Journalist Q&A: Michael Waldholz, Bloomberg News
Name: Michael Waldholz
Title: Managing editor, global health, higher education, and environment
Outlet: Bloomberg News
Preferred e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.bloomberg.com
Michael Waldholz, a veteran journalist who was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for AIDS reporting, joined Bloomberg News in 2005 after working for The Wall Street Journal for 25 years. While based in New York, Waldolz manages a team of 50 reporters and editors at Bloomberg offices across the world.
He spoke to Jaimy Lee about the role of Bloomberg news in the media world.
What type of stories are you and your team looking for at Bloomberg?
Michael Waldholz: Since we are a business-oriented news operation, we like to think of ourselves not as a newswire at Bloomberg but as an electronic media outlet with a focus on business. In the healthcare area, we are covering issues related to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology business.
That involves covering breaking news related to the big drug companies – the Pfizers, the Mercks. Since we're global, that includes the companies based in Europe and Asia, as well as the smaller biotech industry. And that involves company developments, as well as [the fact] we have a very aggressive stance in covering the science that drives these companies. As such, we mostly cover life science studies, out of the journals.
We cover both the science issues as pertains to potential for developing pharmaceutical products, breakthroughs that might lead to medicine. We also cover important news because we have about 280,000 subscribers who pay to read our news off the Bloomberg terminal but we have a very aggressive Web site, also TV, and newspapers pick us up and rely on Bloomberg to fill in their news.
Who is the audience reading Bloomberg?
Waldholz: The principal audience of Bloomberg [is] the people who can afford to pay $1,500 a month. This is generally someone who is a money manager, a trader, an analyst, business executives, people who are using the information part of Bloomberg. Much of the news that our readers can see is also available pretty close to real time on our public Web site. Although we don't like to think of ourselves this way, we are a wire service and newspapers rely on.
With a topic like healthcare reform, what's different about the way Bloomberg would cover an issue like, as opposed to a traditional news organization or a wire service?
Waldholtz: In some ways, it's more similar to Reuters and Dow Jones. But, we believe [we have] even a sharper focus in some ways to information that investors can use, especially in healthcare. It doesn't limit you because investors, just like any consumer, is interested in their own healthcare.
So, while we're writing our stories with an attempt to explain how healthcare overhaul or reform, we're trying to explain who the winners and losers are, how bills and the various aspects of the bills might affect the insurance companies or the pharmaceutical companies because investors might be interested.
Our readers are just as interested about their own personal health and their own insurance, whereas The New York Times might mainly, especially outside the business pages, write about [news] for the general reading public and consumers, we're not only doing that, but writing in a style that is very accessible.