OLD Media Moves

How business news can be important to readers

August 16, 2008

Clifford Cumber, the business editor of the Frederick News-Post in Maryland and a board member of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, writes Saturday about how business remains extremely relevant to his readers despite efforts by large metro newspapers to cut its business content.

Frederick News-PostCumber writes, “In April, at the conference, I’d only been business editor for a few days more than a year. This wasn’t what I wanted to hear. If these giants couldn’t save their sections, what hope did I have for my one page a day? I felt like a small ship on a very large, very stormy ocean.

“But as I listened, I realized that things at The News-Post aren’t on the same track as these national dinosaurs. For one, we don’t really care that much about the earnings, say, of major national corporations. Not unless they affect you directly.

“What we do best is cover our own backyard. For example, take the recent banner headline about the financially troubled department store Boscov’s.

“People had e-mailed us about it: ‘What about Frederick?’ they asked. So, we went and found out. A few weeks ago, coffee chain Starbucks — a victim, like Boscov’s, of expanding too quickly — announced it would close 600 or so stores. Again, people wanted us to tell them how it would affect Frederick.”

Read more here.

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