Hello. I’m a long-time findingDulcinea writer, and first-time blogger here. As for yourselves, if you’re long-time findingDulcinea readers, I’m sure you’ve noticed a new format in our news section, Beyond the Headlines. Beginning in early August, the bulk of our news stories now read more like feature pieces often found in “old media” news sources. In keeping with our “Librarian of the Internet” motto, findingDulcinea’s new format includes hyperlinks directly to the best sources on the news topics we cover, offering better readability and utility for you—as well as more enjoyable writing for the news staff.
Take the story I did last week on “pump and dump” stocks, for example. The article starts out with a synopsis of recent developments regarding spammers who hype up penny stocks to scam unwitting investors. The format allows us to compile the key facts on a given story in a more streamlined manner, rather than separating details on a given topic by link description, as with our older style.
This way, readers in a time bind can just read the lede paragraph to get the gist of a story, then scroll down to the background and reference sections to learn about “pumping and dumping” and “penny stocks,” so readers don’t have to Google the phrases to feel in the know, saving time. The article is linked to our Web Guide to Finance, helpful for novice investors as well as Wall Street moguls.
The new format benefits me as well. As findingDulcinea’s financial beat writer, I feel it is my duty to sift out the jargon of which other publications’ business stories are so often laden. Business, economic and financial news are quite arguably the stories that affect our daily lives the most. While Brangelina and Tomkat offer escapism to housewives and harried professionals alike, when it comes to household bills, the likelihood of recessions or Indonesia’s dropping out of OPEC are a tad bit, if not entirely, more relevant.
But their dry tone and heavy use of acronyms such as EBITDA (earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortization—say that five times fast), or PR-ish terms such as “launched a mega-project” tend to send most people flocking to the “Molasses Truck Dumps on Sugar Land” stories of the world—not that I don’t mind those—hint, hint.
So in addition to filtering out Internet clutter, our new news format takes wonkish terminology out of business reporting—bringing you one step closer to finding your “financial Dulcinea” instead of using the business section of a newspaper as packing material. As you read about the possible causes behind the downfall of AIG or the Mortgage Macs, I hope you will be as moved to learn about the financial markets as this econ geekette is to write about them.