OLD Media Moves

How to tell a headline and lead has been written by Bloomberg’s Winkler

June 26, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

Jim Romenesko has a post from an anonymous Bloomberg News staffer about how to tell when editor in chief Matthew Winkler has written a story’s headline and lead.

Some of the clues:

* First telltale: The theme. The biggest bugaboo right now at Bloomberg is how wrong the credit companies are and have been. Probably valid, but the method employed is just to show off repeatedly how markets think that S&P and Moody’s are irrelevant. Previous ones: Fed secrecy over bailouts, municipal finance bid-rigging, etc.

* Headline: “Defied” is a favorite word, for some reason. Also “capitulate”

* Lead: You see a lead this long, you know it would have been cut down to 3-4 lines (as seen on the 64-line limit on the Bloomberg terminal) by any editor, UNLESS it was dictated specifically by Winkler.

* Language: Again, you see language that would never get through Bloomberg straight-up style unless Winkler made it so. His Weekly Notes forever whittles away words and expressions that we can use, and here we have a *gasp* adverb in “dutifully” and gamely artistic turns of phrase like “declarations of calamity” and “little different from a coin flip.”

Read more here.

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