Financial Online Media Blooms As Wall Street Collapses

Floyd Norris, chief financial correspondent, The New York Times, photo by Fred R. Conrad/The New York TimesFloyd Norris (left), the chief financial correspondent for The New York Times, has been the solid, authoritative dean of financial columnists for over 20 years. Floyd can be dense to read but he has gravitas – you have a vision of him pecking away on a manual Olivetti in a corner office heaped with 10-Ks and Deal memorandum.

But dig it – Floyd is now live blogging, filming videos, loosening up like a kid in a digital playpen. How do I know Floyd is live blogging? The NYTimes comm dept Twittered me an alert. Why is the Times business newsadvancing so rapidly into multimedia news (besides the obvous)? Because Rupert Murdoch is making good on his promise to challenge the Times with the remade Wall Street Journal web offering, rolling out just in time for the “day in which the U.S. financial system was shaken to its core,” as the Journal proclaimed on its home page today.

The Journal on the web has changed dramatically in the past couple of months, thankfully. Under Murdoch, at the Journal, like Fox, the 24 hour news cycle predominates, meaning constantly updated blogs, “raw” reporting (typos to be corrected in later iterations), and plenty of video. Murdoch is stitching together the high drama of financial intrigue with politics and style for a national audience - and he’s doing it in a surprisingly politically inclusive fashion.

The WSJ Labs offers some intriguing options for customizing the Journalexperience with RSS feeds, headlines delivered to your desktop as a screen saver and other techno/info goodies. Wall Streeters are tech geeks who spend their formative years glued into Bloomberg terminals. Murdoch has been at the forefront of integrating critical and frivolous information with new forms of digital delivery.

Ron Lieber, the recently installed “Your Money” reporter for NYTimes, video reported the same mantra you hear during every Wall Street crisis – don’t time the market, continue investing in equities, the stock market has always come back in the past, and will likely do so again – over time. It all depends how much time you have. It may take a while for this drama to play out.

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