The Kovacevich test of business journalism
Aaron Elstein, a senior reporter at Crain’s New York Business, writes about what makes news for his publication.
Elstein writes, “But boss, I pleaded, the story is about a banking executive who is opening branches in supermarkets all over the South. Folks who could never make a withdrawal or deposit a check at Piggly Wiggly can now do it!
“My editor nodded. I could see I was winning him over and was about to close the deal when he said: ‘Does the story pass the Kovacevich test?’
“Richard Kovacevich was my editor’s favorite businessman, because he’d left a job with Citibank in New York to go run a Minneapolis bank, where he was so successful that he merged the institution with Wells Fargo and took over what was then the best name in banking.
“If you could make a plausible case that your story was something that Kovacevich would probably want to read, it got the green light.”
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