Newly acquired BusinessWeek staffers better get ready for the Bloomberg way.
Quaintly referred to as a journalistic sweatshop many years ago in the pages of BusinessWeek, Bloomberg LP is a radically different beast than the relaxed world of cubicles and hallway chats BusinessWeek staffers enjoy.
Bloomberg’s office is designed to replicate a trading floor. It’s wide open, and the employees sit elbow to elbow. Famously, there are no offices for the bosses. They sit right alongside everyone else. Even conference rooms are open for all to see, with glass instead of solid walls.
At BusinessWeek, there’s big cubicles, corner offices and conference rooms with solid walls.
Bloomberg’s employees often silently chat through instant messaging on their terminals. There’s also a Big Brother feel to the organisation, according to various employees. Phones and email communication are treated as company property, with Bloomberg able to read all messages.
One Bloomberg employee says it’s not so bad though. It’s all very transparent. You know Bloomberg is keeping an eye on you, and that’s OK. It’s all out in the open.
There could be editorial shock in addition to cultural shock. We once heard from a Bloomberg editor, who was formerly at BusinessWeek that he’d forgotten words working at Bloomberg because of its tight editorial guidelines. This same person said his child looking for a journalism job wouldn’t come work at Bloomberg because of how tough it was there.
That editor was working on the wire service. Presumably, BusinessWeek will have a different set of guidelines, as it aims to improve its editorial content and charge more for subscriptions.
Bloomberg reps swear up and down the “journalistic sweatshop” myth is overblown. They say Bloomberg has just been given an unfair, bad, reputation. We’ve even heard from one source that things have vastly improved under the watch of Norman Pearlstine, who it turns out will be the chairman of BusinessWeek.
So, maybe the shock won’t be so bad, after all. BusinessWeek’s staff gets to join a thriving news organisation. And Bloomberg’s offices are awesome. There’s always new art being installed, and it has a curved escalator, which is very cool.
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