Business Writing Sample: Excerpt from

"The 101 Best Web Sites for Business Executives"

By Mike Johnson
2000 Soundview Executive Book Summaries


News and media web sites allow busy executives to stay current on world events without having to wait for scheduled television news broadcasts. Today, breaking news frequently hits the Internet before it hits the airwaves. With companies increasingly competing in a global marketplace, staying informed of world-wide events can spell the difference between protecting -- or losing -- your human, facility and financial investments.

Since many web sites lure visitors by providing news -- otherwise know as "content," there are literally tens of thousands of news and media sites to choose from. The better sites provide current news summaries, dramatic photos, cover local, domestic and international events and offer a large library of related links so you can learn more about a topic with the click of a mouse. In our opinion, the best news and media site on the Internet is CNN Interactive. Also deserving special mention are USA Today, the Drudge Report and Editor & Publisher.



CNN's web site, like its 24-hour television news operation, provides comprehensive, in-depth, world-wide, near-instant news reporting every minute of every day. CNN gives viewers the option of absorbing the news by reading headline news brief summaries, in-depth news analysis's or listening and viewing via audio or video clips. CNN's reputation as the premier 24-hour television news operation carries through to its web site as well. is similar to other news and media Web sites in that it provides, local, national, and international coverage. The site also covers business, sports, politics, weather, technology, space, health, entertainment, books, travel, food, style, nature and in-depth analysis. The site offers a convenient search feature so you can locate archived news stories and specialized requests.

What makes the CNN site stand out is its timeliness and depth of information. Unlike other online news and media sites that are only updated once or several times a day, the CNN site is perpetually changing as world events dictate. In addition, you can choose the "MyCNN" feature and have customized news assembled to match your specific interests. You can make this customized content your home page or save it as a book-marked link. Viewers can also take advantage of CNN's free e-mail feature, cast your vote in online surveys, view your local weather forecast or view the current value of your favorite stock.


Once you have accessed the home page, Soundview recommends that you first scroll down and view the day's major headlines. Each headline is a link that when clicked, provides the full article. For a more comprehensive view of the day's news, click the icon labeled, "Headline News Brief," and you'll receive many more news headlines that double as article links.

If you have time to browse, scroll down the CNN home page and review headline links for topics such as "World," "U.S.," "Politics," "Personal Finance," "Entertainment," "Health," "Personal Technology," "Computers," "Space," Nature," "Travel," "Food," "Style," and "Books." This site also offers regularly changing special features such as "Millennium: 1,000 Years of History," trivia quizzes and links to CNN companion sites CNN/SI (Sports Illustrated) and CNNfn (Financial News).



Known as the nation's newspaper, the USA Today Web site sorts its news in the easy to navigate categories of News, Sports, Money, Life and Weather. The free site also offers a search feature which is great for finding archived articles and special interests. In addition, the newspaper's factoids make great additions to speeches and lunch conversations. An archived list of these fun facts can be located by clicking the "snapshot" icon. Other valuable information can be located at the Web site's "Stocks," Small Business," and Technology," areas. The site is also loaded with dozens of links to other useful Web sites and companies.


If you want your news uncensored by "big" media, you'll love The Drudge Report. Specializing in politics, Matt Drudge first burst upon the media scene as the man who revealed the Monica Lewinsky scandal on his free Internet web site. Originally blasted by the White House as dishing out fiction, the sordid truth eventually seeped out and vindicated Drudge. Today, using an army of confidential insiders, e-mail tips and links to foreign press, The Drudge Report frequently scoops other American publications by days rather than hours. A word of caution: this site has a tabloid feel because Drudge reveals amazing, uncensored information on a daily basis. With as many as one million visitors a day, more times than not, Drudge's information later turns up in mainstream media. The site is also a great source for links to the most popular electronic news sources and newspaper columnists.


Editor & Publisher is the leading trade publication of the newspaper industry. Newspaper industry news can be interesting but the real value of this site is its links to more than 11,000 newspaper, radio, television, magazine, city guide, syndicate service and association electronic sites. If you're looking for local or business news from any small town in the world, if that town has online media, you'll find the link here. If that link is a local newspaper, you can usually access classified ads which can be a great source for identifying business needs in that town for your sales department. This site has a great search feature as well, allowing you to locate media by category, geographic location, and publication and/or broadcast frequency.

More Business Writing Samples