Wednesday, April 1, 2009

USA Today's Swartz gives a brief summary of Facebook departure

Joe Swartz, tech writer for USA Today write a short overview of an update in the Facebook staff titled "Facebook CFO resigns." Using a summary lede, Swartz addressed the:
-who: Gideon Yu (CFO of Facebook)
-what: Yu is leaving Facebook after two years
-when: currently
-where: not relevant to story
-why: no reason yet given

Given the article is only three short paragraphs, Swartz, in my opinion, does a great job of addressing the pertinent and necessary information. The article isn't necessarily only about Yu, but also about the other changes in employment and management to Facebook. "Co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and Chief Technology Officer Adam D'Angelo" both left last year, in addition to "Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein, an engineering manager at Facebook" who "left to form a startup to build software they hope will be 'to your work life what is to your social life.'"

The ending sentence, however, is slightly confusing as Swartz gives an update about an employer already mentioned earlier in the article. "D'Angelo jumped last year for parts unknown." This sentence is a weak concluding sentence as it doesn't even relate to the initial subject of the article. While the article delivers the changes to Facebook staff in an understandable way, the title is misleading because it makes the reader think the article will go more in depth about the reason for which Yu left and how he went about doing it. It is only touched on on the surface, and I feel more delving needs to be done to report more information to the reader.

Lastly, I think Swartz should have used a source from within Facebook regarding Yu's departure. A quote from Facebook is used (Facebook says it's looking for a CFO with "public company experience."), however, it is not attributed to a person or website. I think Swartz should have tried to get an interview with the CEO or one of the founders who are internally linked to Facebook and who would have known the exactly events leading up to and reasons for Yu's decision to leave. All in all, while it gives a great summary, Swartz should lengthen his article to fit in more specific and informative content.


  1. I agree with a lot of what you say. It would not have been difficult for Swartz to get an inside source. It seems like it is just an article based on a press release.

  2. To be fair, this is an extremely short blog post/news brief, and thus it doesn't really require that strong of a concluding sentence. I'm sure that someone will expand upon this news later once more information is known.

  3. I agree with both posts. However, in regards to the first post, I would have just liked to see some more inside information. Although that would be difficult and a follow-up article would most likely be published...the introduction should have, in my opinion, given a small glimpse into the information coming directly from the company that was being discussed.