of read clips on the plane. But then [Times business editor] Larry Ingrassia said, ‘So if you could have any beat at the New York Times, what would it be?’ I kind of knew [this was coming] because this is an inevitable question. I said, If I could cover anything, I would cover the insurance industry, and I would cover the insurance industry like it’s this passionate, passionate story — the same way this guy David Cay Johnston had covered taxes — because everyone owns insurance and no one ever thinks about it, and there’s people’s lives at risk, and there’s companies that essentially want to extort you for your premiums.
“The reason I said that is because I knew that no one had ever said that to Larry Ingrassia. No one ever says, ‘My passion is to cover the insurance industry,’ and the number one thing you want to do when you’re writing a story or when you’re applying for a job or doing anything else, you want to be surprising. People love surprises.”
Read more here. Editor‘s note: I covered the insurance industry for the Tampa Tribune and BusinessWeek from 1990 to 1995, and started a magazine called Insurance Investor in 1999. It lasted until 2002. I thoroughly enjoyed covering the insurance beat.
by Chris Roush
Joe Hagan of New York magazine writes Friday about the looking changes among top editors at The New York Times and reports on changes that will affect some business coverage and previous business editors.
Hagan writes, “Abramson is offering some senior editors alternate jobs, presumably at reduced salaries. Glenn Kramon, an assistant managing editor who has been overseeing long-form investigations, is moving to San Francisco to become the new technology editor.
“In the wake of the bloodletting, Larry Ingrassia, who recently departed as editor of the ‘Biz Day’ section, will rise to take a powerful leadership position atop a much-reduced masthead. His job will consolidate the roles of outgoing editors, including oversight of new digital and branding initiatives, conferences, and events.
“Last month, Times publisher and chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said that all divisions of the newspaper needed to ‘identify cost savings’ during a time of plummeting ad sales revenue. But at least one division appears to have been spared: the editorial page. Editor Andrew Rosenthal has told his staffers that there will be no cuts, and so far none have occurred there as he’s found ways to reduce expenditures without firing people.”
Read more here. Both Ingrassia and Kramon are former business editors.
by Chris Roush
David Barstow of The New York Times had two bylines in 2012.
But those two stories have shaken the world’s largest retailer and what investors and consumers think about it.
The first story, published on April 21, disclosed how Wal-Mart’s Mexican operations were using bribes to expand their business. Through nearly 8,000 words, Barstow’s expose presenting damning evidence, and the company’s stock price fell 5 percent.
The second story, published on Dec. 18, looked closer at the problem. Barstow wrote:
Rather, Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited. It used bribes to subvert democratic governance — public votes, open debates, transparent procedures. It used bribes to circumvent regulatory safeguards that protect Mexican citizens from unsafe construction. It used bribes to outflank rivals.
Through confidential Wal-Mart documents, The Times identified 19 store sites across Mexico that were the target of Wal-Mart de Mexico’s bribes. The Times then matched information about specific bribes against permit records for each site. Clear patterns emerged. Over and over, for example, the dates of bribe payments coincided with dates when critical permits were issued. Again and again, the strictly forbidden became miraculously attainable.
Ryan Chittum of Columbia Journalism Review called the first story “one of the most damning exposés of corporate corruption I’ve seen in years. It’s an incredible piece of journalism.” And it is for these two stories that Barstow is named the Talking Biz News co-Business Journalist of the Year for 2012.
To be sure, Barstow’s work has not been while assigned to the business news desk. The stories have been while he is part of the investigative desk run by Matt Purdy. But the stories are classical business journalism, using internal company documents and extensive on-the-ground interviews to uncover a company’s corrupt practices. The fact that it’s one of the largest companies in the world makes the stories even better.
The first story led to the longest PR response to a journalist’s story that I have ever seen a company issue. And the first story has already awarded the Barlett & Steele Award for Investigative Business Journalism by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. I’d expect it to be a serious Pulitzer contender next year.
Barstow, who joined the paper on the metro desk in 1999, has been an investigative reporter for The Times since 2002. This is not the first time that his work has garnered national recognition.
In 2002 and 2003, Barstow reported extensively on workplace safety in America, leading a team of journalists that produced two series for The Times and an hour-long documentary for the PBS program “Frontline.” The two series, “Dangerous Business” and “When Workers Die,” won the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2004. The two series and the documentary were also recognized with the duPont Silver Baton, an award long regarded as the Pulitzer Prize of television reporting.
In 2009, he won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for “Message Machine,” two articles that exposed a covert Pentagon campaign to use retired military officers, working as analysts for television and radio networks, to reiterate administration “talking points” about the war on terror.
Before joining the paper, Barstow worked for The St. Petersburg Times in Florida beginning in 1990, reporting on a wide range of issues. While there, he was a finalist for three Pulitzer Prizes: in 1997, he was the lead writer for coverage of race riots and was a finalist for spot news reporting; in 1998, he helped lead coverage of financial wrongdoing at the National Baptist Convention and was a finalist for investigative reporting; and, that same year, he wrote a series of stories about tobacco litigation and was a finalist for explanatory journalism.
Before joining The St. Petersburg Times, Barstow was a reporter for The Rochester Times-Union in upstate New York.
by Chris Roush
The bread and butter of business journalism is company coverage.
A good business journalist knows how to cover a company inside and out. He or she has great sources inside and outside a company. He or she also writes stories that aren’t spoon-fed to them by the company’s PR staff. Those stories are fair while being critical.
A great business journalist can write company stories that have impact and can change the way consumers, and investors, look at that company.
David Barstow of The New York Times and Brian Grow of Reuters are two such journalists. And they are the co-winners of the Talking Biz News Business Journalist of the Year competition.
Barstow’s coverage of Wal-Mart this past year has been an investigative virtuoso, while Grow’s coverage of Chesapeake Energy has consistently chipped away at the veneer that a company’s executive team strives so hard to present by reporting what goes on behind the scenes.
To use sports metaphors, Barstow’s coverage has been a grand slam home run in the bottom of the ninth inning while Grow’s coverage has been a series of game-winning three-pointers at the buzzer.
Past winners of the Talking Biz News award have been Joseph Weisenthal of The Business Insider in 2011 for changing how business journalists deliver information to consumers and Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times in 2010 for his insider coverage of Wall Street.
Other business journalists considered this year for the award were Carrick Mollenkamp of Reuters, Kai Ryssdel of “Marketplace,” Alan Murray of The Wall Street Journal, and Dan Primack of Fortune.
The selection of Barstow and Grow is purely subjective, but this year Talking Biz News expanded the review of the finalists to its team of contributors.
What follows are profiles of Barstow and Grow and their work in the past 12 months.
by Chris Roush
Outgoing business editor Larry Ingrassia and incoming business editor Dean Murphy of The New York Times sent out the following staff announcement on Wednesday:
After two plum assignments – in Detroit and Albany – Danny Hakim is taking a turn at a hardship posting, as Business Day’s European economic correspondent based in London, replacing Landon Thomas next summer.
Yes, we realize that Danny will have a difficult time knowing what to do for culture and entertainment in London, but he has proven to be a resourceful and enterprising reporter, so we’re confident he will figure it out.
For Danny, returning to Bizday will be a homecoming. He started his career at The Times in 2000 covering investing. He then served as Bizday’s Detroit bureau chief from 2001 to 2005, writing about everything from the challenges facing the Big Three to their contentious relationship with the U.A.W. to “Hummer Camp” (an offroading weekend GM for rich Hummer drivers) to a profile of Snoop Dogg’s personal car detailer (whose name was Big Slice.)
He moved to The Times’s statehouse bureau in Albany as a reporter in November 2005, and became bureau chief in 2007. Danny notes that he has covered four governors, “which I’m pretty sure is a record for us.”
Of course, one of the main reasons he covered so many governors is that he uncovered the transgressions of two of them. Danny was a key part of the team that won a 2009 Pulitzer for breaking the story that led to the resignation of Gov. Eliot Spitzer, and also was part of a team that broke stories that led Gov. David Paterson to drop out of the 2010 gubernatorial race.
Never one to rest on laurels, Danny was a finalist for the Pulitzer Public Service award this year for the 2011 series, “Abused & Used,” that he co-authored with Russ Buettner, which probed abuse, neglect and corruption in the care of the developmentally disabled. That series won the Batten Medal this year from the American Society of Newspaper editors.
How good has Danny been as Albany bureau chief? After pondering what to say to salute him, Carolyn Ryan wrote, “Ah, screw it. By the time I get through saying how great he has been for Metro we will be in to 2013.”
Danny began his journalism career as a clerk at the Washington Post, and then became a police reporter at the Greenville News in South Carolina and an investing reporter at SmartMoney.com before joining The Times. He grew up in Virginia Beach, Va., and graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md. He also has contributed chapters to new editions of “A History of Us,” a 10-volume American history textbook series written by his mother, Joy Hakim. Most recently, he wrote a chapter explaining the financial crisis to fifth graders. “Not easy!” he notes. (For the next edition, maybe he will add a chapter about the European debt crisis.)
by Chris Roush
Michelle Leder of Footnoted.org has an interesting post on Tuesday noting that Wal-Mart Stores warned in its 10-Q filing two weeks ago about the New York Times article that ran Tuesday about its Mexican operations.
Leder writes, “As with most of what we find, we’ll often flag something, and wait for events to unfold. Sometimes, this happens relatively quickly and sometimes it can take six months or longer. At Wal-Mart, it took exactly two weeks. Here’s the new disclosure that caught our attention two weeks ago:
“The Company expects that there will be ongoing media and governmental interest, including additional news articles from media publications on these matters, which could impact the perception among certain audiences of the Company’s role as a corporate citizen.”
“The additional news article that Wal-Mart seemed to be referring to was this sharply researched piece in today’s New York Times, which talked about a shocking pattern of corruption. Here’s a key paragraph from the Times’ piece:
“Rather, Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited. It used bribes to subvert democratic governance — public votes, open debates, transparent procedures. It used bribes to circumvent regulatory safeguards that protect Mexican citizens from unsafe construction. It used bribes to outflank rivals.”
“Shortly after the story first posted yesterday on the Times’ site, Wal-Mart put out this statement, which included a video taped by Wal-Mart Vice President for Corporate Communications David Tovar. The statement includes numbers that we haven’t seen in Wal-Mart’s SEC disclosures on the scope of its ongoing efforts related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation, including hiring more than 300 third-party legal and accounting experts. (In the Q, the company notes that it spent $48 million on this during the third quarter and $99 million during the first three quarters).”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Dean Starkman of Columbia Journalism Review writes about the balancing act of access and accountability by most business journalists in the wake of New York Times business editor Larry Ingrassia announcing last week he was moving to another job at the paper.
Starkman writes, “Like I say, it’s a balancing act. And that absolutely means you can fall off, though usually it’s not so abrupt as a fall; more like a slow sinking into the warm, cushy, perfumed maw of access, where fancy canapés are served.
“On the other side, credit must be given where it’s due, and to say that the Times has walked away from accountability reporting would be just wrong. In 2008, I compared its coverage of the crisis favorably to The Wall Street Journal’s, a judgment that I think holds up. More recently, I’m thinking of the 2010 blockbuster that kept the News Corp. hacking story alive until the Guardian could blow it open the next summer; the iEconomy series, especially the Foxconn story; and the monster-blowout WalMart bribery story. We should call these and other similar stories what they are: a public service.
“(And it’s hard to tell how much the business editor had to do with this story or that one, but, generally speaking, it was Ingrassia’s watch, so he should get credit and blame.)
“Another way to think of it is, if Sorkin has (plenty of) space to do what he does, so does Gretchen Morgenson, who, I’ve written, represents the other pole, does as well. This is the far more vulnerable space, bureaucracy-wise, with its time-consuming, expensive longform stories, confrontations, legal risks, and bridge-burning nature. But there it is.
“Could it be bigger, better, with more? Sure.
“But big institutional journalism, especially in the business-news business, is a balancing act between access and accountability, and the business section of the most important American newspaper under Ingrassia, it should be said, stayed up upright and held on to the umbrella.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan writes Thursday that the paper’s DealBook conference was a chance for some of its business journalists to get chummy with sources.
Sullivan writes, “Was the event too chummy, too clubby, and is DealBook itself that way, too?
“‘I don’t think there’s any truth to that,’ Mr. Sorkin said. ‘We ask very pointed questions.’
“In its first event of this kind, The Times put together a smooth, impressive and star-studded day, and it made none of the clumsy errors that The Los Angeles Times did in its Staples Center debacle or The Washington Post in its aborted ‘Salongate’ plans.
“But given the lunchtime rollout of a new Blackberry device, the overall friendly questioning of prominent newsmakers, the reception afterward – featuring wine, hors d’oeuvres and the incessant rubbing of journalistic and corporate elbows — the word ‘adversarial’ did not come to mind. Nor did the word ‘watchdog.’
“Most audience members paid handsomely to be ‘invited’ – most tickets were $1,500, others less. Given that they were coming to see people like Mr. Blankfein — other big names were the JPMorgan Chase chairman Jamie Dimon and the Google chairman Eric Schmidt – The Times’s indebtedness to these sources lurks in the shadows. (The participants were not paid for their appearances.)”
Read more here.