April 2009

April 2009

April 2009

“You’re just lucky the economy is collapsing and I’m very busy.” — A New York reporter to one of us after being turned down for an interview with a client.

The Un-myopic Manager. For the first time in American history, law firms are tossing talent over the side en masse. Here’s an exception. The practice head of one firm (we won’t mention the firm or the city) told the managing partner in March, “Do what you want with me and my compensation, but leave my people alone. We’ll make this work.” Smart. If you have stories of other unsung heroes of this recession, we’d be glad to hear from you.

A phrase that hardly pays. “Critics say” is the sure sign of a lazy reporter. Who are these critics? Are they really critics? Or are they just opposing points of view? More importantly, what are their names? Could “critics” be a synonym for the reporter’s personal opinion? If the critics aren’t identified in the story, the answer to that last question is yes.

New pages, old news. The daily “business section” of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is now “the business pages,” and tucked into the main news section. On the first such page recently came blaring headlines of lagging indicators: “Layoffs again!” On a second page, stacked up and in considerably smaller type, were three stories about…well, leading indicators hinting at recovery. The day this recession is over, business page amateurs will no doubt devote considerable space to anticipation of the next downturn.

Dearth of digital. Every Web site has its own unique footprint. It’s called an IP address. Unfortunately, all 4.3 billion numbers currently available are set to run out by 2011. The new system standard will create billions more. But it will cost us.

Another blow to the green eyeshade. A Web site where reporters can outline their story ideas and Web site visitors can fund the stories with online donations? Right. It’s called Spot.US. Everybody’s an editor these days.

Quote to note: “If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.” –Warren Buffett

Thanks for reading.

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