Tag Archives: Wall Street Journal
Evelyn Y. Davis, the nationally recognized advocate for shareholder rights, and the Evelyn Y. Davis Foundation have contributed $100,000 to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication to endow four annual scholarships for senior undergraduate students interested in careers in business journalism or political journalism.
“Mrs. Davis’ very gracious commitment sends a powerful message about the critical importance of thorough and accurate reporting of business and political news,” said UNC President Erskine Bowles, who accepted the gift on Carolina’s behalf. “It will also help provide the financial resources needed to build on UNC-Chapel Hill’s international reputation for journalistic excellence.”
Davis publishes the corporate newsletter “Highlights and Lowlights” and has made a career of defending the interests of shareholders. She travels to many annual meetings each year, always commanding attention through her probing and challenging questions. Davis has been attending some White House press conferences since 1978. Her publication offers political analysis and timely business coverage in corporate governance matters for chief executives.
Davis, a resident of Washington, D.C., studied business administration at George Washington University. She has given similar business journalism scholarships to the University of Pennsylvania and University of Miami.
The UNC-CH School of Journalism operates the Carolina Business News Initiative, which offers a certificate in business journalism to undergraduate students. Its graduates are now working at media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Bond Buyer and Bloomberg News.
Naples Daily News editor Phil Lewis said in his Sunday column that the Florida paper will cut its stock listings beginning this week.
Lewis wrote, “We currently devote four full pages a day to market listings. In the future we will have one page a day. Half of the page will list the 1,000 most active stocks traded the previous day. The other half of the page will list the top mutual funds. As in the past, if readers want a specific stock listed each day, they will be able to request it by leaving us a simple phone message.
“A second daily page will be devoted to new graphs, charts and statistical analysis that will be helpful to the casual, as well as the serious, investor.
“The Daily News is not alone in changing the way stock market information is reported in the daily newspaper. Newspapers from Phoenix to Chicago to Philadelphia have cut the daily listings to a page or less.
“Last Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal unveiled its new look and format. It too has reduced the number of stock listings. In the Journalâ€™s case the basic listings have gone from a half-dozen or more pages a day to two pages or less.”
Read more here.
TheStreet.com’s Mark Fuchs wonders why business journalists, especially those who work at the wires, act like stenographers when breaking news occurs.
Fuchs wrote, “A press release hits the wires at 8:30 a.m. EST on Friday. It travels into the public consciousness, and within 90 minutes, four news outlets write several sentences each on it. Boys and girls, here is the question: Why in the name of insular industry practices do three even bother writing if they are just regurgitating the blessed press release?
“Business media, you wretched little stenographers, it has now been mathematically proven that you are going to wear me to a nub before the year is through.
“At 8:30 a.m. Friday, XM Satellite Radio, the faltering satellite radio giant, announced that it had ended 2006 with nearly 1.7 million subscribers and added 442,000 new ones in the fourth quarter. It also said it had achieved positive cash flow in the fourth quarter, which is good news — unless subscriber growth isn’t as great as the raw numbers suggest. Then, long-term, I doubt it will hold.
“But taking marching orders from the press release, the business media quickly swung into action. Speed is everything in news, right? Perspective? Accuracy? It’s for wimps!”
Fuchs noted that reporters from Marketwatch, Reuters and the AP missed the story, which was that the company missed its twice-lowered subscriber growth target. He also slams the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the Home Depot CEO resignation.
Read more here.
David Lee Smith of the Motley Fool writes Friday that the expansion of business journalism in recent years has been fueled by cable television and the Internet, and that more competition is coming.
Smith wrote, “This is a sector of the news that has been somewhat slow to develop and mature, at least on a standalone basis. But it is now gaining tremendous momentum, thanks at least in part to the emergence of both cable television and the Internet.
“Gone, for instance, are the days when the late Louis Rukeyser’s excellent and long-running Wall Street Week, which aired each Friday evening on the Public Broadcasting Service, was essentially the only televised game in town for market aficionados. It’s now virtually impossible to walk into a brokerage office and not encounter a television set perched high up on the wall and tuned to General Electric’s CNBC business network, with its all-day attention to the ups and downs of the capital markets and the companies represented therein.
“But competition for CNBC may be just around the corner. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. which for a couple of years has considered launching a business channel of its own, clearly moved a giant step closer to doing so this week when it reached a distribution agreement with Time Warner to make the network available to the company’s 13 million cable subscribers. Time Warner Cable, whose spinoff as a separate entity is imminent, is the nation’s second-largest cable operator behind Comcast’s 24 million-subscriber operation. Comcast already has reached a deal with News Corp. to carry the new network.
“And you wouldn’t be betting the farm in vain if you wagered that satellite operators DirecTV and Echostar will carry the new business network as well. Murdoch and News Corp. technically still own a significant portion of DirecTV, although this year Liberty Media will acquire control of the provider in exchange for Liberty’s $11 billion stake in News Corp.”
Read more here.
As noted earlier, the union representing business journalists at The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Marketwatch and Dow Jones Newswire ran an ad in the New York Times on Tuesday about the redesigned Journal and its current negotiations with parent company Dow Jones.
Apparently the union, the Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees, has received a few inquirees about who paid for the ad.
The IAPE posted this response on its web site: “The ad was roughly $115,000 â€” and our parent union, the Communications Workers of America, paid for it as a sign of their support for our bargaining efforts. The CWA has also made it clear there’s more money in their coffers if we need it.
“At the same time, the Newspaper Guild, the CWA ‘sector’ of which we’re also a member, has extended a hefty chunk of additional funding for our bargaining efforts.
“All this support makes us stronger and more resilient. It means we can keep our own, steadily growing treasury to finance other costs as bargaining progresses. And it’s also a message to Dow Jones that we’re prepared to go the distance to win a fair contract.”
Read more here.
A Red Herring story that discusses how Dow Jones is making videos from The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Marketwatch available on blinkx and Lycos talks about using its business journalists more for the medium.
Michael Cohn wrote, “Dow Jones has also been working on enlisting the entire news staff on developing original video content.
“‘Iâ€™ve often felt that the Dow Jones properties have been relatively unexploited in that area,’ said Mr. [Bob] Leverone, [vice president of TV production for Dow Jones]. ‘The reporters are doing investigative stories and stories about companies, and itâ€™s an opportunity for the public at large to get to know these reporters better.’
“Other content will include interviews, on-location coverage, and footage of conferences such as those run by Barronâ€™s, which are normally only open to paying professionals and guests.
“‘Itâ€™s a very interesting area in general because lots of people are quick to say newspapers are dead or dying or relics from yesteryear,’ said Mr. Chandratillake. ‘In some ways itâ€™s true that newspapers have to change a lot from the way they look today, but this deal highlights what newspapers do best and what makes them unique.’
“He sees particular advantages in Dow Jonesâ€™ resources, especially as the New York-based financial media giant expands its efforts online.
“‘They have the best experts with great access to some of the most interesting people in the world of business,’ he added. ‘They have the knowledge that the press has about whatâ€™s interesting, whatâ€™s not interesting, and they are doing it thoroughly, experimenting now with different ways of capturing or encoding that core essence, recording it on video and doing it online.’”
Read more here.
The New York Post’s Keith Kelly wrote that some insiders at the Wall Street Journal believe the paper missed a chance to make a big splash with its redesign, which was unveiled Tuesday, because many of its top journalists were on or returning from vacation and the introduction was made during a slow news period.
In addition, Kelly quoted a few journalism experts about the design. He wrote, “Paul Voakes, dean of the University of Colorado journalism school, said the changes – which also include stories that stay on a single page, brighter colors and more graphics – come more than a decade after rivals, such as Gannett’s USA Today, introduced such changes.
“‘It’s a very honest concession by the Journal that its traditional presentation appeals to generations that aren’t going to be around for many more decades,’ he said.”
Later, Kelly wrote, “One newspaper design expert said that while he saw the changes retaining the Journal’s look and feel, he wasn’t sure the new look will be enough to keep new generations of readers interested in reading the paper.
“‘When I looked at it this morning, it was still the Journal,’ said noted design guru Roger Black.”
Read more here.
BusinessWeek’s Catherine Holohan wrote that the redesigned Wall Street Journal is actually showing that newspapers need to focus more on what they’re doing on the Internet if they want to keep their readers.
Holohan said, “The once-ignored stepchild is getting a lot more attention lately, both from Internet-savvy audiences and deep-pocketed advertisers. Perhaps the biggest evidence of this change is the redesigned Wall Street Journal and WSJ.com (DJ), launched on Jan. 2. The narrower, more colorful print edition now concentrates on analysis stories, leaving the breaking news that once made up nearly half the newspaper for the online edition, which publishes throughout the day. ‘Business news, in particular, is very sensitive to the time cycle,’ says Bill Grueskin, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Online, explaining the impetus for the redesign. ‘The value of a story that you break’ diminishes as more publications publish their own online versions within minutes, he says.
“Industry executives and analysts say the paper is going in the right direction and that other publications will have to follow suit or risk folding.”
Later, she added, “But the Journal‘s efforts are among the most extensive. In the ’90s, the online edition and the newspaper did not work that closely together, despite being in the same newsroom, says Grueskin. ‘The Online Journal was right next to Page One. So physically we were very close, but there wasn’t much interaction,’ he said. Now, print reporters regularly will send scoops to online and Dow Jones Newswire reporters, who flesh out breaking news stories, Grueskin says. The print reporters then work on an analysis piece for the paper edition. He also says that more print journalists have become interested in creating online-only features such as blogs.”
Read more here.
Comments about the redesigned Wall Street Journal are beginning to permeate the Internet, and the reaction is mixed.
Jonathan Berr, writing on BloggingStocks.com, said that the redesign was about three yeaars too late. He said, “The design itself will take some getting used to. The Journal is 20 percent narrower which will make it easier for commuters to handle. Dow Jones says it will be running “the same or more news articles than we do today.” I like the look overall. The paper seems easier to read and the graphics are improved. It wouldn’t surprise me if the New York Times (NYSE:NYT) made similar changes.”
WSJ publisher Gordon Crovitz, quoted in an Associated Press story, said he had already received hundreds of e-mails Tuesday about the new design, which he described as “overwhelmingly positive.”
“They say it is still the old Journal to them, and that it feels familiar,” Crovitz said. “They find it’s easier to navigate, which is what we intended.” Despite the closing of U.S. financial markets on Tuesday because of memorial services for former President Gerald Ford, Crovitz said “99 percent of our readers are at work as normal today.”
Peter Cohan, a Babson College management professor, said the first thing he noticed was that it was as wide as a Holiday Inn bath towel. He added, “I’ll keep reading the Journal but if they want to save money, I think they should scrap all the stock tables — timely information is available online — and eliminate its editorial section. Anyone needing the views expressed there can tune into Fox for free.”
Here’s a well-done NPR piece about the makeover.
My impressions? Picked up a copy today — the regular one in the mailroom, not a free one. Frankly, I liked the feel of it in my hands, and the design was extremely eye appealing. I like the changes to the teasers at the top of each section. And I didn’t notice too much that was missing. I’m not a heavy reader of stock listings by any measure, so I didn’t miss what had been cut there. The photos and graphics seemed crisper than usual.
The Los Angeles Times ran Tuesday a series of media predictions for 2007, and one of them included Dow Jones and its well-respected Wall Street Journal.
The prediction: “News Corp. adds to its stable of newspapers by buying Dow Jones & Co., owner of the Wall Street Journal, to bolster Rupert Murdoch’s nascent business news cable channel, a companion to his Fox News juggernaut.
“Some investors are furious that Murdoch would spend $5 billion on an old-line media acquisition when a purchase of CNet Networks Inc. could fill a similar need for a fraction of the price.”
Read the rest of the predictions here. I think this prediction is in jest. Dow Jones has a new CEO within the past 12 months, and while there have been rumblings that some of the Bancroft family would like to sell its stake in the company, nothing has ever come of it.