THE NEW BUSINESS JOURNALISM: The People and Corporations Behind America's Business Publications by Don Gussow

THE NEW BUSINESS JOURNALISM: The People and Corporations Behind America's Business Publications

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A trade's-man's stuffy, adulatory guide to the business press. Gussow is the founder and head of Magazines for Business, Inc., ""now part of HBJ Publications, a large and expanding division of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc."" He briefly reviews early trade papers; avers that, prior to the 1970s, the business press ""failed to communicate its vitality and indispensability as a communications medium for the business community""; and claims that, today, ""the finished product is usually equal and often superior to the best of consumer magazines."" (""One has to search far to locate bad journalism."") In the course of the text, one concrete if obvious distinction is drawn--business journalists have to be specialists (in food, steel, or whatever), and hence tend to stay put; one short chapter suggests that such publications can function as signposts or catalysts. (E.g., American Lumberman, founded in 1873, became Building Material Merchandiser in 1960, and Home Center Magazine in 1972--when ""the publisher realized that the industry's direction was changing once again."") For the most part, however, the book has no thought-content or inflection at all--though it also sweeps in Business Week, Fortune, and other purveyors of general business news. There's a directory of leading trade publishers, a review of four ""representative"" periodicals (leading off with Gussow's Food & Drug Packaging), and then handbook how-to information on circulation, advertising, production. (For the editorial aspect, a few general remarks aside, readers are referred to the bibliography.) To an extent, this would serve prospective business-magazine publishers: Gussow describes how a controlled circulation list is developed, for instance, and how a company can move into electronic data-base publishing. For just about anyone else, it's a dry hole.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich