Rana Foroohar and Ross M. Schneiderman of Newsweek did what I call “doing a 180” to see what’s was happening on the flip side of the economic downturn — industries that are performing well. They write:
“Previously, job losses were spread broadly throughout the economy. This time around, they are mainly concentrated in three sectors: construction, manufacturing (particularly the automotive sector), and finance. That leaves plenty of other parts of the economy that are relatively untouched, and some—such as education and health care—that are rapidly growing. There are less obvious areas of growth, too. Plenty of export-oriented businesses are booming, as are technology firms and anything to do with commodities or agriculture. Even some high-end manufacturing is starting to rebound.”
My tip for today: look for the silver lining. That doesn’t mean you ignore bad news. But sometimes looking for the obverse will help you find fresh story ideas.
When you’re dealing with articles that have a broader scope such as this one, Ross says you also need to find some experience.
Today’s Tip: “When writing one of your first long-form analysis pieces, try partnering with a more experienced writer and offer to help him/her with the reporting,” Ross says.
“It can be very instructive to file to someone and see what quotes they chose and why and how they structured the piece and why,” says Ross, who started his journalism career in 2005. “Doing so, I think, helps you structure your own pieces when you’re doing all the writing and reporting by yourself.”
For this story, Ross partnered with Rana, whose resume includes six years as Newsweek’s European economic correspondent and stints at other publications such as Forbes.
If you’re new to business, study the stories of your experienced colleagues, buy them a cup of coffee and ask questions.