Tag Archives: Personal finance coverage
The McGraw-Hill Companies 2010 Personal Finance Journalism Awards will go to journalists from Mercado De Dinero, Telemundo and The Hartford Guardian for coverage of consumer debt and the housing crisis.
The winners are:
* First Place: Elizabeth Ostos for her article “Credit consolidation in a country in debt” in monthly newspaper Mercado de Dinero. The article illustrates the credit crisis in the United States through the lens of an immigrant family.
* Second Place: Carlos Rajo of Telemundo, Los Angeles, for his article “A House of Their Own: Is the American Dream too Expensive?” Rajo explains how the mortgage crisis has changed the perception of home ownership among the Hispanic community.
* Third Place: Ann Marie Adams of The Hartford Guardian for her story “Losing Ground: Foreclosure Rate Higher Among Minority Homeowners.” Adams details the particular hardships faced by minority homeowners in Connecticut facing foreclosure.
The journalists were among 30 reporters who participated in a 12-week online program, taught in English and Spanish. The program sought to provide in-depth knowledge of consumer finance issues of particular importance to minority communities.
The International Center for Journalists administers the program. Over three years, this program has trained more than 100 journalists throughout the United States. The McGraw-Hill Companies sponsors the program.
The winners will be honored Sept. 22 at The McGraw-Hill Cos.’ headquarters in New York. The New York Times personal finance columnist Ron Lieber will give the keynote address. He will also participate in a panel discussion with Hispanic personal finance expert Xavier Serbia. Serbia was the Spanish-language instructor for the course. ICFJ’s president Joyce Barnathan will moderate.
“These journalists tackled financial issues—and offered sound advice on how to avoid pitfalls,” said ICFJ’s Barnathan. “As a result, they are helping to make their communities stronger and more financially literate.”
Read more here.
DISCLOSURE: I am one of the instructors for the 12-week course and helped select the entries.
Cliff Pletschet, whose personal investment columns appeared in the Oakland Tribune and other Bay Area News Group newspapers for more than 30 years until this spring, died Sunday in Oakland. He was 80.
A story on the Contra Costa Times site states, “Pletschet also served as business editor for the Oakland Tribune, but his real love was writing columns that deciphered the investment world. He often said that he knew what people needed: education and information to make better investment choices.
“Among some of the principles that he preached were to ‘buy equity not debt,’ ‘if you do not understand an investment, do not invest in it,’ and ‘set personal investment goals.’
“In one column explaining financial derivatives, Pletschet warned readers to stay away from any investments ‘that had so many moving parts.’ He also encouraged the purchase of stocks that paid dividends and discouraged investments that were not highly liquid.
“Fran Pletschet said that Cliff often received notes and cards from readers thanking him for advice that made them money.”
Read more here.
Jonathan Krim, the senior deputy managing editor of WSJ.com, sent out the following announcement on Tuesday morning:
“We are delighted to announce that Jennifer Merritt has been named deputy personal finance editor for the Wall Street Journal Digital Network.
“Jennifer is joining a burgeoning team that will carry us forward in the wake of the acquisition of SmartMoney.com. This group will manage the SmartMoney.com site, WSJ.com’s personal finance pages, and work closely with editors at our other network sites to create the best and most compelling personal finance content and tools anywhere on the Web.
“Jennifer has a deep resume that suits perfectly her new responsibilities. She is leaving a successful run as wsj.com’s careers editor, where she has expertly piloted stories, useful interactive graphics and rankings projects for both online and print. Her efforts helped produce strong readership gains across the board.
“Prior to joining the Journal in 2007, Jennifer spent time at Money magazine, where she oversaw a team of reporters and several special projects/reports, including Best Jobs, Best Places to Live and Best Mutual Funds. She also has worked as business editor of the Florida Times Union, and served time at Business Week and other newspapers.
“Jennifer has several projects currently in the hopper here, so will transition into her new role slowly over the summer.”
by Chris Roush
Jeff Opdyke, the Wall Street Journal reporter who wrote the paper’s “Love & Money” column for more than six years, writes in the Sunday edition of the Journal about resigning from the paper after 17 years — but coming back to writing the column after a two-year absence, this time as a freelancer.
Opdyke writes, “I knew generally what I wanted, I put out a ton of feelers, and I found one great opportunity. (I’ll cover that search in the next column.)
“I now write about overseas investing for a financial newsletter, allowing me to satisfy two of my greatest passions: writing about finance and traveling. And for the first time in my career, I have the possibility of making more money because of a potentially lucrative bonus structure. I also have more freedom to pursue books and other freelance writing, which increases my earnings potential immensely.
“Best of all, I get to maintain my work-from-home lifestyle that benefits my family.
“Leaving The Wall Street Journal wasn’t easy, causing much doubt and angst. But in the debate between security and opportunity, the choice in the end seemed clear: I had to chase opportunity in order to find a better life for my family.”
Read more here.
Chris Serico of The Journal News in Westchester County, N.Y., writes about Gerri Willis of Fox Business Network and her new personal finance-related show.
Serico writes, ¨Her show, ‘The Willis Report,’ which made its debut on the Fox Business Network this month, interprets national consumer and personal finance issues for regular taxpayers.
“‘I think the show has a lot of potential to grow,’ says Willis, who also contributes to other Fox News programs. ‘And I think Fox Business will grow. I’m just really, really happy there.’
¨After a seven-year stint covering business at CNN, Willis joined the fledgling business network in March. June 7 was the debut of ‘The Willis Report,’ whose host was pleased with the early results.
“‘I felt good about it,’ she says. ‘The creation of the show is the fun part. You’re coming up with something brand new to offer folks. I feel like it’s really in my wheelhouse. This is the show I always wanted to do.’”
Read more here.
The Indianapolis Star plans to unveil expanded coverage in its Sunday business section, beginning this weekend.
The paper will have several new features in the Sunday section, says business editor Greg Weaver in an e-mail to Talking Biz News. They include expanded tech coverage, a weekly feature on a rising business star under age 40, a peek inside a corporate bigwig’s private office, a behind-closed-doors style reporter’s notebook of intesting biz tidbits and a how-to column focusing on personal finance and career advancement.
Reporter Erika Smith will be writing the “My Office” feature. Dana Knight is handling the “How To” feature, and Ted Evanoff is compiling the “Water Cooler” reporters’ notebook column.
The Star’s business desk has an editor, an assistant editor, seven reporters and two interns. During the week, it has two pages inside the A section.
An announcement of this and other changes at the paper were disclosed Thursday in a publisher’s note on the paper’s Web site.
Personal finance guru Suze Orman — who has a regular show on CNBC — is resting at a Chicago hotel after having emergency appendectomy surgery over the weekend.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports, “Orman, a Chicago native who has a show on CNBC, as well as being a regular contributor to Oprah Winfrey’s magazine and TV show, had to have her appendix removed while in Chicago over the weekend, according to spokeswoman Kristin Bouton.
“The surgery was performed Saturday night at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, she said. A hospital spokeswoman was unable to confirm the information, saying Orman’s name was not listed on a patient database.
“Orman was released from the hospital Tuesday and has been resting in a Chicago hotel before going back home to Florida, Bouton said. ‘She’ll be taking a couple days to recover’ before leaving, she said.”
Read more here.
Richard Huff of the New York Daily News writes about the new Fox Business Network show hosted by Gerri Willis and the importance of personal finance coverage.
Huff writes, “A steady drumbeat of negative economic news — along with daily coverage of things like war and the oil spill — often stirs concern in news circles about bad-news overload, especially when it comes to money.
“Not a problem, says the Fox Business Network reporter.
“‘There’s never been a more important time to cover personal finance, and to help people out of the financial problems they’re facing,’ says Willis, who this week launched ‘The Willis Report,’ a daily show airing at 5 p.m. on FBN.
“The show isn’t market-driven, though it does have market news, she says.
“‘We’re going to be looking at the news of the day and how it affects your wallet,’ she adds. ‘We’re going to be zealously protecting your wallets.’”
Read more here.
Fox Business Network will debut a new daytime program hosted by Gerri Willis on Monday, June 7, the network announced Wednesday.
The Willis Report will appear weekdays at 5 p.m. EST and feature a breakdown of the day’s top stories and how they impact the American taxpayer.
“Gerri Willis’ insights on personal finance issues are unparalleled, and we’re very excited to add this consumer-focused show to our weekday lineup,” said Kevin Magee, executive vice president, in a statement.
Joined by a different panel of experts each afternoon, Willis will dissect the news of the day and explain its bottom line effects on the wallets of everyday Americans. The program will also examine the latest scams, hidden fees and other ways companies take advantage of consumers.
“I am thrilled to have a platform where I can help consumers understand this ever-changing economy and provide them with the tools to manage their financial future,” said Willis, who was hired earlier this year from CNN, in a statement.
The new program will take the place of Happy Hour, which will end its run on Friday, June 4.
Meghan Casserly of Forbes Women talked with Washington Post business reporter Nancy Trejos about how she overcame her personal finance troubles.
Here is an excerpt:
As a financial journalist, how did you decide to come clean about your messy finances in such a public forum?
It was a really difficult decision. I’d spent many years in denial about my problems, but I got to the point where I needed to be honest with myself, my friends and my family. My job as a finance writer actually helped me to get there, because I spent every day talking to people who were literally on the brink of bankruptcy. I realized they weren’t bad people, they weren’t dumb people, they just didn’t know how to make things right. And what I came to see was that I wasn’t alone, and that it was OK to talk about it. I had a story to tell, to let other people know that they weren’t alone, and that there were livable steps to getting your life and your money back in order.
When did you realize that your debt was beyond your control?
I was living in a rental in D.C., because I’d had to sell my condo at a major loss. I had credit card debt, student loans, car loans–basically every kind of debt possible. I hadn’t even been looking at my bank account because I was too scared to see the balance. I finally had to go online and check out what was going on, and it was worse than I’d imagined. It was out of control, and I knew I needed to ask for help.
Read more here.