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  • Website: http://www.seanreadsthenews.typepad.com
  • Location: United States

One-Line Bio

A media relations strategist reads the morning business news

Biography

This blog is about the best and worst business journalism, reviewed on a daily basis by me. I’ve been a corporate publicist specializing in media relations strategy for 20 years and have worked for consultants, lawyers, tax accountants, Fortune 500 CEOs, healthcare providers, investment advisors, investment analysts, industrial manufacturers, authors, business school professors, bankers, mezzanine debt lenders, credit analysts, non-profit health foundation and pretty much anything else that walked through the doors.

It has always been my job to break down what makes a news story, match it with what my clients have to say and then sell that idea back to the press. I read the business sections of the major newspapers and the websites of the major news magazines daily and keep track of trends in how business journalists approach their subjects.

Over the years, I’ve sent e-mails to co-workers about outstanding stories, analysis of how and why a certain story got surprising amounts of coverage, irreverent looks at stories that were poorly sourced or unconvincing. It usually takes me about an hour in the morning to analyze the major news sites and spot the noteworthy items. This blog is an attempt to take that process public.

It will do these things:

1) Reverse engineer important stories to discover what makes them news and salute outstanding efforts in media strategy.
2) Call attention to the best in business journalism. I’m looking for the stories that surprise, illuminate, cause you to take a fresh look at a company or an issue. When something is great, I want to link it and say why it’s great.
3) Conversely, I’m often amazed at the palaver that journalists swallow in the course of their daily business. When a story stinks on toast, when it reads like a favor, when it includes sloppy journalism, that’s also important to note. The more closely I read a media source, the more often I'll notice bad journalism, so if you're reading this from a corporate news site, take it as a compliment.
4) Review how corporations and public figures interact with business journalists and provide my perspective as an educated, experienced outsider thinks they could do differently.

It won’t do these things:

1) Cover journalism that isn’t business-related. The most moving stories about Iraq war veterans returning to civilian life, breakthrough coverage that elegantly place great historical events in modern context and insightful interviews with entertainment industry newsmakers have no place here.

2) Play “spot the bias.” I am a Johnson-voting libertarian from the nation’s leader in political corruption, New Jersey. I am an admirer of Ira Stoll’s lamented “smartertimes.com” blog, in which he used to fact check the entire New York Times before breakfast and I read Times Watch by Clay Waters for free-market perspective on how the New York Times reports the news – but that’s not what I’m doing. Read FAIR or MediaMatters for that stuff.

Source List: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Reuters, AP, Bloomberg News, CNN, CNBC, NPR Marketplace, TIME, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Portfolio.com, Wired and The Financial Times. I'll review top regional dailies when something exceptional happens.

Interests

news, politics, business journalism