An Exercise in EnvyBy Kate Salava
January 11, 2017
We’re not sure why Bloomberg Businessweek decided to give their 2016 Jealousy List a theme oddly reminiscent of a watermelon (to portray themselves green with envy, perhaps), but we are sure that this list includes some seriously good stories. In a twist on the typical “Best of 2016” feature, they’ve compiled a list of articles published by other news outlets they wished they’d written first. Sometimes controversial, risky and thought-provoking, but always plain old good journalism, these are pieces we’re just happy someone wrote this year. Check out the Fancy Butter Test, if you’re wondering what we mean.
Beyond that, Bloomberg’s strategy is a forward-looking exercise in humility—its authors realize sometimes their competition beat them to the punch. Whether that be a hard-hitting analysis on racism in crime-predicting algorithms, an artistic dedication to Prince or an expose on fake farmers at the farmer’s market, they are first congratulating the other team, then casting a more observant eye toward the future of their own writing.
This exercise isn’t only useful to journalists. Any firm, company or individual can benefit from this type of creative and self-aware “audit” of what others are doing better.
Seriously though, sign us up for the next round of Fancy Butter Testing.