Media Moves

Liking the new Bloomberg Businessweek

July 6, 2010

David Warsh of EconomicPrincipals.org writes that the revamped Bloomberg Businessweek is now a much more interesting read than when it was owned by McGraw-Hill.

Warsh writes, “Instead, each issue begins with what regularly seems to be its best piece, what newsmagaziness used to call a ‘violin,’ here designated ‘Opening Remarks.’ This week it was Hugo Lindgren’s turn, in Who Would Bet Against John Paulson? New York Times columnist and Princeton professor ‘Paul Krugman would.  The hedge fund wizard is wildly bullish, while the economist is forecasting pain. The gods can only reward one.’

“Then comes a potpourri of forty or so short articles from around the Bloomberg empire, organized in various departments (‘Global Economics,’ ‘Technology,’ ‘Companies and Industries,’ ‘Politics and Policy,’ ‘Markets and Finance,’ ‘Etc.’), plus various other cross-platform odds and ends – perhaps a Charlie Rose interview (from Bloomberg Television); a Tom Keene podcast; or a  Michael Lewiscolumn. Scattered between these items are three or four specimens of long–form high-quality magazine journalism, handsomely illustrated.  They include this week former Intel chief executive Andy Grove on How to Make an American Job; free-lancer Maureen Tkacik on The Pragmatic Rebels of Economics; and Bloomberg’s Tim Adams on The Amazing Adventures of Tyler Brûlé.

“Is it an accident that Grove takes on Times columnist Thomas Friedman; that Tkacik’s piece about at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Laboratory (J-PAL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, built around Esther Duflo and Abhijit Bannerjee, of MIT, and Michael Kremer and  Sendhil Mullainathan, of Harvard, is the kind of article that the Times magazine doesn’t do much any more (Ian Parker profiledDuflo in The New Yorker in May);  or that Brûlé is a new media entrepreneur (WallpaperMonocle) whose Fast Lane column on the back page of the Weekend section of theFinancial Times is the apogee of cool?  I don’t think so – and that is probably not bad for the Times. The formula is still uneven and hard to follow at Bloomberg’s Businessweek, but the experimental sensibility is exciting.”

Read more here.

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