Of Budgets and Business News

It's budget season ... a time when all your business journalism expertise is for naught.

Sure, you know a thing or two about mezzanine financing and Federal Reserve inflation policy. You can also talk up the pros and cons trade subsidization. And an earnings outlook? Ha, you can rattle it off in your sleep.

But that doesn't do a whole of lot of good when it comes to convincing the Finance Department to let you hire some additional writers next year. And a copy editor to handle those niggling typos you folks write me about from time to time. Maybe a few news associates too. Oh yeah, and get a bigger freelance budget.

Nope. It's a simple equation the finance folk are looking at ... what's it cost and how much does it bring in. If the return isn't big enough the answer from finance is typically "no."

What's funny is how many in our business don't understand that. Someone will have just written a story about a company trying to control its internal costs. Then, that same someone will turn around and say "can't we just hire someone?" when a staffing issue rears its head.

Just like all politics is local, all budgeting is local.

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