Tag Archives: SABEW

New SEC chair Schapiro says she respects work of biz journalists

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

New Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman Mary Schapiro said Monday that she respects the work of business journalists, but she stopped short of saying her organization would not subpoena business journalists for an investigation.

“It’s a very hard question,” said Schapiro at the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. “The SEC has very deep respect for journalists to protect their sources.”

While Schapiro said that regulators often look to business news coverage for signs of financial fraud, she said that the agency has procedures and processes in place when the issue of whether to subpoena a business journalist comes up.

In her three months as head of the SEC, she said, she hasn’t confronted a situation where she needed to review such subpoena request.

The issue of subpoenas and business journalists came to the forefront in 2006 when the SEC issued subpoenas to a number of prominent business journalists, including Marketwatch columnist Herb Greenberg, as part of an investigation. The SEC was chaired by Christopher Cox at that time. No subpoenas to business journalists have been issued since then.

Those subpoenas were then withdrawn after criticism.

“Through your reporting and writing, you make American’s smarter,” Schapiro said Monday at lunch to approximately 150 business journalists. “And that makes the SEC’s job easier.”

When asked about other business journalism-related issues, Schapiro said she favored greater and broader disclosure by companies as part of Regulation Fair Disclosure. And she said that it was essential at helping business journalists connect the dots between what was happening on Wall Street and Main Street.

“Nobody was very effectively connecting the dots,” said Schapiro. “It’s incredibly important for us to have a broader view.”

Talking Biz News at SABEW conference next week

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Talking Biz News will be reporting live from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers annual conference in Denver from Sunday through Tuesday.

Look for coverage of a town hall meeting on whether business journalism did a good job of warning readers about the economic crisis, and an examination of the future of financial news via video.

In addition, Talking Biz News will report on the election of new SABEW board members and the vote on moving the SABEW headquarters from the University of Missouri.

We also expect to report on comments made by Ray Shaw, chairman of American City Business Journals, who is receiving the distinguished achievement award on Monday night.

SABEW members to vote on move

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Society of American Business Editors and Writers members attending the Denver conference next week will vote next Monday on whether to move the organization to Arizona State University.

SABEW members registered for the conference received an e-mail on Tuesday detailing the proposal. The vote will take place on April 27 at the organization’s annual business meeting.

The SABEW board voted 10-8, with one member abstaining and three members not voting, earlier this month in favor of the Arizona State proposal. The other eight members voted for a proposal from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

SABEW has been headquartered at the University of Missouri for the past 25 years. Missouri made a proposal to the organization, but got no votes from the board.

A three-person task force that evaluated the school’s proposals made no formal recommendation to the board. Two of the task force members favored the UNC proposal, while the third favored the Arizona State proposal.

The executive committee of SABEW voted 4-2 in favor of the Arizona State proposal.

All members registered for the conference received copies of the proposals from each school, as well as a cost analysis for each school. (If you’d like to see copies of the proposals, e-mail.)

DISCLOSURE: Although a SABEW board member, I abstained from the voting because it involved the University of North Carolina, my full-time employer, and did not participate in any board discussions about the move.

Apply for SABEW scholarship to attend annual conference

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Three days remain to apply for one of 10 additional scholarships that the Society of American Business Editors and Writers is now making available for the upcoming annual conference in Denver. Each scholarship will consist of free registration to the full conference plus $200 to help with travel costs.

Preference will go to business journalists who fit one of four profiles:

– Those who are out of work due to media cutbacks and want to stay in business journalism;

– Business journalism freelancers;

– Winners of 2008 Best in Business Awards whose employers will not pay for them to pick up their awards;

– Employed business journalists who are coming at their own expense and make a compelling case for how they would benefit from attending;

To be eligible, winners must register for the entire conference. SABEW board members and students are not eligible.

Read more here.

SEC chairwoman Schapiro to speak at SABEW conference

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Mary Schapiro, the new chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, will speak on Monday, April 27 at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers annual conference in Denver.

The society’s meeting also features a number of other speakers including CEOs Christina Gold from Western Union and David Hunke from the agency that operates the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News; former SEC Chief Accountant Lynn Turner and William Cohan, author of “House of Cards,” a just-published book that tracks the fall of Bear Stearns.

A high-profile town meeting to examine coverage of the financial meltdown will kick off the conference at noon on Sunday, April 26. Moderating the debate will be ProPublica CEO and former Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Paul Steiger. Panelists include Larry Ingrassia, Business Editor of the New York Times; Bloomberg News and Newsweek Personal Finance Columnist Jane Bryant Quinn; Dean Starkman, financial journalism critic for the Columbia Journalism Review’s Audit site, and Greg Miller, a business professor at the University of Michigan who has studied the business press.

Act now to be sure of getting the reduced $299 registration rate for the conference, which is April 26 to April 28, and a discounted room at the conference venue, the Westin Tabor Center hotel in downtown Denver. These discounts are available only through Friday, March 27; the hotel is sold out beyond the limited number of rooms we have reserved at our group rate. For registration details and hotel online booking, go here. For more about SABEW and the conference, see our site at www.sabew.org.

Read more here.

SABEW names 2008 Best in Business winners

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The New York Times, Washington Post and Minneapolis Star-Tribune were named Tuesday as the best business sections in the country among newspapers with more than 325,000 daily circulation for 2008 by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

The Detroit Free Press, Rocky Mountain News and Kansas City Star were named the best business sections among newspapers with circulation from 225,000 to 325,000.

The Miami Herald, Grand Rapids Press and Seattle Post-Intelligencer were named the newspapers with the best business sections with circulation from 125,000 to 225,000.

The Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, the Salt Lake Tribune and the Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass., were named the best business sections among newspapers with circulation below 125,000.

The Indianapolis Business Journal, Cincinnati Business Courier and Philadelphia Business Journal were named the best weekly business newspapers.

Bloomberg Markets won among business magazines with below 500,000 circulation, while BusinessWeek won among business magazines with above 500,000 circulation.

Web site winners were Crain’s Chicago Business for up to 500,000 average monthly unique visitors, Bloomberg News for 500,000 to 2.5 million average monthly unique visitors, and BusinessWeek.com, BNET.com and the St. Petersburg Times for more than 2.5 million average monthly unique visitors.

See all of the winners here.

SABEW announces four prominent speakers for annual conference

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The Society of American Business Editors and Writers announced that for prominent speakers have joined the line-up for its annual conference, to be held April 26 to April 28 in Denver.

The speakers are Christina Gold, president and chief executive officer at Western Union; Dave Hunke, CEO of the joint operating agency that oversees the business operations of the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News; Lynn Turner, a former chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission; and William Cohan, author of “House of Cards,” a just-published book that tracks the fall of Bear Stearns.

At Denver-based Western Union, Gold oversees a network of more than 350,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. Western Union is the global leader in the money transfer business, which immigrants the world over depend upon. Fortune magazine named her one of America’s 50 most powerful women in business in 2003, 2006 and 2008.

Hunke, who is also publisher of the Free Press, has been in the newspaper business for 30 years. He is in charge of this year’s move by the two Detroit dailies to drop home delivery for four days of the week and put more focus on the papers’ Web sites. “Detroit may prove to be a laboratory for determining whether a large metropolitan daily can meld print and online into a successful business model, or eventually become online only,� media analyst John Morton recently told the American Journalism Review.

Turner, who was actively involved in the legislative process that led to passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, served as the chief accountant for the SEC from 1998 to 2001. He has an unusually broad perspective, having been a corporate director, a trustee of both a mutual fund and a public pension fund, an accounting professor, a partner at a major international auditing firm and a chief financial officer. Turner received the SEC chairman’s Award for Excellence twice.

Cohan wrote “The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Freres & Co.”, a 752-page book that won the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs award for the best business book of 2007. He began his career as an award-winning newspaper reporter and then spent 17 years on Wall Street, working at Lazard and as a managing director at JP Morgan Chase.

To register for the conference, go to www.sabew.org.

Help send a biz journalist to SABEW conference

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Business journalists can help another business journalist affected by media downsizing attend the Society of American Business Editors and Writers annual conference.

All you need to do is register on a new site offering journalists a suite of Web tools.

Simply register for Publish2 by March 31 and choose SABEW from the participating journalism organization list when you complete your registration. If enough SABEW members register, Publish2 will pay the SABEW conference registration fee for one or more business journalists.

Publish2 offers free online tools, a social network, and reporting resources for journalists. With Publish2, journalists and newsrooms can save, organize, and publish links to the best journalism on the web.

They can also create a digital notebook for story research and create professional profiles with links to their best work.

Publish2 is also the driving force behind Digital Sunlight, a pioneering collaborative journalism project.

To register for the SABEW conference, and Publish2, go to the SABEW site at www.sabew.org or use the links above.

SABEW to hold town hall meeting on coverage of economic crisis

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Former Wall Street Journal Managing Editor and ProPublica Chief Executive Paul Steiger will chair a “town hall� critique of the business media and the financial crisis to open the Society of American Business Editors and Writers annual meeting April 26 in Denver.

A star-studded panel — personal finance columnist Jane Bryant Quinn, New York Times Business Editor Larry Ingrassia, Columbia Journalism Review writer Dean Starkman and University of Michigan professor Greg Miller –- will join Steiger to address criticism of the business media’s handling of the crisis story, and discuss lessons learned.

SABEW has formed a new partnership with the National Endowment for Financial Education, which advocates for enhanced economic literacy, to present this panel.

The Denver business community is invited to attend the discussion.

The event will kick off the three-day SABEW conference, which is packed with authoritative speakers and practical skills sessions. Another highlight of the conference will be the presentation of awards in the society’s annual Best in Business competition, the largest such business journalism contest in the country.

Read more here.

SABEW launches jobs initiative

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Times are tough, something the Society of American Business Editors and Writers understands. That’s why, to better serve members, SABEW announces a revamp its job listings site and launch of a market to connect business freelancers and editors.

“We’re responding to a huge need among people who have been caught up in especially severe cutbacks among business journalists, not just in daily newspapers but across all media. A lot of them have suddenly been thrust into freelancing to support themselves,” said SABEW President Bernie Kohn of the Baltimore Sun. “It’s a scary proposition, especially in this economic climate, and we want to do all we can to get folks back on their feet and keep them in the profession they love.”

The revamped jobs site on the organization’s web site, www.sabew.org:

* Prominently displays JOBS on the home page left menu to click directly to the job site;
* Removes password protection from job listings so they are accessible to any journalist looking for work;
* Removes password protection so any media outlet can post a job;
* Accepts listings from journalism, PR and related fields. SABEW members post jobs for free. Non-members pay $30 per job per month.

SABEW also has launched a freelance market for its members to help bring editors together with freelancers looking for work. SABEW established a listserv of more than 100 business freelancers. Any editor or media organization can circulate freelance work proposals to the listserv.

To post a job with SABEW, circulate a freelance opportunity, add your e-mail address to the freelancer listserv, or join SABEW, e-mail sabew@missouri.edu.

The jobs listings and freelance initiatives are part of SABEW efforts to help its membership cope with the media transformation. Last month, SABEW announced a one-time special offer of a discounted membership rate for members who have lost their jobs.

SABEW also will offer a mentor for business journalist who accepted a buyout was laid off or otherwise put out of work by the cuts. The aim is to help these journalists by providing advice, networking opportunities and career development suggestions. To request a SABEW mentor e-mail Dawn.Wotapka@DowJones.com.