The Economist

Publishers are Software Companies

Publishers are software companies. We don't often think of them that way. Increasingly we should,

because where a publisher's software development goes, editorial opportunity follows.
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Andreas Kluth, Economist

Andreas Kluth, technology correspondent
The Economist
November 2006


Welcome to my week

  • "My office is wherever I am. I'm a one-man show. I'm my own tech support, admin, everything." (Add to that a dad and a teacher at Berkeley - so evenings and weekends are usually out for meetings.)
  • The Economist is "officially a newspaper" so "I try to react to news."
  • "My weekly rhythm is determined by the London time zone," which means he wakes up a day behind and his deadlines come a day sooner. It's "kind of a nightmare."
  • Monday morning PST, the day in London is already over, edit decisions are already made, and he has until "literally Tuesday night" to file. This means he's often writing a week ahead.
  • Tight deadlines mean anything he's shown in advance -- something to happen on Wednesday or Thursday -- is automatically put off until the following week. "If you wait till Wednesday or Thursday, I cannot really react."
  • The average workday puts about "300 e-mails, not counting the Viagra spam," into his inbox. "Of those, there are probably ten unbelievably important ones." The others are PR e-mails.
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Journalists are leaving media brands every week. Read the fruits of 16 confidential interviews with journalists now working at tech brands or PR agencies, and five interviews with the executives who hired these journalists.
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