I like what Bloomberg’s done with the joint. BusinessWeek is a better magazine these days. One of the big reasons is that it can draw on the work of the massive Bloomberg News staff.
But sometimes it just doesn’t work. Like this story in the current issue of BusinessWeek.
Reading the top online, I settled in for a profile of Obama’s manufacturing czar Ron Bloom. But it cut off after 465 words. I had to go pick up my hard copy of the mag to make sure it wasn’t an error. Nope.
What do we find out about what Bloom actually does? This is as close as we come:
He’s the guru behind Obama’s drive to get the U.S. to create more factory jobs, a position he began on Labor Day 2009. He’s been traversing the country ever since, trying to get executives in all manner of businesses to rethink a 50-year trend of sending work abroad.
This is all we get out of BusinessWeek’s sit down interview with a member of the president’s economic team?
BizWeek’s headline might make you think that the president had a hard-hat in his administration: “Obama’s Blue Collar Crusader.” Yes, but… Bloom’s done lots for the unions, but he’s a Harvard MBA who owned his own “boutique investment firm” and worked for Lazard.
Can you really be a “blue collar crusader” if Wilbur Ross, leveraged buyout billionaire, is talking about how even-keeled you are, as he does here?
Well, yeah you can. You just might not believe it if you read BusinessWeek. Looking at the full Bloomberg article, we get more details about Bloom’s history and present that paint a more complete picture of him. It’s not going to bowl you over, but it’s much better than the snippet we get in the magazine, which summed up its version with one of those read-this-if-you-don’t-have-time-to-read-465-word-pieces summaries:
The bottom line: Corporate executives are skeptical of Obama’s manufacturing adviser Ron Bloom’s quest to revive the “Made in America” label.
I don’t think you even need 465 words to tell us that. Obviously, Bloomberg has the advantage of not having paper constraints. But if you can’t make it work in print, don’t print it.
Better yet, go read The New Republic’s in-depth take on Bloom.Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.