Vauhini Vara is not your typical "target." You may remember her as among the first Wall Street Journal reporters to cover Facebook and Twitter. In 2008 she left WSJ for the University of Iowa and a Master's Degree in creative writing. In 2013 she launched the Currency blog at NewYorker.com and oversaw the site's business section.
Good writing isn't always "good." Using a writing-clarity app called Hemingway, SWMS this week analyzed 15 recent articles from authors in a dozen publications. The tool's chief bias: shorter sentences are better. Another: passive voice is used only by poor writers. Oh, and adverbs suck.
No publisher has more prestige than The Wall Street Journal. But like every publication, it must fight the forces of commoditization that make editorial excellence unprofitable. The WSJ strategy: combine news, data and events into a premium-priced vertical that differentiates from articles-only competitors.
Change has again come to the Wall Street Journal. Global technology editor Jonathan Krim resigned this week. Former Seattle Times and Businessweek reporter Jay Greene came aboard. Meanwhile, the News Corp. division that operates the WSJ and Dow Jones announced an eight percent year-to-year revenue drop.
To glimpse the future of publishing, don't study publishing. Study LinkedIn, which year after year shows what smart editors can build in a data sandbox. In 2015 LinkedIn committed itself to a series of quarterly lists, showcasing up-and-comers whose thoughts and achievements provably resonate.
With a new web design and new top editors, few publishers changed more than Bloomberg in 2015 -- so it's easy to overlook the new look at Bloomberg LIVE, the company's events group. In February 2016, Bloomberg hopes to attract 200 execs and investors to Cape Town for the launch of the Africa Business and Economic Summit.
Pitching Gadfly, Bloomberg's newly announced business analysis site, is well worth the try -- especially if you shape and pitch contributed content. Nearly all Gadfly essays run between 500 and 700 words, contain at least one chart, offer plenty of outbound links, and make a smart point that thoughtful readers -- even experts in a given field -- might not have considered.