By Nicholas Varchaver
November 6, 2016

Good morning.

Patience is the theme this week. I’ve heard more than one person muse that “long-form” is a misnomer for a certain type of journalism. Well, not really a misnomer in the sense that many stories achieve substantial length. It’s just that judging articles by their word count puts the value in the wrong place, as if amassing a prodigious quantity of words is the ultimate goal. Telling an amazing story or explaining a profound and complex problem should be the goal, the length merely a means to that end. This is my roundabout way of saying that this week I found three examples of good, occasionally superb, reporting that are worth reading. But in each case, it must be said, the writing—and editing—didn’t do justice to the quality of the material. So I offer suggestions on two very meaty business topics, with the significant caveat that you may run out of patience, or time, before you reach the end. If you stick with them, however, you’ll glean significant insights on troubled goings-on at Deutsche Bank and Chipotle. A third story, on GlaxoSmithKline’s bribery problems in China, is a good example of achieving more impact in a much more streamlined length.


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