Putting The World In Focus

Over the years, BUSINESS WEEK has frequently garnered kudos for its international coverage. This year was no exception. In late April, the magazine was honored by the Overseas Press Club, America's leading organization for international journalists, for three stories on Indonesia. It also got a citation for two Cover Stories on Japan's economic quagmire. In addition, a special double issue on "The 21st Century Economy" was among U.S. competitors for a National Magazine Award.

For the men and women who produce BUSINESS WEEK, these accolades offer confirmation from our peers that we are practicing a high standard of journalism. But they wouldn't mean much if they didn't also make us believe that we are doing our best job for our readers.

Connecting readers' interests with writers' interests isn't always easy. Each week, BUSINESS WEEK's more than 200 correspondents and contributors around the world sift through dozens of stories that we hope will shed some new light on an event, a person, a technology, a political move, or a financial deal that we think has global interest. Because we are a U.S.-based magazine and because a lot of innovation is coming from America, roughly half the stories in our international editions are about developments in the U.S.

WEIGHING UP. But compared with most other news organizations, there is an important difference in the way we look at these stories. Our job with every article is to be evaluative. Will a reader in Frankfurt or Paris, Bangkok or Sao Paulo find something useful in this story? Will it add up to more than a story about something going on in the U.S.? Will it provoke, instruct, or entice our readers into wanting to learn more?

The convergence of the global economy has made it much easier for any story we do to travel around the world. In this issue, for example, you'll find a management story about how U.S. headhunters are using the Internet to recruit top-level executives globally. There's also a science story about new ways to deliver hard-to-administer drugs without needles--a trend that involves pharmaceutical companies everywhere.

All of which brings us back to the recent awards. The winning stories were about Japan's seemingly endless downward drift and about Indonesia's wrenching, bloody confrontation with its past. While it's no time to celebrate, Indonesia is now showing signs of political and economic stability. And Japan is at last restructuring its financial system. That, along with a fair dose of government pump priming, may get the world's second-largest economy off the ground. How quickly events change in a year.

Our issue on the 21st century economy was a way of putting many of these episodic events in context. BUSINESS WEEK believes strongly that markets, technology, and global forces spur renewal and growth, and that growth cures a lot of ills. Today, the biggest renewal and growth story in the world is Europe, where a dramatic corporate shakeout is just beginning. We think it's so important that we've done eight Cover Stories on Europe's business revolution in the past four months, and we're sure to do more before the year is over. Watch this space in the weeks ahead.