Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category
And I will remain in my position, according to the New York Times (see second to last graf).
You can see it here.
I’ve been hired to cover advertising. You can read all my stuff here.
Eagle-eyed BNET.com readers will have noticed that Placebo Effect, my blog about pharmaceutical news, has not been updated recently. CBS Interactive, BNET’s parent company, has decided to discontinue my coverage of the drug industry and instead increase my coverage of the advertising business on The Tagline.
It’s a shame for me personally because Placebo Effect had a monthly readership in the hundreds of thousands, and I broke some important stories in that venue.
I’m a realist, however. If advertisers don’t want to buy ads next to health/drug news, then CBS cannot continue to provide that kind of information. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
I’ve been writing about the drug industry on and off since 2004. Doubtless, at some point in the future, I will once again patrol the pharma beat. But for now, absent a sudden sponsorship of the blog, I’m taking a break.
I’d like to thank all those of you who read the column on a regular basis. I know there were many of you. I read all your emails, and all your comments, and as many tweets as I can. I will miss our correspondence.
If you want to read all my pharmaceutical reporting and all my advertising reporting in a single place, then bookmark this URL or add its RSS feed:
This article about Grey Group‘s internal billing documents may not seem like much, but it was one of the most difficult stories I’ve ever reported. I first heard about the documents in 2004 and have been working, on and off, to get hold of them ever since.
Grey successfully persuaded New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan to seal the documents in 2006. Unfortunately for Grey, court access for journalists is kind of my “thing.” I knew the ruling was wrong on the law. It took me four more years to get them unsealed.
This is an extreme example, but it’s an example nonetheless, of how difficult it can be to write stories about the advertising business that don’t show the industry in a flattering light.
I’d like to thank a few people who made this story possible. First, David Schulz of Levin Sullivan Koch & Schulz in New York, who agreed to refer the case to the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Practicum. Schulz also argued the case before the New York State Appellate Division.
All of these lawyers represented me pro bono. If you are a large media corporation with a court access issues and an unspent budget for outside legal counsel, these are the lawyers to call.
Here is a Harper’s Index-style list of trivia about how this story came to be published:
- 23: Number of different drafts of this story requested by various editors and lawyers at other publications that were never published.
- 1: Number of drafts requested by editors at BNET.
- 6: Number of years since I first received a tip that the documents existed
- 4: Number of years since the documents were first filed in court.
- 3: Number of business magazines that passed on the story.
- 2: Number of daily newspapers who passed on the story.
- 3: Number of lawyers who told me the story could not be published without a court ruling releasing them to me.
- 0: Percentage of those lawyers who offered to petition the court to get them.
- 3: Number of legal briefs I wrote myself that were unsuccessful in persuading New York State Supreme Court to release the documents.
- 1: Grade out of 10 that I would give the New York State Supreme Court’s pro se services office on a scale measuring “helpfulness.”
- 19: Number of months it took a state court judge to decide not to release the documents.
- 5: Number of months it took the appeals court to overrule the original state court ruling.
- 4: Number of Grey executives or their lawyers who implied or explicitly stated, on and off the record, that I would be sued for publishing this story.
- 5: Number of appeals court judges who agreed unanimously, on all counts, that I was right and Grey was wrong.
- Too many: Number of my friends or family who should have known better than to suggest, however well-intentioned they were, that maybe I ought to just drop it.
BNET has been redesigned. It’s the third revamp the site has received, to my knowledge. The new look is cleaner and, for new readers, easier to navigate.
For previous readers, however, some things have shuffled around. All my pharmaceutical stuff is here and all my advertising stuff is here. Please update your links, bookmarks and RSS feeds! You’ll notice that BNET Pharma and BNET Advertising have been given trendy new names, “Placebo Effect” and “The Tagline,” respectively. (I argued for “The Pill Popper” for the drug blog, but management didn’t like that one.)
One slight difference is that in the new redesign we’ve temporarily lost access to our automatic comment notification feeds. This means I might be slow or absent in responding to comments that require a response for the next few weeks. So if you spot something that’s flat wrong, email me directly at jim edwards 123 @ hotmail dot com.
Aside from that, not much has changed. I’m still focusing on the biggest, most controversial stories of the day, and trying to draw some management advice out of them. I’d love to get your feedback.
BNET Industries has undergone a redesign. It looks better and, more importantly, traffic is up. Most things are in the same place they always were, so you can still read my stuff about the pharmaceutical industry here, and my stuff about the advertising business here.
Nonetheless, there are a couple of things that readers might want to note in order to get the most out of the site. First, if you want to see more than five of my “Analysis” posts at a time, click on the black box where it says “more posts.” A longer ladder of headlines will unscroll automatically.
Second, if you want to click backward through everything I’ve written chronologically, then try this URL for BNET Pharma and this one for BNET Advertising. This will give you a more traditional “blog”-style experience.
I’d love to hear your feedback.
You’ll also notice that fewer BNET posts of mine link back to this blog for extra resources such as documentary source material. That’s because the new BNET edit interface made it easier for me to upload documents directly into BNET.com.
Lastly, access to BNET’s feedback tools got stricter. Now, you have to register with the site before voting for stories or commenting on them. This has had the immediate effect of making it look like fewer people are checking BNET stories as “favorites” and fewer people are commenting. BNET has done this for business reasons; registered readers are more important to advertisers (and BNET’s editorial staff) than random anonymous readers.
From your point of view, this means that if you take the trouble to register and vote or comment, your contribution is taken much more seriously than it is elsewhere where any anonymous person can say whatever nonsense they wish. Those of you who have commented on my items or sent me emails know that I almost always respond when warranted, even to critics.
Thanks for reading. We study the stats every day — and thank you for showing up.
This document relates to this story on BNET.