Tag Archives: Wall Street Journal

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WSJ names Austin its deputy tech editor

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Wall Street Journal technology editor Jonathan Krim sent out the following announcement on Thursday:

I’m happy to announce that Scott Austin will be moving his considerable talents from New York to San Francisco, where he will join Team Tech as a  deputy technology editor.

In this role, he will direct a team of reporters focused on innovation, startups, early-stage funding, the ‘Net-ization of legacy things and more. He’ll also coordinate closely with the VentureWire team to maximize our combined resources.

Scott is uniquely suited for this role, having joined Dow Jones in 2000 as a spot-news wires reporter covering, among other things, IPOs that were going poof as the tech nuclear winter set in.

From 2006-2011 he managed the aforementioned VentureWire, while also writing a venture capital column for MarketWatch and a venture funding column for the Journal. Since 2011, he’s been tech editor on the Corporate/Marketplace desk, editing and driving stories and packages including the widely shared WSJ Wireless Calculator and the Billion-Dollar Startup Club.

A native of Dallas, Scott grew up an avid baseball fan, and played high school ball against the likes of future major leaguers Kerry Wood and Vernon Wells. Not being possessed of a 98-mph fastball, he went into journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. He interned at Texas Monthly magazine and ESPN The Magazine.

You can follow Scott, who is secretly addicted to “Shark Tank,” the TV show featuring would-be entrepreneurs pitching ideas, @ScottMAustin.

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A new model for business journalism

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Paul Glader, a journalist and King’s College professor, writes about how business news organizations should change how they cover issues, people and companies.

Glader writes, “Leading in the new era of business journalism means  re-evaluating the aftershock-focused model of how business newspapers and magazine cover issues, people and companies. It means, as a news organization, to turn on the headlights rather than to rely on the rearview mirror. It also means creating new models of collaboration and conversation within a newsroom. Hagerty writes:

    “One weakness in the WSJ coverage, I think, was that the housing/mortgage markets and the Wall Street bond market were covered by different groups of reporters. That meant we didn’t write as much as we should have about the incredible and very risky growth of the Wall Street mortgage securities market in the years leading up to the crisis. Wall Street investment banks were not only underwriting rapidly rising amounts of mortgage securities and inventing complicated new types of mortgage investments; they also were moving into the business of making home loans to consumers via brokers. We wrote about this trend from time to time, but we weren’t sufficiently focused on that angle.”

I wrote back to Hagerty saying, “You make a strong case for collaboration between groups of reporters. Has the WSJ figured out ways to do this better now? Or is it impossible?”

Hagerty: In general, I think WSJ reporters are pretty good at collaborating. Editors need to look out for opportunities to encourage even more of that. Too often editors only get galvanized once there is a crisis.

Read more here.

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Obit writer leaving WSJ for Bloomberg

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Stephen Miller, the obituary writer for The Wall Street Journal, is leaving the paper.

He will join Bloomberg News on April 28 to write obituaries.

“It was great working at the Journal,” said Miller in an email to Talking Biz News. “I’m looking forward to working with the obits team at Bloomberg News. Coming up on two decades in obits, I still find the form a fascinating challenge so it was great to find a new place to practice.”

In an email to the staff, Miller wrote:

“GoodBye! The Journal of Contemporary Obituaries” was a ‘zine and website I founded in 1996. It morphed into Remembrances, which in 2006 became the WSJ’s first regular obituary feature. Something like 1000 corpses later, it is time for another transition. I thank all the fine editors and writers I’ve worked with here.

Miller had been with the paper since 2007. Before that, he was the obituaries editor of the New York Sun for five years.

Miller has a degree from Oberlin College and also worked at Mizuho Capital Markets for six years.

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NYSSCPA names financial journalism award winners

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The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants announced the winners of its 2014 Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards.

The nationwide contest — the 31st annual this year — recognizes reporters from the national and local press whose work was published, posted or broadcast in 2013 and contributed to a better and balanced understanding of business or financial topics. Winners were selected by judges from the NYSSCPA and the New York Financial Writers Association who ranked submissions on accuracy, quality and thoroughness of research.
This year’s winners will be honored during a luncheon ceremony May 1 in New York City.
Book – Business/Financial:
Gregory Zuckerman for  “The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the Billionaire Wildcatters” (Portfolio/Penguin). In five years, the United States has seen a historic burst of oil and natural gas production, easing our insatiable hunger for energy. A new drilling process called fracking has made us the world’s fastest growing energy power, on track to pass Saudi Arabia by 2020. But despite headlines and controversy, no previous book has shown how the revolution really happened.
Print & Online:
Trade Press Category – News/Investigative:  David Evans, Bloomberg Markets, for “Fleeced by Fees.” Even as Wall Street has found countless ways to trick and profit excessively from its customers, the fees charged by managed futures funds are outrageous by all standards— and hidden.
Trade Press Category – Features: Janet Hewitt, Mortgage Banking, for “That Other American Dream” an in-depth look at the senior management and business strategy behind Ellie Mae, a unique company in the mortgage technology field that has found a way to be a success story in the face of epic headwinds.
Trade Press Category – Opinion: Kenneth Silber, Research, for “Who’s Kidding Whom?” a piece that focused on the risks of financial advisors “living in a bubble” and filtering out adverse information about public opinion and the political climate.
Consumer Press Category – News/Investigative: Cam Simpson, Bloomberg Businessweek, for “Stranded”  which follows the incredible tale of 1,500 Nepalese men as they are recruited in their homeland by job brokers who charge fees for the service, then flown to Malaysia where they’ll work at a Flextronics plant assembling cameras for the new phone. Once there, they’re stranded when Apple moves assembly to another plant.
Consumer Press Category – Features:  Peter Elkind and Doris Burke, Fortune,for “Amazon’s (Not So Secret) War on Taxes,” where the pair reveal how Jeff  Bezos’ company successfully battled to preserve his company online sales-tax exempt status by demanding, wheedling, suing, threatening, and negotiating—and how new alliances and strategies among Amazon’s enemies finally began turning the tide.
Consumer Press Category – Opinion: Dan Primack, Fortune, for “Where is Calpers’s Governance When You Need It?”, in Fortune, in this, one of his ongoing commentaries about private equity, venture capital, Wall Street, mergers and acquisitions, and other deal-related topics, Primack chides the corporate watchdog for its complicity in allowing a third-party “placement agent” to channel Calpers’s investments toward a private equity fund, all the while portraying itself as an unwitting victim
Television:
Category – Segment Running 10 Minutes or Less: Richard Quest, CNN International – In the summer of 2013 Richard Quest travelled to Texas to investigate both the day-to-day work of fracking, and its long-term economic impact.
Category – Segment Running More than 10 Minutes: Scott Cohn, CNBC, for “Critical Condition: Saving America’s Cities,” the historic bankruptcy of the city of Detroit in 2013 was not an isolated incident. As this series shows, no major city is without at least some of the same issues that sent Detroit over the edge.
Radio:
Category – Segment Running 10 Minutes or Less:  Alisa Parenti with producer Tracy Johnke, Marketwatch.com Radio for “Housing on Fire: Tips for Buyers and Sellers” – As the housing market started to heat up again, Parenti and Johnke had a very simple goal: To help buyers and sellers maximize their positions in the finally-improving real estate market.
Category – Segment Running More than Ten Minutes: Gordon Deal, Wall Street Journal This Morning, 16-day segment series decoded the government shutdown’s impact on real people, the economy and business.
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WSJ now seven years without Pulitzer for reporting

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Joe Strupp of Media Matters for America examines why The Wall Street Journal has not won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting since it was acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. in 2007.

Strupp writes, “But for a newspaper of the Journal‘s size and stature, such a long stretch may be a sign of its goals. Murdoch has reportedly made clear that he does not prioritize the kind of in-depth, long form journalism that often wins these awards.

“Such an approach sparked an exodus of some of the Journal‘s best news people almost immediately after Murdoch took over, including some who had won Pulitzers and others who went on to win elsewhere.

“Over the years, many media observers have even speculated to me (often absent any particular evidence) that the 19-person Pulitzer Board — whose members included Journal Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot — is against Murdoch.

“It is odd, however, that in the National Reporting category, won by The Gazette of Colorado Springs, the Journal took two of the three finalist nods. That makes ten Journal finalists who were not awarded Pulitzers under Murdoch’s ownership. This could say something about how the full board views the paper – but whether it’s a criticism of the paper’s leadership or a judgment that the paper’s best reporting no longer measures up is impossible to say.”

Read more here.

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Down year for Pulitzers in business journalism

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The number of Pulitzer Prize winners Monday that revolved around business and financial journalism fell in 2014.

There appears to be two Pulitzers this year for a business and financial topic, and two finalists. In 2013, there were three Pulitzer Prizes handed out for business and financial journalism, and three finalists in business and financial journalism.

In the investigative reporting category, a Pulitzer was awarded to labor and environmental reporter Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity, Washington, D.C., for his reports on how some lawyers and doctors rigged a system to deny benefits to coal miners stricken with black lung disease, resulting in remedial legislative efforts.

In the editorial writing category, a Pulitzer was awarded to the editorial staff of The Oregonian, Portland, for its lucid editorials that explain the urgent but complex issue of rising pension costs, notably engaging readers and driving home the link between necessary solutions and their impact on everyday lives.

In the national reporting category, The Wall Street Journal was a finalist twice.

Nominated finalists in this category were John Emshwiller and Jeremy Singer-Vine of The Journal for their reports and searchable database on the nation’s often overlooked factories and research centers that once produced nuclear weapons and now pose contamination risks; and Jon Hilsenrath of The Journal for his exploration of the Federal Reserve, a powerful but little understood national institution.

Read about all of the winners and finalists here.

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WSJ real estate reporter Wotapka joins PR firm

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Dawn Wotapka, a real estate reporter for The Wall Street Journal who left the paper last month, has joined a New York-based public relations firm.

She will be an associate vice president at Rubenstein Associates, a 60-year-old Manhattan-based agency.  Wotapka will work in the firm’s expanding real estate practice headed by Steve Solomon.

“With her great knowledge and understanding of the real estate industry and how it works, Dawn is a terrific addition to our multi-faceted practice,” stated Solomon, in a statement.  “We, as well as many of our clients, are excited to welcome her aboard.”

For the past seven years, Wotapka covered a variety of real estate beats, including home builders, residential developers and owners, and student housing operators, and monitored corporate earnings and SEC filings for both the Journal and the Dow Jones Newswires.  Most recently, she wrote cover stories and helped with multimedia features for “Mansion,” the Journal’s weekly luxury real estate section.

Prior to joining the Journal, Wotapka was a real estate reporter for Long Island Business News, and before that, covered government and transportation for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

During her career, she won a 2007 “Ace” award for her coverage of WCI Communities; an award from the NY State Society of CPA’s for her 2009 series “Lurking in the Balance Sheet” and an honorable mention for “Best Body of Work” from NAREE in 2011.  She is credited with two front-page “A-Heds”, considered the Journal’s highest quality prose.

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The WSJ and the Medicare data

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Erik Wemple of The Washington Post writes about the role of The Wall Street Journal in obtaining the release of data about how much Medicare was paying doctors across the country.

Wemple writes, “Colleen Schwartz, a spokeswoman for Dow Jones & Co., tells the Erik Wemple Blog, ‘If it weren’t for the Journal’s efforts to overturn the injunction, the public would not have this information.’

“Injunction? Indeed: Settle in for a wild government-records story, one that dates back to the time that the Department of Health & Human Services was known as the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). In March 1977, HEW helped out the public by releasing information identifying physicians that had received Medicare reimbursements of $100,000. The department was getting ready to make public more data about Medicare when the Florida Medical Association and some physicians sued to stop the release of information. They prevailed: In October 1979, federal Judge Charles R. Scott issued a permanent injunction against disclosing ‘any list of annual Medicare reimbursement amounts, for any years, which would personally and individually identify those providers of services under the Medicare program who are members of the recertified class in this case.’

“And for the most part, there the matter stood for decades. In 2009, the Wall Street Journal, along with the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) began trying to chip away at the records denial, as outlined in this court document. Following the submission of a Freedom of Information Act request by CPI, the parties reached a settlement with HHS to access something called the ‘Carrier Standard Analytic File,’ essentially a bunch of Medicare data that hadn’t ever seen sunlight. The Wall Street Journal used the information as the basis for a celebrated 2010 series on Medicare; it was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, which commended the publication for ‘its penetration of the shadowy world of fraud and abuse in Medicare, probing previously concealed government databases to identify millions of dollars in waste and corrupt practices.’

“The Wall Street Journal wasn’t done, however. In January 2011, Dow Jones filed suit to kill the entire injunction, the better to open access to the whole trove of Medicare reimbursement data. It pushed the clear public interest in the disclosure, noting that Medicare ‘has grown twenty-fold in nominal dollars, and nearly three-fold as a percentage of the total federal budget’ since the 1979 injunction. The May 2013 ruling in the case read in part, ‘Intervenor Dow Jones & Company, Inc.’s Motion to Vacate Permanent Injunction (Doc. 56) is GRANTED.’”

Read more here.

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WSJ putting standards editor in Hong Kong

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Wall Street Journal managing editor Gerard Baker sent out the following staff announcement on Friday:

I’m delighted to announce that Rob Rossi, currently deputy national news editor, is appointed Deputy Editor, Standards for Asia, based in Hong Kong. Rob becomes the first member of the standards and ethics team to be located outside New York.

Rob brings a wealth of journalism experience to the role, in which he will act as ‘final reader’ for copy during the Asian day (including some early European material) as well as leading standards training in the region and myriad related duties. Rob will report to Neal Lipschutz, the Journal’s ethics editor.

Rob joined the Journal copydesk in 2000 and has held a number of important positions, including editing international news. He spent a year as a deputy editor in the Health & Science bureau before returning in 2008 as Deputy National News Editor.

Prior to joining Dow Jones, Rob worked seven years as a reporter, writer and editor for American Lawyer Media papers in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Born in Waterbury, Conn., (former Brass Capital of the World), Rob graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He moves to Hong Kong from Brooklyn, where he lives with his wife Ellie, two daughters and a rotating cast of pets. He says that living in New York City during three Boston Red Sox championship seasons has accelerated his recovery from also living here during the 1986 World Series in which Boston lost to the Mets. Please join us in congratulating Rob and wishing him well with his important new assignment.

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WSJ expands economics news team

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The following announcement was sent out Thursday by Washington bureau chief Gerald Seib and economics editor Neil King:

We’re delighted to announce new appointments and hires that will bring added heft and fresh skills to The Wall Street Journal’s expanding global economics team.

Sudeep Reddy is named deputy global economics editor, while Tim Aeppel is taking on an expanded role as the Journal’s senior economics correspondent.

Matt Stiles is joining us from NPR as a data reporter based in Washington, a move that will enliven and sharpen our abilities to unearth new data trends and bring complex policy stories to life.

And two great reporters have come on board: Nick Timiraos, Journal housing reporter extraordinaire, and Josh Zumbrun, until recently Bloomberg’s crack Fed reporter.

Sudeep Reddy’s appointment formalizes and widens a role he assumed last spring, when he joined the editing ranks and transformed our daily economics coverage for the digital era. Sudeep aligned our reporting teams into a single structure to deliver faster and smarter news content across all platforms. He will continue to play a key role in steering our coverage of U.S. and international economics and economic policy.

Since coming to the Journal in 2007, Sudeep has covered U.S. and international economics, economic policy, global trade and the world’s leading economic institutions including the Federal Reserve, Treasury, IMF and World Bank. He is respected by colleagues on every continent from his coverage of the global financial crisis, the euro crisis and international policy summits.

Sudeep came to us from The Dallas Morning News, where he served as an energy reporter in Texas and a Washington correspondent covering business topics in Congress and federal regulatory agencies. He graduated from Brown University with a degree in history and biomedical ethics.

Tim Aeppel, in his new role, will use his deft feel for the country and deep understanding of business in reporting on the many forces shaping the U.S. and global economies. He also will help formulate and steer major projects and leders within the broader economics team.

Tim brings to his new assignment an unmatched reputation for coverage of manufacturing and the industrial economy, as well as for his meticulous reporting and writing. All his skills served the global economics team well for the years he served as bureau chief, directing the New York economics group.

A native of bustling Loup City, Neb., Tim joined the Journal in 1989 to cover Germany—and, within weeks of his arrival, was witness to the fall of the Berlin Wall. He went on to chronicle the reunification of Germany and to become the Journal’s Europe-wide auto correspondent. After moving back to the U.S., he carved out a beat covering America’s factory floors. He is a graduate of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and of Principia College.

Matt Stiles’s arrival in the Washington bureau April 21 will mark a dramatic uptick in our abilities to unearth telling data on the U.S. and global economies, and to tell vivid graphical tales. He also will be sharing his arts with our political team.

New York magazine named Matt one of the country’s top 21 “new media innovators,” lauding the huge databases he assembled during his time with the online Texas Tribune.  One tracked the ZIP codes and per capita incomes of the state’s top lottery buyers, while another dug into the details of all the state’s prison inmates.

Matt comes to us from NPR, where he served three years as one of the organization’s top data gurus and hatched many of its top visualization projects. One application he created on fracking in Pennsylvania was part of a package of drilling stories that won a DuPont-Columbia Award. He was also an arch trainer and mentor to others in the NPR newsroom, a flair he will bring with him to the Journal.

Matt covered cops and crime for four years at The Dallas Morning News, moved to The Houston Chronicle in 2005, and then worked as a reporter and news applications editor at The Texas Tribune before heading to NPR. He’s a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington.

Nick Timiraos, who is wrapping up his service on the housing beat this month, will cover the full spectrum of issues shaping the economy.

Nick joined the Journal in 2006 as an intern in his native L.A. and did a stint for us on the 2008 campaign trail. He went on to earn his stripes as the nation’s top housing reporter. He covered the real estate sector throughout the housing bust and recovery, the government’s response to the mortgage crisis, the bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and other developments in housing-finance policy.

He graduated from Georgetown University, where he served as an editor of The Hoya, Georgetown’s premier campus newspaper.

Josh Zumbrun, who has been turning everything imaginable into charts since he joined us last week, also will report on topics across the field of economics.

Josh, who grew up on a hog farm in Indiana, has covered vast terrain in a decade of D.C. reporting. He started on the Metro and Style desks at the Washington Post, where he pioneered the practice of—and the term—hypermiling. (He can explain.) He went on to excel in covering the economy and the Federal Reserve, first at Forbes and then Bloomberg for the past four years. His background includes service as a Citgo gas station attendant and a cook at Hot Stuff Pizza.

Josh, who graduated from Georgetown with a degree in international economics, also served as the editor of The Hoya – a year before Nick.

Please join us in welcoming all to their new posts.