My Take on Russian ...


Back in October, I resurrected the “Iron Reporter” to compare how two different publications covered Siemens’ high-speed train in Russia.

It was interesting to see the two reporters, Andrew E. Kramer from The New York Times and Paul Glader from The Wall Street Journal, take distinctly different paths in their storytelling.

Both pieces reflected the quality one would expect from two of the more prominent newspapers in the country.

But I did take a jab at Glader wondering why the Journal would “go through the trouble and expense to fly Mr. Glader from New York to Russia” for a story that appeared one month after the news was in the public domain.

I now have my answer.

Glader was good enough to drop me a line which provided the context.

It turns out that he had traveled to Russia on a personal vacation; i.e., his own dime, so the Journal did not fly him to Russia.

Instead, he wrote on the Siemens’ high-speed train as well as on St. Petersburg for the Times’ travel section to simply add to the learning experience during his travels.

In addition, the piece was earmarked for the Journal’s Marketplace section, not the front page where long-form narrative still lives.

This explains why the investment picture (global spend on the train biz) served as a major theme in the story. And why much of the “texture” from his journey on the infamous Red Arrow train didn’t make the final story aside from a quote from the Red Arrow’s captain.

Obviously, Ishmael’s Corner doesn’t benefit from an ombudsman (not in the 2010 budget) but I can still hear the ombudsman’s voice calling out my decision to highlight one of his Glader’s personal tweets as a bit of a cheap shot.

That was unfair and I apologize.


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