OLD Media Moves

The business section: "Goofy"?

April 30, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Mark Phillips, formerly editor-in-chief for Boston Metro and assistant city editor for The Repository in Canton, Ohio, now operates LP NewMedia LLC, a media consulting company. He has some interesting ideas about the future of the newspaper that he recently talked about on his blog.

GoofyFor example, Phillips wants to reorganize the newspaper and make the A section all local news. He also wants to rate stories and put all of the “A” stories, naturally, in the A section. So far, I’m listening.

But Phillips shows his ignorance when he gets to the business section.

He wrote, “One goofy section in local newspapers is ‘business.’ The ‘business’ section of most local newspapers isn’t really business news at all. It’s normally news about a local person who just happens to own a business. The business sections of most U.S. dailies really don’t help someone interested in business or financial news anyway. If a reader is a serious business owner or investor or interested in those topics, they’re reading the Wall Street Journal. And having pared back the stock listings to a hardly useable status due to space (stock listings are a waste of paper; check the Web), the business sections of local newspapers are outdated and just shy of useless.”

I couldn’t disagree more. In fact, most local business people read their local business section before they read the Wall Street Journal. And the section is not outdated and useless. I see business sections every day covering local business and economic stories that the reader can’t find anywhere else.

Read the rest of Phillips here. But his opinion of newspaper business sections is just plain goofy.

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