Deford discusses future of journalism

first_imgSports journalism is at the forefront of technological advances in the media world, Sports Illustrated Senior Writer Frank Deford said at the 2010 Red Smith Lecture in Journalism Wednesday night. In his lecture, entitled “Sportswriter is One Word,” Deford spoke of his experiences in the sports writing business and gave his take on where the industry is going.Deford started the lecture off by describing himself as a “hybrid,” as his work in the field of sports involves more than just news.“I know I’m a writer, but only part of me is a journalist,” he said. “Most of my pieces are storytelling rather than reporting.”Although he has been writing for Sports Illustrated since 1962, Deford said he never expected his job to last this long and only came about it by accident.“I never set out to be a sportswriter. I fell into it in college. I always think I’ll grow up and move out of it,” he said.Deford said while sportswriters seldom garner the respect for their field of work amongst their journalist peers, the area of writing they work in allows for an unmatched level of creativity.“Sports writing offers the most opportunity amongst journalistic disciplines for storytelling,” he said.For a long time, the area of American culture that sportswriters covered in addition to the job itself were stagnant in its progress, and this hindered growth of media opportunities for alternate forms of publication and women sportswriters, according to Deford.“In sports, everything played in exactly the same places as if it had been ordained that way,” he said.He said he was blessed to come into the field when it was undergoing rapid growth.“I was fortunate unlike Red [Smith’s] generation who had to chronicle a little realm,” Deford said. “I came into the enterprise when it was exploding.”Despite this increase of coverage, Deford said sports writing has lost a bit of its luster.“To be a sportswriter today isn’t nearly as engaging. The revolution is over,” he said.Part of that problem is the expansion of sports journalism to a new realm of media: the Internet.“Journalism as we know it began with the printing press,” Deford said. “It ended with the Internet.”Deford said as the focus of coverage shifts online, readers are losing the joy of being exposed to a variety of subjects by being able to pick and choose what they read.“The mainstream media says we’re going to give you a full arc of the goings on. Even if you weren’t going to read about education, you might bump into it,” he said, speaking of print media.“People in this century are growing up with a predilection to only read what interests them,” Deford said.Despite these issues, Deford feels that expansion of coverage can also be beneficial for sports writing.“When I was in college, Eisenhower warned about the military industrial complex. It really is the entertainment amusement complex. This is great for sportswriters,” he said.Deford said this evolution could be described by a word many old time sports writers tossed around — “bush” — which was used to describe anything that wasn’t deemed as worthy of reputable coverage, such as soccer.“Who cares that it is bush. It’s fun. The end of journalism as we know it is the beginning of new sports journalism,” he said.Deford said despite the expansion of coverage the Internet offers, we are losing a critical aspect of sports journalism: the storytelling.“Pitchers can only go six innings, readers can only go six sentences,” he said. “It is the good stories and good investigative journalism which we will lose.”last_img read more

Swiss asset management costs ‘don’t paint whole picture’, experts warn

first_imgIt stated that TERs in transparent collective investment schemes – such as investment funds, trusts and investment companies – are to be included in the calculations as well.However, this still left out transaction costs and taxes in collective schemes, TERs in non-transparent (some private equity funds, hedge funds, funds of funds, etc) collective schemes and implicit transaction costs and taxes on the top investment layer, which are not covered by the regulation or the OAK decree.Swiss consultancy c-alm did include those added, hidden costs in its initial report on the second pillar in 2009, commissioned by the Social Ministry in preparation for the structural reform.In it, c-alm calculated a 0.57% cost share, an estimate borne out by subsequent calculations, most recently in 2012, at a slightly lower 0.51% – yet still well above the 0.42% reported by ASIP.But c-alm said it expected more and more collective investment schemes to increase transparency and eventually be included in the TER calculations for Pensionskassen.Ueli Mettler, a partner at c-alm, told IPE: “It is a matter of reputation for asset managers. They do not want to see their products on the so-called ‘black list’ of non-transparent vehicles in a Pensionskassen’s annual report.”He added that UBS had been one of the first to start calculating a synthetic TER for its fund-of-fund offering, and others are following.If all of the currently still non-transparent vehicles are calculating a TER, the costs reported by Pensionskassen could increase by as much as one-third, c-alm estimates.Another trend, according to Mettler, is the inclusion of implicit transaction costs in the calculations, which, on average, adds another 15-20% to the reported costs.Those are not calculated by the provider and can only be estimated by pension funds.However, Mettler warned against including “too many estimate-based figures” and assumptions into the total calculation, as this would be “a path back into the mist”.Currently, more than 98% of all collective investment schemes in the second pillar have attained transparent TER status.However, costs in non-transparent vehicles are likely to be considerably higher than the average.Larger Pensionskassen have reported lower asset management costs on average, and mostly have committed to 100% transparency on fees.The largest Pensionskasse in Swizterland, the CHF36bn (€29.4bn) Publica – as well as the CHF27bn BVK, the pension fund for the canton of Zurich – fully disclose their asset management costs.At Publica, the cost slightly increased last year to 0.22% (from 0.19% in 2012) due to “more expensive” emerging market investments, the Pensionskasse noted in its annual report.The BVK, however, cut its asset management costs from 0.22% to 0.19% year on year – in 2009, costs had been at 0.46%.At the CHF8.7bn Aargauische Pensionskasse (APK), cost transparency is “almost 94%”, with the TERs of some products “not yet fully in line” with OAK calculation requirements.The costs amount to 0.50% of assets, far higher than at Switzerland’s larger funds. Swiss Pensionskassen are paying on average 0.42% of their managed assets in asset management fees, according to a survey by pension fund association ASIP.But experts have warned this does not paint the whole picture, as ASIP’s figure reflects only the costs that must be reported under new regulations and do not cover costs from private equity funds, hedge funds or funds of funds, which do not report a TER, or implicit costs in collective schemes.As part of the reform implemented over the last two years in Switzerland’s second pillar, all Pensionskassen must now report a total expense ratio (TER) on individual investments and include explicit transaction charges and taxes from the top investment layer, as well as global custody, ALM and monitoring costs.In April 2013, the top supervisory body – the Oberaufsichtskommission (OAK) – sent out a decree to add to the new regulatory provisions.last_img read more