Tag Archives: New York Times
The New York Times announced today the launch of DealBook, a new online financial news report on NYTimes.com featuring up-to-the-minute news and exclusives about Wall Street and corporate America. The continually updated report edited by Andrew Ross Sorkin, the Times’s chief mergers and acquisitions reporter, with contributions from Times business reporters, is an extension of the daily e-mail newsletter of the same name that reaches more than 160,000 subscribers and includes among its readers many of the nation’s most influential executives and leaders.
DealBook now includes three separate entities: the DealBook online report, the DealBook e-mail newsletter and the DealBook Sunday column in the newspaper. The new online report will be published weekdays at NYTimes.com/dealbook and will contain in-depth coverage that is updated throughout the market day, Monday through Friday. The existing DealBook e-mail newsletter is an executive summary of the prior day’s news and sent before the opening bell each weekday morning. Sorkin’s DealBook column in the Sunday paper is a point-of-view piece on a specific topic or trend in the financial news industry.
In addition to breaking news and providing timely analysis of market-moving events, the DealBook online report will offer links to the most relevant financial news from around the Web. The report will feature dispatches from other Times business reporters including Peter Edmonston and Liza Klaussmann and will be overseen by a group of editors that includes Jeffrey Cane and is led by Business editor Lawrence Ingrassia.
Read the entire press release here.
The blogging world is all atwitter about New York Times reporter Michael Barbaro and his line of questioning toward blogs in relation to Wal-Mart, the world’s largest company and the responsibility of 5 percent of the GDP.
Seems there has been an outpouring of positive blogging toward Wal-Mart in recent months, and Barbaro, who has not publishing anything about this yet, has been questioning bloggers whether the Bentonville, Ark.-based company is behind it all.
A number of blogs are commenting about Barbaro and his upcoming article.
John McAdams from Marquette University notes: “We got an e-mail from Barbaro this past Thursday evening, saying he is working on a story and that several of the postings on the Marquette Warrior are relevant to it.
“At least two other bloggers on the Wal-Mart mailing list have been similarly contacted.
“Barbaro has apparently noticed that similar stories concerning Wal-Mart have appeared roughly simultaneously in recent months. In some cases, bloggers on the list simply cut and pasted information in the e-mails into their blog posts.”
The Iowa Voice blog writes: “I’m pretty sure this piece is going to be either a hit-piece against bloggers, a hit-piece against Wal-Mart, or quite possibly both.
“Just so we’re clear: neither Wal-Mart, nor anyone connected to them, have ever said “Here, print this”, and they certainly haven’t offered any money to us. They invited us to visit the HQ down in Bentonville, but I declined (they didn’t offer to pay for that, either).
“I have zero problem with ANY company, group, or politician issuing a press release to a blogger. After all, it’s their job that they get their side of the story out as much as possible.
“Similarly, part of a blogger’s job is to cut through the spin and the hype presented from both sides and present the facts as he/she has collected them and knows them to be. The pressure is, of course, on the person/people sending out the press release to present factual information, but it’s just as important for a blogger (just like a regular reporter) to check on these facts, rather than just publish them.”
Blogcritics.org’s Daniel Harrison summarizes that, “Most worrying is if Barbaro was planning on writing a piece in The Times about how Wal Mart is telling bloggers what to say – because this is evidently untrue. Seeking to eliminate competition by going one better on quality is all very well – trying to achieve it by manipulating opinion for news is not.
“Of course, the saddest part of the story is that Barbaro, seemingly seeking to eliminate the competition, by discrediting both Wal Mart and the bloggers in his aggressive line of questioning, has shut himself out of the domain of this lucrative information sphere all the more. It remains to be seen what Barbaro will decide to write: there are still confidentiality clauses to be kept, private e-mails and telephone conversations to be revealed, and many more stories to be told, but this may well be the new beginning of the end for the masthead that will soon once have read ‘All The News That’s Fit To Print.’”
Be forewarned, business journalists: If you interview bloggers, they are going to post about it and tell everyone what you’re likely to write.
The New York Times’ Joe Nocera wrote a column this weekend about the efforts of Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne to discredit financial journalists who write negatively about his company or who question the “naked short-selling conspirary” that he has espoused for the past year. Nocera’s column is part of Times Select, so I haven’t posted about it until now since it is appearing in other newspapers and can be read for free.
Some background: Earlier this year, Byrne responded to interview questions from BusinessWeek’s Timothy Mullaney and the New York Post’s Roddy Boyd by posting his answers on an Internet site. Byrne took this tactic to circumvent what he thought were going to be negative storis written by journalists being fed a story line by short sellers. In fact, Byrne has sued the alleged short-selling firm.
Then comes this week, and one of the business journalists — the Marketwatch’s Herb Greenberg — is subpoenaed by the SEC, along with Dow Jones reporter Carol Remond, looking into Byrne’s allegations against the short sellers. According to Nocera’s column, Byrne has knowledge of the subpoenas and sends some strange — and menacing — e-mails to Greenberg. One of them read: “”As I take a sip, ‘I find myself curious: do you guys know? Are you sitting somewhere, blithely oblivious, still chuckling about Whacky Patty, and all that? Or do you understand now that this is going to end badly for you?”
Nocera’s analysis: “This is what Bryne does: along with O’Brien, he bullies and taunts and goads the small handful of reporters who dare to write about Overstock, making it clear that there will be a price to be paid for tackling the company or its chief executive. And as a result, financial reporters have become very chary of taking him on.”
I am sorry to say that I missed Byrne’s appearance earlier today on CNBC’s Kudlow & Co. But apparently he called Greenberg, one of the most respected business journalists in the field, a “crooked reporter.” That’s at least what former BusinessWeek reporter Gary Weiss, an acquaintance of Greenberg’s is stating on his blog.
Greenberg replied on Jim Cramer’s Mad Money show, saying that Byrne had libeled and slandered him. “I’m proud of what I do,” said Greenberg. “The SEC and I, we’re kind of doing the same thing. What I do for a living is help people avoid getting taken advantage of.” At the end of the segment, Cramer said to him: “Listen buddy, you’re not corrupt.”
I don’t expect this to be the last we’ve heard of this.
When Byrne posted his interviews on the Internet, I took it as a case of the changing relationship between business journalists and sources with the Web coming into play. But to go onto cable television and call a journalist “crooked” smacks of vindictiveness and a thin skin. I can see now why a lot of people think that Byrne is strange.
NewsBusters, w blog that works to find liberal bias on the media, critiques the article on the front page of the Sunday New York Times business section in a recent post. The article, written by reporter Landon Thomas Jr., is a profile of conspiracy-mongering author John Perkins called “Confessing to the converted.”
NewsBusters writes: “A paranoid left-wing audience may indeed find a ‘ring of truth’ to the suggestion that the corporate-government complex murdered Sen. Paul Wellstone and JFK Jr., but does that mean the Times has to relay it without critical comment? Thomas takes a liberal line to defend Perkins’ sub-Michael Moore appeal.”
Read the critique here.
New York Times medical business writer Barry Meier took the business reporting category for the Polk Awards, given for investigative reporting and announced Monday, for his coverage of a commonly used heart implant that had been found to be defective.
Meier’s coverage of the companies that made heart devices was thorough and meticulous back in the fall. The judges noted, “His coverage, which began last May and continued this year, sparked government, corporate and medical investigations that have helped to save lives.”
Meier’s Sept. 29, 2005 story in the Times began with this lead: “Criminal investigators at the Food and Drug Administration have apparently become involved in the agency’s inquiry into how the Guidant Corporation handled problems with its heart devices, said two people contacted by the investigators.”
A story published two days earlier led with: “By January, about 80 cardiologists nationwide completed an evaluation run by the Guidant Corporation of one of its products, an improved electrical component, known as a lead, that connects an implanted cardiac device to the heart.
“In exchange for implanting the lead in three patients and completing five survey forms, each physician received $1,000 from Guidant.”
And a Sept. 17, 2005 story began with this revelation: “WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 – A representative of the nation’s biggest maker of heart devices, Medtronic, said Friday that it was considering making available to doctors and patients some of the data about product malfunctions that it regularly provides to federal regulators.”
In addition, Bloomberg News reporters David Evans, Michael Smith and Liz Willen will share the George Polk Award for Health Reporting. Evans is a senior writer at Bloomberg News in Los Angeles. Smith is a senior writer in Rio de Janeiro. Willen is a senior writer in New York.
The judges stated, “Their ongoing coverage exposed faults in the U.S. clinical trial system that exploited poor, mostly minority citizens. The reporters revealed how patients, without being informed of the risks, were enticed into entering trials that might lead to serious illness or even death. Just as troubling, their reports revealed that the FDA was outsourcing oversight of some clinical testing centers to private, for-profit companies that were financed by the same large pharmaceutical companies whose drugs were being tested. The Bloomberg team’s story led to a Department of Health and Human Services review of the regulation of human testing and to the resignation of top executives at a major for-profit clinical trial testing center.”
This story ran in the Seattle Times in November 2005 and lead with: “Oscar Cabanerio has been waiting in an experimental drug-testing center in Miami since 7:30 a.m. The 41-year-old undocumented immigrant says he’s desperate for cash to send to his family in Venezuela.
“More than 70 people have crowded into reception rooms furnished with rows of attached blue plastic seats. Cabanerio is one of many regulars who gather at SFBC International’s test center, which, with 675 beds, is the largest for-profit drug-trial site in North America.
“Across the U.S., 3.7 million people have enrolled in drug tests sponsored by the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. The companies have outsourced 75 percent of experimental drug trials to centers such as SFBC, a leader in a $14 billion industry.”
“At the same time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has farmed out much of the responsibility for overseeing safety in these tests to private companies known as institutional review boards. These boards are also financed by pharmaceutical companies.”
Administered by Long Island University since 1949, the George Polk Awards memorialize the CBS correspondent slain covering a civil war in Greece and rank among America’s most coveted journalism honors.
In Sunday’s New York Times, writer Conrad De Aenlle wrote about commodities such as oil, copper, lumber and gold, wondering whether they were the next bull market.
De Aenlle stated, “A widely followed benchmark of commodity prices, the Commodity Research Bureau index, reached a record high recently after nearly doubling since late 2001. Shares of companies that supply these materials â€” gas pipeline operators, miners of industrial and precious metals, forest products concerns â€” have followed a similar trajectory, but some analysts contend that prices have risen too far, too fast.”
This web site offers a critique of the article, stating, “Long story short, both the NY Times and Mr. De Aenlle seem to want their cake and eat it too. They have gone negative on commodities groups ‘for the short term’ while quoting numerous examples of money mangers who are long those groups and seem to be bullish ‘long-term.’ While this is not all that unusual when back up technical or fundamentals are provided, in this instance it simply seems to be a case of hedging without making a decision.”
The same web site, which is geared toward investors, later adds, “The article offers a brief over view of a few various commodity related companies and sectors but does very little by way of real guidance on what to do with the information.”
Read the entire critique here.
NewsBusters, a web site devoted to exposing the liberal bias in media, has a nice analysis of how the media cover the Gross Domestic Product numbers when they come out every quarter. The GDP measures how the U.S. economy is growing, and it’s typically measured against estimates from economists.
Noel Sheppard, writing on NewsBusters, states, “Media coverage of the nationâ€™s economic growth can vary a lot depending on how strong or weak the economy is doing. Strong numbers are downplayed or undermined and weak numbers like the fourth-quarter results are highlighted in some of the major media.”
The fourth-quarter GDP numbers were released last week. Sheppard called the New York Times’ coverage “gloomy” and the NBC News coverage “bearish.” The Washington Post was “downbeat” in its coverage. However, when the third-quarter numbers were released back at the end of October and showed stronger-than-expected growth, Sheppard said that the media didn’t give the story as much coverage.
Read his entire analysis here. I think he has a point, but I don’t know if it’s a problem. Economic growth slowing seems to be more important to people than when it’s humming along. It’s the change in the rate of economic growth that often determines whether the GDP is a big story, or how it’s played.
According to Houston Chronicle columnist Loren Steffy, the media began lining up outside the courthouse where the Enron trial was scheduled to begin today on Sunday night at 6:30 p.m.
Here is part of his posting on his Full Disclosure blog: “They started lining up at 6:30 — that’s p.m., as in Sunday night. My former colleagues at Bloomberg were first in line, of course, at the head of the media circus. Others trickled in throughout the night. By the time I arrived at 6:30 — that’s a.m., as in this morning — about a dozen people had assembled.
“So far it’s been all about the unglamorous side of covering the big story: standing in line, scrambling for seats, angling for the best electrical outlet.
“The 4th floor overflow room, where I’m going to spend most of the trial, is slowly filling with reporters. Most of them are milling around trying to figure out how to hook up to the WiFi network, which apparently is having problems as networks do.
“That’s not a problem for me. My laptop decided to blow a driver late Sunday, so I’m hobbling along, blogging from the press room one floor up.
“So that’s how the Trial of the Century starts: with the mundane.”
Just a couple of questions: Did the Bloomberg reporters bring sleeping bags? lawn chairs? A cooler full of libations? And what do business journalists standing in line for more than 12 hours talk about among themselves?
The New York Times’ coverage of today’s proceedings answered at least one of my questions: The Bloomberg team hired someone to hold their spot so they could sleep. The Times story noted: “The federal courthouse here today was teeming with members of the news media from around the world. A line to secure just eight seats reserved for journalists in the courtroom began forming at 6 p.m. Sunday evening. One person hired by Bloomberg News to hold a place slept in a chair beside the entrance to the courthouse, others arrived as early as 3 a.m. today and by 5 a.m. all eight spots were gone. Journalists who did not make the cut had to watch the trial on closed-circuit televisions in an overflow room. Federal trial proceedings are not open to public cameras.”
Although jury selection was done on Monday, I am beginning to get the feeling that this trial, or at least the perception of this trial, will have as much to do with Lay and Skilling and whether they are innocent or guilty as it will the business media being able to explain what’s going on in a way that will keep reader interest. That won’t be easy.
I’m also intrigued by how one of the defendants — Lay — is using the Internet to present his case. He has a web site, http://www.kenlayinfo.com — where documents related to the case are posted, and Lay’s press conference from July 2004 and his presentation before the Houston Summit on December 2005, can be reviewed. There’s even info on how to contact his PR person.
Glenn Kramon, who had been the business editor at the New York Times, will become the assistant managing editor for enterprise, according to this press release. He had been associate managing editor for career development at the Times since 2003.
Kramon became business editor of The New York Times in 1997, supervising the paper’s daily and Sunday business coverage and overseeing a staff of more than 100. Reporters whom Kramon supervised and edited have won two Pulitzer Prizes, and have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize eight times. They have also earned a number of other honors including five George Polk awards and five Gerald Loeb awards for distinguished business journalism. In June 2003, Kramon became the first recipient of the Gerald Loeb/Lawrence Minard award for outstanding work as an editor.
Previously, Kramon served as deputy business editor since 1994. Since joining The Times in 1987 he has served in positions ranging from copy editor and health care reporter to Sunday business editor and assignment editor, to enterprise editor and technology editor. Before joining The Times, he worked at The San Francisco Examiner since 1977, holding various positions including business editor and Sunday news editor. From 1975 until 1977, he worked at The Kansas City Star as a news editor, copy editor and reporter.
Kramon received a B.A. degree with honors in communications from Stanford University in 1975. While at the university he was the managing editor, city editor and staff editor for the independent student newspaper, the Stanford Daily
New York real estate developer and TV personality Donald Trump filed a defamation lawsuit against New York Times business reporter Timothy O’Brien, who recently wrote a book about Trump, and O’Brien’s publisher, Warner Business Books.
Trump, who issued a news release this morning announcing the lawsuit, stated that O’Brien has defamed Trump, specifically when it comes to his net worth. Trump said he provided financial documents to O’Brien that showed that he was worth billions, but that O’Brien wrote that he was worth between $150 million and $250 million.
In his release, Trump stated, “The writer and publisher of this book knew full well that their statements were false and malicious, but in hopes of generating book sales, they did not care. In so doing, they exposed themselves to this lawsuit. It is about time that somebody stepped forward to expose certain members of the press for what they are. Whether it is a Jayson Blair or a Tim O’Brien, the public should be informed so that they can take a more skeptical view of the things they read in certain media.”
Just 10 days ago, O’Brien was on the NPR show On the Media, where he criticized Forbes magazine’s analysis of Trump’s net worth.
The Associated Press coverage of the lawsuit can be found here.