The Bloomberg Way: A Guide for Reporters and Editors
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More About This Title The Bloomberg Way: A Guide for Reporters and Editors


The ultimate guide to financial reporting, from the Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg News

The Bloomberg Way: A Guide for Reporters and Editors is the ultimate handbook for business and financial reporting. A compilation of more than two decades worth of wisdom and experience from one of the world's largest news organizations, the book contains the information and guidance reporters, editors, and students need to be first, fastest, and factual. Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler guides readers through the entire reporting process, relating best practices and warning against common mistakes.

More than ever before, accurate reporting is crucial, as increasing numbers of people and institutions are affected by what happens on Wall Street, and information can move global markets. The Bloomberg Way: A Guide for Reporters and Editors details both the preparation and production aspects that produce great news, and provides an inside look at the methods used by an elite financial reporting institution. The book goes well beyond "Journalism 101" to provide guidance specific to business and financial reporting, empowering reporters and editors to develop their own methods within the guidelines of solid, ethical reporting. Topics include:

Style, voice, jargon, and why good writing mattersStocks, bonds, currencies, and covering marketsDebt, earnings, M&A, and reporting on companiesGovernment financing, opinion polls, and following the money

The book also provides guidance on taking an idea from pitch to publication, and includes extensive information on public responsibility, libel, transparency, and other ethical issues. Between the 24-hour news cycle and the current economic climate, financial reporters need to break news accurately and informatively. The Thirteenth Edition of The Bloomberg Way: A Guide for Reporters and Editors is the definitive guide to reporting and editing the story of money and finance.


MATTHEW WINKLER is the Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg News. Prior to founding the news organization at Bloomberg LP, he was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

JENNIFER SONDAG is the Standards Editor, Americas for Bloomberg News. She joined Bloomberg in 2000.


Introduction xi

Acknowledgments xvii

Chapter 1: The Bloomberg Way 1

Guiding Principles 2

Ethical Standards 3

Chapter 2: The Five Fs 5

Chapter 3: The Four-Paragraph Lead 7

Headlines 12

Leads 13

Size and Scope 18

Reinforcing the Lead 19

Quotations 20

Details 22

Nut Paragraphs 24

To Be Sure 26

Chapter 4: Show, Don’t Tell 27

Characterizations 28

Assertions 30

Anecdotes 31

Chapter 5: Writing Well Matters 33

Precision and Brevity 34

Jargon 37

Clichés 38

Word Echoes 38

Tense and Voice 39

Concise Writing 39

Chapter 6: Preparation 41

How to Prepare 41

Source Development 43

Curtain-Raisers 44

Templates 45

Chapter 7: Headlines 47

Improving Headlines 48

Headline Style 49

Grammar and Punctuation 51

Stand-Alone Headlines 52

Story Subheads 53

Avoiding Headline Errors 54

Chapter 8: Covering News 55

Breaking News 56

News Releases 57

Attribution 58

Anonymous Sources 59

Corrections 61

Sending Corrections 63

Rumor and Speculation 64

Media Summaries 65

Story Mechanics 67

Complete Coverage 69

Chapter 9: People 71

Interviewing 72

Obituaries 74

Chapter 10: Enterprise 77

Idea to Story 78

Preparing a Pitch 78

Types of Enterprise 81

Reporting 85

A Model of Reporting 86

Writing the Story 88

Chapter 11: Ethics 91

Working for Bloomberg 92

Covering Bloomberg 93

Fairness 94

Public Responsibilities 95

Endorsements and Paying Our Way 96

Plagiarism 97

Access 97

Transparency 98

Accuracy 100

Contests 100

Conduct 101

Libel 102

Red Flags 103

Avoiding a Libel Claim 104

Chapter 12: How We Work 107

Reporters 108

Interviewing 109

Accuracy 111

Editors 112

Editing Checklist 113

Bloomberg First Word 114

Going Online 115

Chapter 13: The Data Advantage 117

More News-Inspired Functions 120

Functions for Markets 122

Functions for Stocks 123

Functions for Bonds 125

Functions for Currencies 127

Functions for Commodities 127

Functions for Companies 128

Functions for Economies 130

Functions for Government 131

Chapter 14: Five Easy Pieces 133

Chapter 15: Markets 137

How to Cover Markets 138

Four Pillars of Market Reporting 143

Writing Market Leads 145

Keeping Stories Fresh 146

Technical Analysis 147

Markets Enterprise 149

Stocks 151

Themes for Stocks 151

Bonds 152

Government Bonds 153

Themes for Government Bonds 154

Corporate Bonds 155

Themes for Corporate Bonds 156

Swaps 157

Money Markets 158

Currencies 159

Covering Currency Markets 160

Themes for Currencies 161

Commodities 162

Themes for Commodities 164

Chapter 16: Companies 167

Market Perspective 168

Debt 169

Earnings 170

Mergers and Acquisitions 174

Valuation 176

Value Comparisons 178

Financing 180

Initial Public Offerings 181

Bond Sales 183

Repurchases and Dividends 184

Company Exclusives 186

Chapter 17: Economies 189

Covering Economies 190

Economy Enterprise 193

Chapter 18: Government 195

Follow the Money 198

Financing Government 199

Opinion Polls 200

Government Exclusives 202

Chapter 19: Grammar 205

Agreement of Subject and Verb 205

Commas 206

Hyphens 207

Only 207

Which and That 208

Has and Have 209

Who and Whom 211

Chapter 20: Words and Terms 213