Tag Archives: Educational

Micheline Maynard

Ex-NY Times and CNN biz reporters named Arizona State visiting professors


A former New York Times senior business correspondent and a former CNN Wall Street correspondent will be the Donald W. Reynolds Visiting Professors in Business Journalism for the spring semester at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Former Times airline and auto industry reporter Micheline Maynard and former CNN Wall Street correspondent Susan Lisovicz will serve as Reynolds visiting professors at the Cronkite School during the spring 2013 semester. Maynard was a Reynolds Visiting Business Journalism Professor at Central Michigan University last year, and Lisovicz has twice before been a Reynolds Visiting Business Journalism Professor at the Cronkite School.

Maynard, a reporter and bureau chief for the Times until 2010, left to become senior editor of a two-year NPR grant project called “Changing Gears.” She recently launched a new crowd-funded journalism venture, “Curbing Cars: Rethinking How We Get Around,” examining why people are driving less and turning to different types of transportation. Curbing Cars is featured on the cover of the current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review. Maynard’s e-book on the project’s findings will be published in 2014.

“It’s never been more important for prospective journalists to understand business,” Maynard said. “I’m excited to bring my expertise in transportation, urban topics and other economic subjects to Arizona State.”

Lisovicz was a correspondent for more than a decade at CNN, interviewing business leaders and providing daily Wall Street coverage. She previously worked as a correspondent for CNBC. She is a former president of the New York Financial Writers Association and also has been an Asian Pacific Fellow, a Jefferson Fellow in Asia and a Radio Television Digital News Association Fellow in Europe. She received the President’s Medal from her alma mater, William Paterson University.

“The Reynolds Center does invaluable work for students and working pros alike in breaking down today’s complex business news,” Lisovicz said. “I’m thrilled to return to Reynolds and help teach a subject that is critically important and yet still so misunderstood.”

David Carr

NYTimes biz columnist Carr to teach a Boston U.


David Carr, who writes a column on the media for the Monday business section of The New York Times, has accepted a job teaching at Boston University.

He will continue to write for the Times.

Marcella Bombardieri of the Boston Globe writes, “Like Mayor Thomas M. Menino, also about to join the BU faculty, Carr will not have tenure, but will work on a contract in the journalism program as a professor of the practice.

“He will spend the spring semester preparing his courses. Then, next academic year he plans to teach a media criticism class and a hands-on class in which students will produce media and distribute it through social media and other platforms. Fiedler said the classes will be aimed at graduate students, but will also be open to undergraduate seniors.

“Carr said he is cutting back on other outside commitments in order to make time for BU and his work at the Times, where he writes the weekly Media Equation business column and covers popular culture.

“Times executive editor Jill Abramson, who taught at Yale for five years, said Carr will learn a lot from his students about how young people consume media. ‘He knows so much about media organizations and the history of the press,’ she said. ‘I think he’ll just be mesmerizing.’”

Read more here.


Knight-Bagehot now accepting applications for 2014-15


The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University is now accepting applications for the 2014-15 academic year.

The program offers qualified journalists the opportunity to enhance their understanding and knowledge of business, economics and finance in a year-long, full-time program administered by the journalism school.

Fellows take courses at Columbia’s graduate schools of journalism, business, law and international affairs; participate in off-the-record seminars and dinner meetings with corporate executives, economists and academics; and attend briefings and field trips to New York-based media companies and financial institutions.

The program is designed to meet the public interest in business and economics news and the demand for trained editors and reporters in the field. In scope and depth, it is considered the most comprehensive business journalism fellowship in the country. Eligible Knight-Bagehot fellows may qualify for a Master of Science degree in journalism upon completion of this rigorous program.

Conducted during Columbia’s academic year from August through May, the fellowship accepts up to 10 fellows each year. Fellows receive free tuition plus a stipend to offset living expenses in New York. For the 2014 academic year, a stipend of $55,000 will be granted to each fellow. Housing is available in a Columbia-affiliated facility.

For more information, and to apply, go here.

Reynolds Center

Reynolds picks fellows for biz journalism seminars

The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism has selected 30 fellows – 16 journalists and 14 professors – for four days of intensive study in business journalism.

The fellows will attend separate seminars Jan. 2-5, 2014, at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix.

Journalists in the Strictly Financials Seminar learn how to dissect financial statements and SEC documents. Prospective business journalism professors receive training in how to teach a university-level course in business journalism.

The seminars, taught by highly regarded business journalists and business journalism professors, are part of Reynolds Business Journalism Week at the Cronkite School.

Click here to see who was picked.

CUNY logo

Large increase in students in CUNY biz journalism program


Thirty students signed up for the business and economics reporting concentration at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, making the concentration the largest of the five offered at the school.

The number represents a big increase from the 19 business students on track to graduate this December and almost triple the 12 students who chose the program four years ago. It also represents about 30 percent of the class of 2014, said Greg David, director of the business journalism program and the former editor at Crain’s New York.

In part, the students choose the concentration because they believe — or are told — that there are more business journalism jobs than in other areas, that they pay somewhat more and that they provide more opportunity for advancement.

“I picked the CUNY Business program mostly for practical reasons,” said Craig Giammona, a student in the program. “I knew there were jobs in business journalism and that those jobs were in New York. Additionally, I’ve found myself more and more interested in business news as I’ve gotten older.

“I had just returned to the NYC area after spending a few years as a general assignment reporter at a paper in Alaska, and wanted to make sure I could stay in this area, where my family is,” he added.

“Also, surveying the journalism scene, it seemed like business journalism was relatively stable, or at least more so than other areas,” said Giammona. “As long as the economy exists, people will want to know what moving the markets and what companies are doing. I was looking to make a good career move and the business program made the most sense.”

Others decide that the business reporting skills they will learn will be valuable no matter what kind of journalists they become, said David.


Financial literacy and business journalism


Felix Salmon of Reuters writes Thursday about the importance of financial literacy for business journalists.

Salmon writes, “But there’s a superficial exactness to numbers that doesn’t exist in words, and so people have a tendency to believe that all numbers are much more precise than in fact they are. If the Labor Department releases a report saying that payrolls rose by 148,000 in September, then a reporter who said that payrolls rose by 150,000 would be considered to have her facts wrong — even though the headline number is only accurate to within 100,000 people either way. The actual number of new jobs could easily be anywhere between 44,000 and 252,000 — and indeed there’s a 5% chance that it’s outside even that large range. But because everybody insists on one hard number, one hard number is what they get.

“One of the most important skills in financial journalism is numeracy — having a basic feel for numbers. In this case, the reporters covering the story got the numbers right: they should be applauded for that, rather than having brickbats thrown at them. After all, it’s not hard to find examples of reporters getting numbers very wrong. Consider this story, from the New York Post, under the headline ‘Verizon increases cell bills 7.1% for 95M customers’:

Verizon didn’t sign up as many new cell phone customers in the third quarter as Wall Street expected — but it still earned more than forecast as it managed to increase the average bill of its 95.2 million wireless customers by 7.1 percent.

The average Verizon Wireless bill jumped to $155.75 a month as of Sept. 30 from $154.63 last year, the company said Thursday.

“Now that is a math error — and evidence of deep innumeracy on the part of the journalist who wrote it, as well as a whole series of editors. If you want to work out exactly what the increase is, in percentage terms, of going from $154.63 to $155.75, then you might need a calculator. But if you were numerate, you would know intuitively that it’s very small, on the order of 1%, and that it’s nowhere near 7%. If you get a result of 7.1%, then that means you’ve pressed a wrong button somewhere, and you should do your sums again.”

Read more here.

economic data

Government agencies to hold workshop on how to use its data


Representatives from each of the federal government’s 14 principal statistical agencies are hosting a symposium next month in Washington that will highlight the variety of federal statistics and the numerous statistical careers available in the public sector.

The Symposium of the U.S. Statistical Agencies, which is part of the celebration of the International Year of Statistics, will be held Nov. 13 and 14 at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Conference Center. It is open to all without cost.

There are two sessions of particular interest to business and economics reporters:

Nov. 14, 10 a.m. to noon: Statistics for Journalists

Journalism students and reporters from broadcast, print and online media outlets will find this session helpful to their understanding of lesser-known federal statistical agencies, official statistics provided by these agencies and how they can access and use official statistics, studies and analyses in their reporting. Presenters will include representatives from the Economic Research Service, National Center for Education Statistics, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, and National Center for Health Statistics.

Nov. 14, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Statistics in the New Media Era

An array of expert speakers will discuss how statistical agencies are meeting the charge of implementing new media tools — social media, APIs, web and mobile apps, infographics and other data visualizations — that are covered in the President’s digital strategy. Presenters will be from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Energy Information Administration, Bureau of Justice Statistics, and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Advance registration is required to ensure access. To register, send an email to Wendy Martinez at Martinez.Wendy@bls.gov with “Symposium” in the subject line and your full name, a list of the session(s) you plan to attend, and any special needs such as handicap access.

The BLS Conference Center is located near Union Station in the Postal Square Building, 2 Massachusetts Ave NE.


Sylvia Nasar

Judge tosses lawsuit against Columbia by biz journalism professor


A judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed earlier this year by business journalism professor Sylvia Nasar against Columbia University that claims she was underpaid, reports Joe Pompeo of Capital New York.

Pompeo writes, “Nasar first accused Columbia in a January court summons of misdirecting funds she claimed should have been part of her compensation package, which was tied to a 1998 Knight Foundation endowment that created her position as the first James S. and John L. Knight Professor of Business Journalism. She also serves as  co-director of the journalism school’s M.A. program in business journalism.

“In March, Nasar sued Columbia for $923,000, claiming the university had ‘illegally misappropriated and captured for its own purposes’ portions of the $1.5 million Knight Endowment, which was intended as a supplement to Nasar’s Columbia-funded salary. Nasar, who is a tenured professor, also accused Columbia officials of intimidation.

“But in a ruling filed on Oct. 17, New York State Supreme Court Judge Manuel J. Mendez dismissed Nasar’s complaint, ruling that ‘Nasar has never had a personal entitlement to receive the Knight Endowment.’

“Nasar did not immediately have a comment Monday afternoon — she was about to step into a class when reached by Capital and asked to call us back.

“Nasar’s attorney, Mark Lawless, declined to comment on the decision but said an appeal is being considered.”

Read more here.

Stephen D. Solomon

Solomon named Deane professor of financial journalism at NYU


New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute announced Wednesday that Stephen D. Solomon has been named as its first Marjorie Deane Professor of Financial Journalism.

Stephen is the founder and director of the master’s program in business and economic reporting at the university. The program requires students to take six courses at NYU’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business and seven courses at the Carter Journalism Institute.

Solomon is a recipient of NYU’s Golden Dozen Award for excellence in teaching. He was a writer at Fortune magazine and has also written for many other national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Magazine and The New Republic. His articles have won the two most prestigious awards for business writing, the Gerald Loeb Award and the John Hancock Award for Excellence.

The gift provided by the Marjorie Deane Financial Journalism Foundation will be used to help students wishing to pursue a career in financial journalism pay for tuition and living costs. It will also finance stipends for students to spend a week each year studying at City University in London, where they will take intensive seminars on the financial systems of the European Union. The Carter Journalism Institute will also host an annual Marjorie Deane lecture.

“This generous gift from the Deane Foundation will be a tremendous asset in helping to prepare our students for careers in business journalism,” said Michael Laver, New York University’s dean for the social sciences, in a statement. “As our economy becomes increasingly globalised, developing an understanding of financial systems abroad is vital to any training in the journalism field.”


SABEW offers training in covering how biz and government intersect


Reporters who want to learn more about federal data and the business of government are invited to be part of special immersion training be conducted by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in January.

The weeklong session, Jan. 12-17, is thanks to a $50,000 donation from the Chicago-based Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Family Foundation. The training will bring journalists to Washington, D.C., to climb inside economic and labor data, hear firsthand from the Federal Reserve, and understand the differences in government and non-profit accounting.

Partners in the training are the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Bureau of Labor Standards, the Federal Reserve, Bloomberg Government and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Applications are now being taken. Deadline is Nov. 6.

The workshop will focus on data and accounting skills. Journalists will be able to work with experts at the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics to explore the large cache of data each agency produces, as well as understand its importance to readers.

SABEW and Goldschmidt Family Foundation board member Jim Goldschmidt are in discussions for continued work into 2014.

The 15 journalists will also get a special briefing from economists at the Federal Reserve, and training in regulatory affairs from editors at Bloomberg Government. Journalists from McClatchy’s Washington Bureau will also discuss covering the economy.

In addition, journalists will spend a day learning from experts at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Fifteen out-of-town participants will be selected to be fellows and will receive $400 scholarships to cover travel and food costs, in addition to receiving five nights of lodging at the George Washington Inn near the campus of George Washington University.

Two local participants (northern Virginia, D.C. and Maryland) will receive $150 scholarships to cover commuting and food expenses. The participant or his/her employer is expected to cover any additional costs.

To become a fellow, send your resume and a 250-word cover letter to Warren Watson, SABEW executive director, at watson@sabew.org. In the letter, please state why you should be selected and what you hope to do with the information you learn.