OLD Media Moves

The joys of being a business reporter

January 15, 2006

Got to love this small item in the Albany Times-Union this morning that begins with the headline “Realizing the synergy,” that reads:

“One of the joys of being a business reporter is translating the industry jargon into English.

“A recent local software company that describes itself as ‘a leading provider of fulfillment and integration solutions for retailers operating in multi-channel environments’ recently announced a new contract. Couldn’t they have written that the company ‘provides software for retailers that allows them to ship their products cheaper and more efficiently?’

“Another example: a New York health insurance company announced a merger last year.

“The news release said that ‘at least $25 million in pre-tax synergies are expected to be realized in 2006.’

“That’s quite impressive, we’re sure. But in our eyes, dollars are saved, synergies aren’t realized.”

Amen, brother. I was amused in my Business Reporting class last semester how many different ways my students would come up with to explain a company firing or laying off employees. There was “reduction in force” and “temporary displacement” and the ever-nebulous “workforce right-sizing.”

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