Tag Archives: SABEW
The blog Talking Biz News celebrates its first birthday today, Aug. 31, 2006.
The idea for a blog devoted to the discussion of issues surrounding business journalism and news events actually goes back to mid-2005 as part of talks among members of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers’ education committee. It just took a while to get the site up and running. SABEW provided $150 to register the domain name.
Since that time, Talking Biz News has become my pet project. I have been assisted by my grad student, Anne Hillman, who serves as my editor and design guru. (She asked if we were having cupcakes today.)
For the first few months, different formats and strategies were explored. In the beginning, for example, there were not as many posts as what you see today. In addition, there were posts about business journalism in other countries. That was our Beta version.
Since Jan. 1, 2006, Talking Biz News has focused on providing readers with the latest information, commentary and news about business journalism in the United States. (Yes, there were some posts about South African business journalism earlier this month, but that’s a rarity.) Some of the content on the blog has been independently reported, such as interviews with business journalism legend Myron Kandel and new SABEW president Dave Kansas. In addition, the site was the first to report on “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer‘s compensation by reading the proxy statement of TheStreet.com.
Along the way, new features have been added, such as a list of the top business journalism events for the first six months of the year, and another list of the top critics of business journalism. The blog has even been mentioned in the New York Times.
All told, there have been more than 1,300 posts in the past year and more than 250 comments. Since the beginning of the year, the site has averaged about 5 posts per day, including weekends. (Since the beginning of the year, Talking Biz News has gone just seven days without a post.) Most of the posts come from searching the Internet for interesting stuff and relying on the Google News search function. (I also get links from devoted readers. Keep ‘em coming, and thanks.) The largest number of comments came from a post about CNBC anchor Ted David stepping away from TV to do more radio. Ted has a large fan base.
Today, the site averages nearly 375 visits a day and more than 550 page views. On a per-month basis, that’s about 11,000 visits and 17,000 page views. Needless to say, those numbers continue to increase as more people hear about the site and become regular readers.
Now that the site is a year old, I’d like open the content of Talking Biz News up for discussion to the readers: What do you like and dislike about the site? Is there something that Talking Biz News should be addressing more often?
Before you bombard me with comments, please understand that this is a labor of love. I am not paid anything to run this blog, and only post when I get the opportunity.
The floor is now open for discussion. Unfortunately, there is no birthday cake and ice cream. Thanks for reading.
A scholarship to the SABEW Fall Workshop on Oct. 30 and 31, valued at nearly $700, is being offered by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. The workshop is being held in New York City at the headquarters of Bloomberg News.
The scholarship covers the $175 registration fee and two nights lodging at $260 a night. Deadline to apply for the scholarship is Friday, Sept. 22.
Send a 250-word essay on your background as a working journalist and why you would benefit from attending the seminar to Andrew Leckey, Director, Reynolds Center, at email@example.com. You must also have approval of your immediate supervisor.
Also, SABEW is offering five scholarships to attend this year’s Fall Workshop. These scholarships will cover the complete registration fee of $175. They are made possible by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.
To apply, please review SABEW’s ethics policy on-line at www.sabew.org and submit an analysis containing your comments and suggestions for improvement. Your comments may be used and reviewed by those evaluating SABEW’s current ethics statement. Send your analysis to Carrie Paden at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline to apply for the scholarship is Friday, Sept. 29.
Bloomberg’s new headquarters in midtown Manhattan has drawn the attention of Fast Company magazine, which is featuring the stunning building in a pictorial on its Web site.
You can see the pictorial here.
“We put edgy art around to encourage people to think differently,” says CEO Lex Fenwick. Visitors to the sixth floor are met with a low-slung Cerith Wyn Evans chandelier that beams a text by left-wing Welsh critic Raymond Williams–in Morse code.
I concur. I took some UNC students to the building back in March as part of a Spring Break trip, and it’s a vast improvement from the old New York office. The art and the fish tanks are still there, but the building is almost entirely covered with glass, meaning you can look inside a meeting room and see who’s in there.
In addition, there are a number of training rooms on the first floor that have state-of-the-art technology. One of the highlights is the escalator that goes in a circle. It’s one of the few in the world.
SABEW’s fall meeting will be held there in October. Theyr’e in for a treat.
One day after an editorial on the topic in the newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s business section published a story written by Heather Landy in which business journalism professors questioned the tactics taken by billionaire Mark Cuban in investing in stocks before publication written about on the investigative business journalism web site ShareSleuth.com he is funding.
Landy wrote, “Cuban may be able to keep regulators at bay with his disclosures and his financial arrangement with Sharesleuth.com, but some media insiders still see cause for ethical concern.
“‘I am bothered by Cuban’s actions because it gives the impression that people involved in business journalism are out to make a buck by playing the market with the information we possess, and if people think that, then we lose all credibility,’ said Chris Roush, a former business reporter who teaches journalism and heads up the Carolina Business News Initiative at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “‘What he is doing isn’t illegal, but it hurts the profession’s image at a time when we’re just now recovering from failing to uncover scandals such as Enron and WorldCom.’
“Star-Telegram policy prohibits its business reporters from trading in stocks of companies they write about.
“The University of Missouri’s Martha Steffens, who holds a professorship endowed by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, said SABEW recently received a $25,000 grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism, Ford, and James L. and John S. Knight foundations to explore issues such as the ones raised by Cuban’s new venture.
“Attack-style blogs, the proliferation of short-selling and the demand for real-time information are changing the landscape for financial reporters, requiring journalists to re-examine their role in the markets, she said.
“And with a Web site that departs from traditional business publications by focusing only on investigations that raise questions about companies or the executives that run them, Cuban — who made his fortune during the Internet boom by selling his Broadcast.com audio site to Yahoo Inc. — is once again on the cutting edge.
“Cuban’s arrangement with Sharesleuth.com ‘is a different animal than anything we’ve seen,’ Steffens said. ‘But you know they’ve got to be careful because you’re talking about [someone with the potential to be] a deep-pocket defendant.’
Read more here. Cuban declined to talk to the Star-Telegram.
The Society of American Business Editors and Writers has been awarded $25,000 from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation to launch several ethics-based initiatives.
The grant is the second awarded this year to SABEW from the Oklahoma City-based journalism foundation. In May, the group received a challenge grant funded by Ethics and Excellence as well as the James L. and John S. Knight Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. That grant provides for up to $25,000 in one-to-one matching funds raised by SABEW before May 31, 2007.
The latest grant will help launch a re-examination of ethical consideration that today’s business journalists face. Planned initiatives include workshop seminars, publications and web content.
“SABEW has long played a leading role in terms of ethics in business journalism, and this grant will help augment our efforts on that front,” said SABEW President Dave Kansas, Money and Investing editor for the Wall Street Journal. “It’s more important than ever for journalists to operate with the highest level of ethics, and we’re dedicated to that mission.”
SABEW was founded in 1964 to improve the ethics and professionalism of business reporters. The organization has 3,200 professional members who are primarily working journalists in the U.S. or Canada.
Martha Steffens, the SABEW Chair in Business and Financial Journalism at the University of Missouri, said the grant helps SABEW to update its ethics code in light of changing technology and changing pressures on financial journalists.
Read more here.
Orange County Register columnist Jon Lansner, a former SABEW president, notes in his real estate blog that government statistics are notoriously bad, yet many business and economics journalists continue to report them as if they were the truth.
He uses the new home sales statistics as an example:
“News flash! New homes sales nationwide were up a surprising 4.6% from April to May! Or was it actually up 17.7%? Or, were they really down 8.5%?
“The confusion comes from the government’s sampling error — standard in all polling efforts — in creating this estimate. Here’s the nut of the Census Dept.’s report:
“Sales of new one-family houses in May 2006 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,234,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 4.6 percent (plus or minus 13.1%) above the revised April rate of 1,180,000, but is 5.9 percent (plus or minus 10.8%) below the May 2005 estimate of 1,311,000.”
Note the margin of error is so high that the positive numbers could actually be declines.
Read more here.
John Accola, a business investigative reporter at the Rocky Mountain News, died Sunday of an apparent heart attack, according to business editor Rob Reuteman. He was 56.
Accola was a winner, with colleague Peggy Lowe, of a 2000 Best in Business award in the Spot Enterprise – Giant Newspapers category. He authored or co-authored a number of other stories and series nominated for SABEW awards.
Deb Goeken, managing editor of the News, called Accola “an extraordinary reporter. He has a gift for getting people to talk to him, and he has written amazing stories. He has been on the business staff for years, and John very much appreciated the team spirit and closeness of his business colleagues.”
Accola had just celebrated his 22nd anniversary with the News. In 1996, he won the Morton Margolin Prize for Distinguished Business Reporting, given by the University of Denver College of Business Administration.
More comments from Goeken can be found here.
The Society of American Business Editors and Writers has received a $25,000 grant sponsored by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism, Ford, and James L. and John S. Knight Foundations for capacity building efforts.
This grant will match each dollar SABEW raises up to $25,000. The match will double your dollars, and if you have a corporate matching program, that would add to your own gift. Timing of your gift is important: Funds for this challenge grant must be raised by May 31, 2007, in order to receive the matching gift.
This challenge grant will support more training that will benefit the next generation of business journalists. By making a donation, you are not only supporting SABEW, but you are also investing in the future of business journalism. As Richard Zannino, CEO of Dow Jones & Co., recently noted at SABEWâ€™s 43rd Annual Conference, â€œwe ought to be investing in our [business journalism] to get ready for this digital age. Quality journalism matters more today than it has every mattered before.â€?
Donate today by sending your tax-deductible donation to SABEW:
Society of American Business Editors and Writers
385 McReynolds Hall
University of Missouri School of Journalism
Columbia, MO 65211
Or to charge your donation to a credit card, simply call the SABEW office at (573) 882-7862.
The Baltimore Sun will cut its daily stock listings from two pages down to one, but add daily features to the expanded news hole, assistant managing editor for business Bernie Kohn wrote in Sunday’s paper.
Kohn, a SABEW board member, wrote, “Tuesdays will have a new Personal Finance page featuring a second weekly column by The Sun’s Eileen Ambrose.
“On Thursday, we bring back a condensed version of our former personal technology section, Plugged In, featuring Sun staffer Mike Himowitz’s popular column.
“On Friday, we will bring back a Real Estate page, combining Kenneth Harney’s syndicated column on consumer real estate issues (which moves from Saturday) with several features familiar to Sun readers, including the weekly Dream Home feature.
“And on Wednesday, we will fold most of the current content of the Working section into the Business section. Working is being discontinued as a separate section.”
Also, starting Monday, the Sun’s business section will start a Q&A on workplace issues.
Read more here.
The Society of American Business Editors and Writers will present a panel on business journalism on July 14 at the South Asian Journalists Association annual convention and job fair in New York City.
The panelists will include Newsday’s James Madore, Forbes.com executive editor David Andelman, CJR Daily assistant managing editor Mark Mitchell and SABEW board member Josh Mills, who is leaving his position as a Baruch College professor to become an editor at Bloomberg News.
The panel will discuss covering your own company. Madore, for example, led a team that reported and published dozens of articles, helping restore the paperâ€™s credibility with advertisers and readers, after Newsday’s circulation scandal broke.
See more here.
In addition, there is another panel at SAJA related to business journalism. On July 14, there will be a session on investigative business reporting with New York Times reporter Barry Meier, who wrote a series of stories about the defects in implantable heart devices made by the Guidant Corp, that won the George Polk award and were a Pulitzer Prize finalist.
Find out more about the convention here.