Wick Communications

Giving them the business

In Business on 25 Oct 2012 at 2:20 pm

Today, I took a moment to read a Q&A with Scott Nelson, who is the business editor at the Portland Oregonian. I had the pleasure of meeting him at an American Press Institute gathering in 2011 and am always impressed with what he has to say about newspapers generally, and specifically, how to bring home business coverage to a sophisticated readership. If you’ve never seen it, the Oregonian is unquestionably one of the great newspapers in the country.

I was taken with the newspaper’s commitment to consumer news. Scott takes a moment to mention the good work of Laura Gunderson, so I thought I would have a look see at what she is doing right.

She’s on Twitter, of course. (She does one thing in her profile that I thought was a great idea. @LGunderson writes, “I retweet out of interest, not endorsement.” Perhaps we should all add such a line.)

She also contributes to The Window Shop blog on the newspaper’s website. The blog appears to be updated every day with mostly breezy things. But sometimes, it tackles fairly complex stories, like the mix of department stores and what is working in that marketplace. …

More generally, the newspaper does a bunch of things with business reporting that are worth emulating. For instance, it surveys people to find the best places in the region to work, separating the competition by size of employer. There is a separate spot for lessons from top employers. Oregonlive.com, the newspaper’s site, also aggregates top blogs on regional business topics, regardless of whether it produces the blogs. In that way, it is the one-stop-shop for business news in Oregon.

Business news can be staid and hard to read. Or you can bring it home, the way the Oregonian does.

— Clay


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