Category Archives: New York

“News” York

By Dylan Baumann

Business Journalism Conference 2010

Humboldt State University Senior journalism major and staff writer for Times-Standard, Matt Drange, bit into an urban farmed apple at the Brooklyn farmers market and said it was the best apple he’d ever tasted. Drange, Kevin Bunch and I enjoyed the sweet taste of the “big apple” during our visit for the 2010 Collegiate Business Journalism Conference at the City University of New York (CUNY) that took place Oct. 21-23.

Before the conference began we met with instructor Marcy Burstiner who set up exclusive tours for us at Associated Press, New York Times and AOL. AP’s Digital News Designer Sean McDade is a long time friend of Mrs. Burstiner and he led us through the newsroom. We sat in on AP’s morning news editorial meeting where we heard about the top news topics for the day before they were published. It was a great experience to see how the AP newsroom worked and it was comforting to see that they worked in similar ways as the journalism students at HSU; one person was scrambling at the last minute to pitch a story to her editor, one was doodling before her turn to speak and another cracked a joke about munchies after a top story video was played that showed 134 tons of marijuana being burned in Mexico.

Sports Page Designer at New York Times, Ben Hoffman, greeted us in the lobby  and took us on an extensive tour of the building. Highlights of the tour included discovering that Hoffman is an HSU alumnus and has a NorCal sticker at his desk, examining all the Pulitzer Prizes that the Times has won over the years, learning about how the staff works differently than other newspapers, hearing stories about people getting arrested for climbing the building and lastly, Mrs. Burstiner treating us to a gourmet lunch at the newspaper’s incredibly decadent buffet style restaurant that featured an endless selection of gourmet dishes.

At AOL we met with Mrs. Burstiner’s friend Buck Wolfe. He specializes in weird and fun news and his desk was covered in toys and goofy gadgets. The inside of the AOL building was colorful and artistic looking. We learned that AOL has lots of money to work with and they’re exploring many new ideas to bring up ratings.

The Collegiate Business Journalism Conference began at CUNY immediately after we checked  into our luxurious rooms at the Marriott.  The doorman  had a bachelors degree in journalism; I plan on using my journalism credentials when I graduate. The pillow top of the mattress was thicker than my entire floor futon that I sleep on in Humboldt. I danced in the elevator to the song by Alicia Keys and Jay-Z  called New York:

“In new york, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, There’s nothing you can’t do, now your in New York, these streets will make you feel brand new, these lights will inspire you, lets hear it for New York, New York, New Yor ork!”  In case you were wondering, our hotel  featured roughly 40 floors!

The first speaker of the night was Allan Sloan, the senior editor for Fortune magazine. He gave a lecture on entrepreneurial journalism and his success with it. He talked about “What Washington isn’t telling us about the economy,” his latest article published in the magazine. He answered questions about business journalism and talked about how happy he was that he paid for his kids to go to college.

On Friday morning, we met in the News Corp building and toured the new Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, Barron’s and MarketWatch newsrooms. The building had overwhelming amounts of news and computer screens. The workers were all jacked up on coffee, and it was the fastest paced newsroom that we visited on our trip. Our tour guide emphasized that in the world of stock exchanges timing is crucial and that investors paid thousands of dollars to have memberships so that they could receive news feeds before anyone else. Some investors even paid extra to have their portals on site so that they wouldn’t risk any time delays because for them every millisecond matters.

Next, we went to CUNY and a panel of recent college graduates working in business journalism introduced themselves and answered questions. The next panels were internship coordinators that gave us tips on how to apply for jobs. After lunch there was a discussion about deciding on a first job and interviews for internships began. The interviews were great learning experiences for all three of us, and we had the opportunity to try and sell ourselves to some of the best business publications in the world: Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones, Reuters, Business Insider, American City Business Journals, AP and more! Friday’s conference finished with a panel discussing the topic of new entrants in Business Journalism. In the evening all of us journalism students were treated to an Italian dinner at Trattoria Trecolori.

The conference ended on Saturday with discussions on business reporting for broadcast, finding stories in SEC filings, local business reporting and finding information about private companies. We were honored to have the opportunity to attend the conference and learned lots.  Besides the conference, the highlights of the trip for me were spending leisure time visiting some of the famous New York attractions, witnessing crazy city people commit random acts on the streets  and subways, touring Columbia College’s J school, developing relationships with other journalism students, visiting all the awesome newsrooms, learning how to navigate through New York by myself on the subways and too many good things to list. This trip was an all around success!

Thank you Sean McDade, Marcy Burstiner, Ben Hoffman, Buck Wolfe,  everyone at the conference that taught us valuable information, Matt Drange, Kevin Bunch,  journalism peers from other schools,  airplane pilots and everyone that contributed to the epic journalism trip.


NY Times Visit

HSU Journalism Club Visits New York Times

By Matt Drange

Four people from Humboldt County are apparently easy to spot in New York City, because our guide Ben Hoffman had no trouble finding us in the lobby of the Gray Lady’s new digs.

He took us up the elevator, which unlike the one in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had no buttons inside. We got to see the enormity of the newsroom, which spans multiple floors in the center of the building.

Hoffman, who happens to be an HSU alum and former editor at the Times-Standard in Eureka, is a sports page designer. He told us what a typical day is like at the newspaper, and showed us the gong on each floor that signals a meeting when struck.

On a floor above the newsroom is the Pulitzer Prize display, which is quickly filling up. “The Times takes home an award just about every year,” said Hoffman. The newspaper honors its award-winning journalists with a hallway to show off their work. Then, it was lunch at the top-notch cafeteria, just one of the many benefits for journalists at the best paper in the country.

Prof. Marcy Burstiner and Kevin Bunch admire the Pulitzer Prize hallway at The New York Times.

The AP

It only took five minutes to get through security at the Associated Press building, which in New York is pretty good timing. We were on the main floor of the news organization, sitting in on the morning editorial board meeting.

We watched as editors from business to international to sports discuss the top stories of the day. They showed video of the top story – the government-ordered burning of 134 tons of marijuana in Mexico. One editor joked that the follow-up would be the 100 tons of Doritos that the group would need afterward.

[A big thank you to Sean McDade, the AP digital media designer, who made the tour possible.]


The morning editorial board meeting at the Associated Press.

Matt’s take

By Matt Drange

Under the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo by Matt Drange.

We stepped through the sliding glass doors of the subway, over the rats and passed the woman sleeping on the floor and the people asking for change, up the stairs and onto the sidewalk. It was almost 3 a.m., and the night air was misty, but we made it: New York City.

The next five days would be a blur of exploring, from the streets of the city to the newsrooms of the biggest journalism organizations in the world, and just about everything in between. The following are just a few of the excerpts from my notebook, and why I can’t wait to go back.

Kevin Bunch 360

By Kevin Bunch

Arriving in New York City was overwhelming. Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” plays in the ambient sound of John F. Kennedy airport. “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do. Now your in New York.”

The subway system in the Big Apple reminds me of veins pumping blood cells to every limb and organ of this living, breathing metropolitan creature. Each person is so unique in their dress and actions, and they each add the necessary elements that make New York so iconic. Taking the A train from JFK to Manhattan is eye opening. A mariachi band jumps on at one stop, plays their bit, and jumps off at the next. Before I can fully understand what is happening the moment has passed. This city lives in moments. If you blink, you miss out on a train performance, a street crossing light  or a business merger. It’s no wonder this city never sleeps. The people never seem to.

There is no limit to how much you can accomplish in a day in New York City. With everything just a hop skip and a subway transfer away, why would you not take advantage? On day one I start in East Harlem where I am staying, walk through Central Park, visit Columbia University and tour the upper west side, explore Greenwich Village, shop 5th Avenue, marvel at cathedrals on Madison, get up close and personal with Gramercy and East Village, sit in remembrance at Ground Zero in the financial district,  and rest in awe under the lights of Time Square. In all, about 40 miles of the city covered in eighteen hours. I wake up five hours later feeling like I missed out on something. The city’s sleep-deprived mentality begins to rub off on me.

I have a long week ahead, and the business journalism conference I came for hasn’t even begun.

From Tall Trees to Tall Towers

By Kevin Bunch, Dylan Bauman and Matt Drange

Just getting through security took us a few minutes, but once up the elevator it was apparent that in this building, minutes don’t cut it. We were in News Corp. — home to Dow Jones Business Wires and more working journalists than any other building in New York City. Just above us sat Rupert Murdoch, the king  of a world built around glass walls and digital ticker-tape where speed rules all.

An editor for Dow Jones business wires grabbed our group to take us on the Disneyland-esque  tour of the building. He shared with us important tips of the trade.

  • Foreign Language is key in business journalism
    • Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian (most needed in the industry)
    • Farsi, Arabic (developing languages they are looking for)
  • Investment banking writers majored in investment banking and learned journalism on the job rather than at J-school
  • Everything in this trade is measured in milliseconds — being the first to get it out can make or break your career

From there, we went to the CUNY Journalism School, neighbors with The New York Times new office. We learned common mistakes people make during interviews. The editors of Reuters and Dow Jones informed everyone that students from some of the best graduate schools in New York made major mistakes when interviewing with them and gave us some pointers on what not to do.

Although we all felt nervous before our interviews the tips that we received were a huge help. The key to interviewing is to do your homework on the publications you’re interviewing with. Don’t ever tell an interviewee that you want the job because it would be convenient for you, or because they are hiring. They don’t care!

You need to tell them why they should care about you and actually go through the first sentence of your cover letter. No matter how much you think you can do the job, it doesn’t matter if you can’t show that you have experience and knowledge.

That’s it for now, we’re off to dinner at an Italian restaurant and then to see where the night takes us. More to come soon.

Columbia University

Photos by Matt Drange

The new Toni Stabile Center at Columbia University’s library.

Joseph Pulitzer statue outside of the Journalism School.

Outside the J School.

Getting Started in Business Journalism

By Kevin Bunch

Kevin Bunch, Matt Drange and Dylan Bauman at the journalism conference held at the City University of New York.

Reporting tools were the focus of day two of the conference. We learned how to find stories in SEC filings (Securities Exchange Commission) and how to find information on private companies. Both are things that we can incorporate into our stories right now, and should prove to be invaluable.

Preparing for the Big Apple

Journalism club members discuss their applications for the New York Business Journalism Conference during a special club meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 7.  Kevin Bunch, Matt Drange, Haley Nessler and Dylan Honea-Baumann were selected to attend the conference.

Professors Marcy Burstiner and Vicky Sama prepare Journalism Club students for the upcoming trip to New York City.

Special Club Meeting Tues., Sept. 7

Students seriously interested in attending the New York Business Journalism Conference should attend a special club meeting at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 7, in Bret Harte House.

The conference is Oct. 21 – 23 in New York City. Applications are due by Friday, Sept. 10. For more information, check here.