Contenders pile into Brit online finance news wars

Read it in the Monday papers

The media job ads in Monday's Guardian is a great place to find out who's launching what - so let's take a peek in February 21's edition.

And what do we have here: another financial news site hitting the UK. This one is called smallcapcenter.com, and it's recruiting "cutting edge" journalists in London to run its new European Web site. The New-York-based company promises competitive salaries and equity stakes. Just as well. London-based financial journos are in very short supply these days, what with Ft.com, TheStreet.co.uk, WSJ Interactive Europe, Breaking Views, Talkcast, Citywire UK, 45one (the new Durlacher-backed and as yet unlaunched subscription wire service for the City) also hiring. And that's only the online brigade...

Moving away from straightforward financial news, but still money, money, money-oriented, we have The Industry Standard, the self-styled "leading magazine for the Internet economy".

Cheapskate

This is hiring journalists in the UK and throughout Europe to "write news and features on contract". What does this mean - short-term, full-time, or guaranteed freelance? Either way, it doesn't sound like there's much in the way of equity on the table. The Industry Standard is an established player - in America - so joining it would be a risk-free option - in America. And why make free and easy with the share options, especially when it's so close to IPO?

The Industry Standard is a cheapskate in other ways: last month, the company bagged $30 million for European expansion in a round of financing that brought inter alia Financial Times owner Pearson as an investor. The company is trying to hire European staff from San Francisco. Couldn't it have stumped up for a local media recruitment rep?

The UK already has a magazine in that media-savvy Internet economy world: it's called New Media Age. We read the paper version every week - it's really rather good.

Call in the Designers

The Web site is, on the other hand, terrible, as is every online site operated by publishing house Centaur. (And why does it call its main site Mad.co.uk when there's a porn directory call Mad.com? Branding, huh?)

The Industry Standard would be better off buying New Media Age, for cash, or pre-IPO paper, than trying to take the impending opposition. After all, there are simply too few cutting-edge financial/ Net business news journalists, and Net savvy sales reps, and intelligent publishers of any description to go round in London. ®

The Street.co.uk launches - same week as parent goes on sale

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