Articles about "Business Journalism"


Capital flows like water to media companies (of a certain kind)

December has started with a bang-up ten days financially for some leading American media companies.

Vox announced it has raised another $46.5 million in a new round of venture capital bringing its total valuation to $385 million. CEO Jim Bankoff, in a internal memo he made public, announced ambitious expansion plans for 2015.

Outbrain, a content recommendation/native advertising company, indicated it is tentatively planing an initial public offering early next year, with a target valuation of $1 billion.  (Outbrain, like its biggest competitor Taboola, is Israeli in origin but has moved headquarters to New York and plans to be listed on NASDAQ).

Meanwhile expanding Buzzfeed’s growth continues and its investor valuation stands at $850 million.  Editor Ben Smith was lecturing in Australia late last week as the site announced it has hired a star from Wired to be its Silicon Valley bureau chief and is forming a health and science desk. Read more

Magnifying glass on laptop

Why it’s time to stop romanticizing & begin measuring investigative journalism’s impact

Charles Lewis, one of the luminaries of nonprofit investigative journalism, sees a culture clash brewing as the sector continues to grow, covering what shrinking legacy media may miss and, more recently, innovating with powerful reporting techniques.

On the one hand, foundations big and small want metrics that demonstrate results analogous to assessments they apply to arts projects, social service initiatives and advocacy work.

On the other hand, Lewis wrote in a white paper last month, “veteran editors and reporters, particularly of the investigative ilk, have an inherent, almost visceral dislike of audience measurement and engagement strategies.” Instead they see themselves “as intrepid hunter-gatherers of information” who overcome a host of obstacles to produce important, even heroic, journalism.

The conflict might be academic were it not for the current state of play in nonprofit funding. Established nonprofit news sites need second and third rounds of support from foundations, and startups find foundations “feeling a bit overwhelmed and besieged by proliferating prospective grantees,” Lewis wrote. Read more


How to navigate the challenges of sustaining a startup news site

It seemed like an opportunity too good to pass up, a chance for a young online startup to pounce on a news niche that has proven popular across the country but was virtually abandoned by one city’s legacy media.

All across the United States, community newspapers and local websites alike seek readers by covering high school sports. In theory that makes a lot of sense, partly because it’s not just the players who want to read about their games, but parents and friends as well. And in many areas without a professional sports franchise, even people without a connection to the schools avidly follow local teams.

But in San Francisco, three-year-old online startup San Fran Preps recently shut down after finding local sports to be popular but too economically difficult to cover there.

What went wrong? What are other news organizations doing that makes them sustainable when other outfits fail?

The way things were supposed to go

Jeremy Balan/Photo by Tom Prete

Three years ago, Jeremy Balan looked at San Francisco’s prep sports scene and realized it was an open field. Read more


How Bloomberg’s photographers covered a tough year for business

Photographing newsmakers can be a straightforward assignment, but photographers shooting business stories often face far more ambient instructions: Illustrate Facebook’s IPO, for instance, or Apple’s introduction of the iPhone 4s in China, all the while adhering to the tenets of photojournalism. Bloomberg’s year-end collection of its best photos include many attempts by photographers to thread that needle.

Scott Eells shot his photograph of a person under an umbrella passing by the corner of Wall and Broad streets in New York on May 9, when stocks had fallen sharply and Greece’s political troubles were threatening to drag on many country’s economies. Read more


5 things journalists should know about Quartz, Atlantic Media’s business news startup

Agence France-Presse | The Economist | Nieman Lab | Ad Week | News ThingQuartz Tumblr
Atlantic Media is about to launch its much-buzzed-about global business news product called Quartz, as soon as this week or next.

It’s another digital news startup that gets a lot of pre-launch attention for its intention to do things differently — which makes it not only interesting but also a sort of lab experiment whose successes or failures will bear lessons for other news organizations.

Quartz is staffing up with “veterans from top media organizations around the world,” including Editor-in-Chief Kevin Delaney, Senior Editor Zach Seward from The Wall Street Journal and Global News Editor Gideon Lichfield from The Economist. Others come from backgrounds at Gawker, Huffington Post, Foreign Policy, GOOD magazine and France 24. (We wrote earlier about Atlantic Media’s hiring philosophy.)

Altogether Quartz will have a team of about 25 working mostly from the main office in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood (also home to Gawker). Read more


How journalists can develop business, entrepreneurial skills in the newsroom

Believe it or not, there are ways to make money in journalism. One of them is by crossing from the editorial to the business side of the industry.

While some journalists have launched their own news sites, others have found lucrative business-related opportunities within the newsroom.

Familiarizing yourself with the business side of journalism

When Evan Smith was editor-in-chief of Texas Monthly, he made it a point to learn about circulation, advertising, marketing and other business aspects of the publication. “I found it made me better at my job,” he said by phone. “It gave me a more well-rounded picture of the magazine as an entity.”

That came in handy when he co-founded The Texas Tribune and became both its editor-in-chief and CEO. “I wasn’t just another journalist who thought he could run a business,” he said. “I actually had some experience with the guts of the news business.”

Smith suggests that editors make a point of understanding what motivates colleagues in advertising and circulation, and take an active role in figuring out how to get their content in front of as many people as possible. Read more


Salmon: Journalists shouldn’t be blamed for failing to expose banks before financial crisis

“There’s a reason why the journalism comes out after, you know, the 2000 stock market crash, after the 2008 financial crisis — because at that point we want someone to blame. If you do the journalism beforehand, nobody cares. … It’s only when you’ve got something meaty, and you have a narrative with the rise and fall of this thing that it suddenly becomes a story.”

Felix Salmon, Reuters business writer


How to take a global approach to any local beat

Whether you’re covering agriculture, education, business or environmental issues, there’s a global component to your beat. Journalists increasingly need to understand the big picture to cover their communities.

“The global context used to be too large and abstract to matter much at the local level. And we didn’t need to consider this angle to be safe, secure and prosperous,” Doug McGill, a journalist who has taken a “glocal” approach to his reporting, said via email. “But today, we absolutely need a global view to ensure our safety, security and prosperity.”

McGill believes there’s “a definite mindset, matched with a certain set of specific reporting skills, that can help journalists discover and illuminate how global trends play out at the local level, and sometimes break international news locally.”

Tuesday at 1 p.m. EST we will chat for an hour with McGill about how to adopt this mindset and apply it to your beat. Read more


NYT publishes Chinese translation of story about workers who make Apple products

The New York Times
The New York Times has published a Chinese translation of its story about worker conditions inside the Chinese factories that make Apple products. “The goal was twofold: to share the content of the article with readers in China, and to solicit Chinese comments for translation into English that might prove illuminating for readers of the English-language article on” Now the Times has published some of those comments, which were posted to the Chinese website that published the translation and to Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter. The Times also is hosting a chat on its Facebook page Thursday with Charles Duhigg, one of the reporters on the series. || Related: Apple worshipper travels to China to talk to the workers who make iPhones and iPads (This American Life) Read more

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“The Reuters report highlights a third reason the full truth of [Mitt] Romney’s job record at Bain has been hard for reporters to get at: it’s a political story that requires financial reporting expertise. From a scan of bylines, it appears that most, but not all, outlets that have financial expertise don’t tend to put those reporters on the Bain story — perhaps it might compromise their reporters’ relationships with sources in that world. Reuters did it anyway.”

Keach Hagey on why it's so difficult for journalists to report on Romney's record at Bain

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