Monday, January 18, 2010

More on BusinessWeek Under Bloomberg

MediaWeek has an article out today on Bloomberg "putting its stamp on BusinessWeek," a subject I've dealt with in the past several times.

The one big change, of course, is that Bloomberg staffers are now writing a good number of BW articles, including cover stories. This is obviously not something existing staffers like very much, but I don't really see what choice Bberg has, given how the staff has been decimated in recent years, particularly if there are plans to expand the size of the magazine.

I've heard that nowadays most BW writers are now working for the wire. The number exclusively devoted to the magazine was estimated for me by somebody there as approximately ten, and possibly fewer.

As for changes in the traditional newsmagazine writing style, I've noticed a de-emphasis on analysis, which used to be the magazine's forte.

[New editor in chief Josh] Tyrangiel declined to generalize about plans to change the magazine’s style, including moving it closer to that of Bloomberg, which prides itself on writing for the nonbusiness person although its primary audience is its terminal user. “I’m not a fan of the throat-clearing paragraph,” he said, an approach he noted was rare in Bloomberg stories.
I've never encountered that expression very much so I ran it through Google, and I found that one of the few hits for the expression "throat clearing paragraph" came in this webcast interview Tyrangiel gave while he was managing editor of Time. com.

In that interview, Tyrangiel said he didn't favor "throat clearing paragraphs" at website. He said that in the context of saying long-form journalism didn't work on the web.

Of course, BW is a paper publication, and sometimes it publishes work that approximates long-form journalism. So........ what is he trying to say? Is he saying that BW should be written like an online publication?

Mediaweek, bless its heart, didn't get any elaboration from the new EIC. A definition of "throat clearing paragraph" might have helped too.

© 2010 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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