Tag Archives: Educational
Elizabeth Spiers, who founded Dealbreaker.com and has written for numerous business publications, will teach a class next semester at her alma mater, Duke University, reports the student newspaper.
Nicole Kyle of The Chronicle reports, “The class will be called ‘The Start-Up Clinic’ and will be one of four courses offered under the new program, said its director, Gary Hull, a lecturing fellow in sociology. Hull, who also serves as director for the Program on Values and Ethics in the Marketplace, brought Spiers to Duke.
“‘This class is going to be much more valuable than a standard management class,’ he said. ‘Its focus is going to go from conception to actual execution over a period of time.’
“The class will be capped at about 21 students who will be broken into teams of three to four to develop a business plan, Hull added.
“Spiers is a successful media consultant, entrepreneur and writer who has launched numerous start-ups and websites, including Crushable.com and TheGloss.com. She also founded Breaking Media, the company responsible for sites such as Dealbreaker.com, AboveTheLaw.com and Fashionista.com. This year, Spiers was named one of Fast Company’s ‘Most Influential Women in Technology.’”
Read more here.
Andy Bechtel, who writes The Editor’s Desk blog, interviewed UNC-Chapel Hill journalism professor Chris Roush, one of the co-authors of the new stylebook, The Financial Writer’s Stylebook, aimed for helping business journalists do their jobs better.
The book was unveiled Friday at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers conference in New York.
Q. What are some of the common problems you see in business stories and headlines?
A. My biggest pet peeve when reading a business story is seeing a business term or phrase used incorrectly by the reporter and not corrected by the editor. It’s apparent that someone who was interviewed for the story said the term or phrase in the interview, and the reporter thought it sounded important, so they decided to use it. But they don’t know what the term really means. I see this a lot with net income vs. operating income.
Q. The stylebook uses a “rating system” to help writers and editors know when to define business terms for their readers. How did that come about, and how does it work?
A. This was Bill’s idea to help distinguish the book and provide some easy guidance. The Wall Street Journal traditionally defines business terms in its stories even though most of its readers probably know what the term means.
We decided to take that to the next level and provide a ranking, of one dollar sign to five dollar signs, to tell journalists whether the business term needs to be defined in the story. No dollar signs means that it doesn’t need to be defined at all. Five dollar signs means that the term should be defined in all publications, and the ratings goes down to one dollar sign, which means that only general interest publications such as daily newspapers need to define the term.
Read more here.
Veteran financial journalist and author Alan Deutschman has been named Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism at the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Deutschman, 45, has covered Silicon Valley and other business topics for years. He was Fortune’s Silicon Valley bureau chief from 1992-95. He also wrote about the valley and other subjects for GQ, New York Magazine, Fast Company and Vanity Fair. One of Deutschman’s four books, “The Second Coming of Steve Jobs,” was about Silicon Valley, and he is at work on a major new book about the valley.
Deutschman also has written for TheDailyBeast.com and for Salon.com.
“With more than 20 years of experience in business journalism, Alan will be a boon for our students,” said Jerry Ceppos, dean of the Reynolds School in a statement. “And his deep knowledge of Silicon Valley will help us move closer to world leaders in technology who are only 45 minutes away by air and should be involved with our school.
Deutschman will teach business and other journalism courses beginning in January, develop a program in business journalism and research contemporary issues in the subject. Some of the courses will emphasize the coming “green economy” because of its importance to Nevada.
Deutschman succeeds the first chair in business journalism, David Morrow, who died in February.
by Chris Roush
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Business journalists need to be able to find stories from numbers, but also should be able to tell those stories in a way that’s compelling to the average person, according to the co-anchor of “Nightly Business Report.”
“To understand the role of money and its terms is key to furthering your career,” said Tom Hudson, who spoke to journalism students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Learn how to look at these sets of data and ask yourself, ‘What’s the story?’”
Business reporters should also be able to look at numbers and see what’s missing from a story, and shouldn’t complain that the numbers are too complex to understand. “To understand the role of money and its terminology is key to furthering your career,” he said.
Hudson became the new co-anchor, along with Susie Gharib, of the nightly business and financial news show on PBS, at the end of 2009. The show, which airs on more than 200 stations across the country, has undergone an overhaul in the past year in a bid to attract new viewers.
Finding people and examples to help tell business and financial-related stories helps explain the significance of the topics to readers who may not otherwise understand, added Hudson. He noted that every question should focus on money.
“People are much more open to tell you about some tryst, one way or another, than they are to tell you about how much money they have in their checking account,” said Hudson. “We need writers to provide context, to provide the human flair.”
Hudson pointed to a story from “Nightly Business Report” last month that took Target Corp.’s $1 billion worth of renovations to more than 300 of its stores and explained to the readers how much more they were likely to spend on a trip to the retailer after one of the stores had been overhauled.
“It gets down to understanding the broad forces in the economy…and to tell stories that are relatable and accessible,” he said. “We need to be approachable, accessible and interesting.”
Hudson added that the stories on “Nightly Business Report” include more visuals than business news stories on CNBC or Bloomberg Television, which he cited as its main competitors.
“Our mission is to empower people to make better financial decisions,” said Hudson. “Nightly Business Report”‘s viewers “come to the program with higher expectations.”
Hudson also said that he’d like to see the show cover more international business stories. “Some of it is just having the time and resources,” he said.
The Society of American Business Editors and Writers has established the David J. Morrow Business Journalism Scholarship Fund in the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications in memory of SABEW board member and alumnus, David J. Morrow.
Morrow died earlier this year from pancreatic cancer. The scholarship will support undergraduate or graduate students interested in business and financial journalism.
Rob Reuteman, SABEW president, said Morrow’s colleagues and friends created the memorial fund, which reached more than $100,000 in a matter of months. SABEW agreed to direct the majority of the fund, $90,000 over the next 10 years, to Morrow’s alma mater.
USC’s journalism program first attracted SABEW’s attention in 2009 when news of the school’s newly created Baldwin Business Journalism Endowment Fund received national coverage. Donor and alumnus Ken Baldwin and alumnus Fred Monk championed potential synergies between SABEW, the Baldwin Fund and the school.
“Through Ken and Fred, we already had an awareness of USC,” Reuteman explained. “When Dave passed away and we learned he was a USC alumnus, the pieces just seemed to fit together so well. We arrived at the conclusion that we would do something really significant in Dave’s memory by establishing something at his university. We just felt this was the right thing to do.”
SABEW received fund requests from larger journalism schools with well-defined business journalism programs. However, Reuteman explained SABEW felt the annual scholarship allocation would have a more significant impact for USC students. “There are not that many business journalism focuses throughout the country. I feel that will change because it is highly employable and relevant. New graduates sometimes seem scared of it.”
“This is further impetus for us to develop our program, connect with the university’s highly ranked Darla Moore School of Business, and add value to a state that needs to grow its economic and business base,” said Charles Bierbauer, dean of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies. “We are honored that SABEW thinks this well of us. It probably has a lot to do with how highly Dave Morrow was respected.”
Read more here.
Fifty college students interested in careers in business journalism have been accepted to attend a conference next month in New York called “Getting Started in Business News.”
The accepted students come from campuses across the country, including Boston University, Columbia University, CUNY, the University of Baltimore, the University of Pennsylvania, Ohio University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University, Marquette University, the University of Missouri, Missouri State University, the University of Nebraska and Humboldt State University.
Last year, the conference attracting 42 students from 11 universities.
The second annual conference, to be held at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism on Oct. 21 through Oct. 23, will include sessions about how to find jobs in business journalism and tips from young business journalists, as well as training in reading SEC filings and covering local business. The students will also visit the Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones newsroom.
Fortune senior editor at large Allan Sloan and former Forbes managing editor Carl Lavin will also speak to the students.
The Society of American Business Editors and Writers will hold a training call next Thursday, Sept. 23, for business reporters interested in hearing tips on covering small businesses.
The call will be held at 2 p.m. EST.
Small, private companies are the backbone of local economies. But they’re often harder to cover because they aren’t required to disclose financial documents and they’re sometimes less comfortable dealing with the media. Find out how to dig up information on these companies, learn fresh approaches to covering small firms, and hear about some of the trends that are impacting small business.
The panelists for the call will be:
- Dan Beyers, editor of The Washington Post’s new weekly Capital Business section;
- Rob Daumeyer, editor of the Cincinnati Business Courier, an American City Business Journals publication;
- Hank Gilman, deputy managing editor at Fortune and formerly the managing editor at Fortune Small Business.
For more information, go here.
by Chris Roush
St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia is now offering a business journalism course taught by Philadelphia Inquirer business reporter Joe DiStefano.
A story on the school’s site states, “Students enrolled in DiStefano’s course, Business Research and Reporting, will learn about the precarious financial state of the news media and how hyperlocal business reporting is fueling the engines of newspapers and local companies.
“DiStefano says the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis has shifted the type of stories business writers explore in their reporting. When stocks were doing well, reporters wrote ‘cheerleader stories,’ he says. ‘Now, we’re responding to reader concerns about the economy and writing stories focused on the job market, loans and foreclosures, and other vulnerabilities within the industry.’
“At the conclusion of the course, DiStefano says he wants students to have a stronger idea of what kind of news becomes news. ‘For business students, this course will familiarize them with data and information commonly reported by the media. I want these students to learn how to evaluate this information and share it with others,’ he says.”
Read more here. Interestingly, the class is being offered in the Haub School of Business, not through a journalism or communications program.
The International Center for Journalists’ Global Business Journalism Program at Tsinghua University produced its first class of Chinese graduates in July.
In this video, the students talk about their experience using the Bloomberg terminals, which provide a unique opportunity for GBJ students to acquire hands-on experience in analyzing financial data, researching and fact checking.
Theo Keith, a rising senior at the University of Missouri, blogs about his experience interning with Bloomberg News in Detroit this past summer and how he plans to use those skills.
Keith writes, “While I’m working on one last story and on guard for spot news, my time in Metro Detroit is just about over. I’ve relished the opportunity to be close to the cities and issues that helped define my character, and I’ve had a lot of fun reporting on my favorite subject, transportation.
“The summer included covering the president, and I’ll hold onto the White House press pass for a long time. I interviewed chief executives, car dealers and autoworkers. I was in the GM Reinaissance Center when Ed Whitacre, the company’s CEO, said he would step down. (I was covering a different story.)
“Intermission Deli, big-city news and Up North were a part of my life again. I gained experience in the business journalism profession I plan to call my own soon.
“My learning experience with the Bloomberg terminal will continue this fall because I’m planning to use the University of Missouri’s unit for stories. I previously mentioned that I’ll be reporting and anchoring a Sunday night business news block on KOMU, the NBC station in mid-Missouri.”
Read more here.