OLD Media Moves

Where does a daily paper run its stock story?

December 30, 2005

Having spent the last three days at my parent’s house in suburban Atlanta, I was able to read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on a regular basis once again. I worked on the business desk there from 1994-97, covering Home Depot and Coke.

Not much has changed, but one thing that I did notice was that all four days I saw the paper, staff writer Tom Walker’s daily story about what happened in the markets ran on the front page of the business section. I thought that it was odd because when I was there — and for much of the past decade — Tom’s daily story on the markets has typically run inside. I wondered if there had been a change in the mindset of the editors at the AJC and that they now deemed this story to be worthy of the front page on a regular basis. It’s not like the market moved dramatically earlier this week, requiring better placement.

I see different papers handle the daily stock/market story different ways. Some papers like Atlanta have a staff writer put this article together, while others such as the Cleveland Plain-Dealer carry a wire story. Some run the market story on the front page, while others typically run it inside. The Wall Street Journal’s daily market story is typically on C2 unless something dramatic happened in the market the previous day.

Is there a reason for this difference? One would assume that readers across the country would have pretty much the same level of interest in reading about stocks , bonds and commodities, with some variations depending on the market. But I’m not thinking there’s much difference between those interested in the market in Atlanta and those interested in the market in Cleveland, for example. Yet, the papers handle the market coverage much differently.

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