Tag Archives: Educational

FT editor: Yeah, we blew it

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Jeff Bercovici of Conde Nast Portfolio notes that Financial Times editor Lionel Barber is giving a speech this afternoon at Yale University on the financial press and the economic meltdown. His conclusion: We kinda blew it.

Bercovici writes, “Specifically, he says, they blew it in five ways: by failing to see the dangers in unregulated derivatives; by missing the risks in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s government-backed structure; by not raising alarms about the over-leveraging of banks; by not appreciating the relationship between the banking system and the economy; and by focusing too much on the here-and-now rather than the what’s-to-come.

“‘[It's] fair to say there was an alarming suspension of critical faculties among financial and business journalists during the credit bubble,’ Barber concludes.

“This is a good place to remind you that I’ll be moderating a panel tomorrow night on this topic, with The Wall Street Journal‘s Alan Murray, Fox Business Network’s Liz Claman and personal finance author Farnoosh Torabi. (CNBC’s Charles Gasparino will hopefully also be participating.)”

Read more here. And here is an abridged version of his speech on the FT site.

Panel assessing financial journalism to be held in NYC next week

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The New York Financial Writers Association is sponsoring a panel discussion on “Financial Journalism Under Fire:  Did We Do Our Job?” on Tuesday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, 219 West 40th Street, 3rd Floor. 

The panel will be moderated by Myron Kandel, CNN founding financial editor.  Panelists include:  Jon Friedman, media columnist, MarketWatch; Erin Arvedlund, veteran business journalist who exposed Bernie Madoff in Barron’s in 2001; Dean Starkman, The Audit editor, Columbia Journalism Review; and Susan Lisovicz, CNN business news correspondent. 

The panel will tackle the tough questions of whether the media did enough to expose the weaknesses in the financial system. 

Seating is limited.  Attendees must RSVP by Friday, April 18 to nyfwa@aol.com.

Online personal finance class offered

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Hispanic journalists and U.S. journalists covering Hispanic issues in United States and Puerto Rico can now apply for an online training program on personal finance reporting.

Participants will learn topics ranging from credit and lending, housing and mortgages to retirement planning and investing, among other issues. The deadline to apply is May 29.

The personal finance reporting program will be administered by the International Center for Journalists from June 15 to Sept. 14 and the courses will be held in English and Spanish, with a different trainer for each course.

The course will be divided into three parts: a six-week online course in personal financial journalism, a six-week online mentoring period and a final week of online training where participants will upload their stories to the distance learning platform and/or provide online links to them.

The course is free of charge, but the space is limited. Journalists are encouraged to apply soon.

Three participants will receive a McGraw-Hill Personal Finance Award and cash prizes of $2,000, $1,000 and $500. The winners will also participate in the McGraw-Hill Forum for Hispanic Financial Literacy.

To apply, go here and click on the application in the language that you prefer.

DISCLOSURE: I am the instructor for the English course.

South Carolina gets $500,000 to begin teaching business journalism

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Former Landmark Communications executive Kenneth Baldwin gave a $500,000 gift to the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications to establish an endowment to teach business and financial journalism, the school announced Monday.

A story on the Columbia State newspaper Web site states, “The Baldwin Business and Financial Journalism Endowment Fund is the school’s largest gift to date that is aimed at teaching and learning. Income generated from the endowment will provide research, lecturers and internships for students.

“‘We could not have realized at the time how truly timely its purpose would be given the current economic climate,’ Carol Pardun, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, said in a statement. ‘Financial literacy is integral to an informed citizenry, especially in today’s uncertain times.’

“Baldwin, a Columbia native and 1949 USC alum, is a former business editor and executive at the Norfolk, Va.-based Landmark.

“‘Journalists today need business savvy and must have the tenacity to ask the right questions and dig deeper in filling their watchdog role,’ Baldwin, who retired in 1986 from Landmark and lives in Blythewood, said in statement.”

Read more here.

Apply for SABEW scholarship to attend annual conference

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Three days remain to apply for one of 10 additional scholarships that the Society of American Business Editors and Writers is now making available for the upcoming annual conference in Denver. Each scholarship will consist of free registration to the full conference plus $200 to help with travel costs.

Preference will go to business journalists who fit one of four profiles:

– Those who are out of work due to media cutbacks and want to stay in business journalism;

– Business journalism freelancers;

– Winners of 2008 Best in Business Awards whose employers will not pay for them to pick up their awards;

– Employed business journalists who are coming at their own expense and make a compelling case for how they would benefit from attending;

To be eligible, winners must register for the entire conference. SABEW board members and students are not eligible.

Read more here.

SEC chairwoman Schapiro to speak at SABEW conference

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Mary Schapiro, the new chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, will speak on Monday, April 27 at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers annual conference in Denver.

The society’s meeting also features a number of other speakers including CEOs Christina Gold from Western Union and David Hunke from the agency that operates the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News; former SEC Chief Accountant Lynn Turner and William Cohan, author of “House of Cards,” a just-published book that tracks the fall of Bear Stearns.

A high-profile town meeting to examine coverage of the financial meltdown will kick off the conference at noon on Sunday, April 26. Moderating the debate will be ProPublica CEO and former Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Paul Steiger. Panelists include Larry Ingrassia, Business Editor of the New York Times; Bloomberg News and Newsweek Personal Finance Columnist Jane Bryant Quinn; Dean Starkman, financial journalism critic for the Columbia Journalism Review’s Audit site, and Greg Miller, a business professor at the University of Michigan who has studied the business press.

Act now to be sure of getting the reduced $299 registration rate for the conference, which is April 26 to April 28, and a discounted room at the conference venue, the Westin Tabor Center hotel in downtown Denver. These discounts are available only through Friday, March 27; the hotel is sold out beyond the limited number of rooms we have reserved at our group rate. For registration details and hotel online booking, go here. For more about SABEW and the conference, see our site at www.sabew.org.

Read more here.

National Press Foundation offers four-day workshop on retirement

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Fast-changing financial conditions have pushed retirement further into the future for some, and made it impossible for others. Many current retirees have been forced to cut expenses or go back to work – or both.

A four-day, all-expenses-paid seminar for journalists explores the transformed world of retirement investment and the impact of the international financial crisis. It will look at the outlook on retirement and how Americans may plan for it in the future, as well as the demographics and basic terminology needed to write about retirement issues.

Business, consumer and lifestyle writers and editors, as well as editorial writers, will take away a wealth of new story ideas, sources and methods.

Topics under consideration: What do I do now? New financial strategies in retirement; Long-term outlook for entitlement programs; Changing lifestyle expectations in retirement; Women’s issues in retirement; Writing about financial issues for broadcast; and more. Journalists will have on-the-record access to experts from the federal government, AARP, the Brookings Institution and other reputable think tanks, and will visit appropriate Washington venues.

Interested fellows may attend a reception at Nationals Park during a game with the San Francisco Giants, courtesy of the funder, Prudential Financial, Inc.

Please submit the application form, a cover letter explaining your interest in the program, a brief bio, three clips, and one letter of recommendation from a supervisor.  Visit the National Press Foundation’s Web site for more information and application form. This program runs May 31-June 3 in Washington D.C. Apply by Monday, April 6.

The National Press Foundation is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that develops issue-based training programs for journalists around the world.

SABEW announces four prominent speakers for annual conference

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The Society of American Business Editors and Writers announced that for prominent speakers have joined the line-up for its annual conference, to be held April 26 to April 28 in Denver.

The speakers are Christina Gold, president and chief executive officer at Western Union; Dave Hunke, CEO of the joint operating agency that oversees the business operations of the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News; Lynn Turner, a former chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission; and William Cohan, author of “House of Cards,” a just-published book that tracks the fall of Bear Stearns.

At Denver-based Western Union, Gold oversees a network of more than 350,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. Western Union is the global leader in the money transfer business, which immigrants the world over depend upon. Fortune magazine named her one of America’s 50 most powerful women in business in 2003, 2006 and 2008.

Hunke, who is also publisher of the Free Press, has been in the newspaper business for 30 years. He is in charge of this year’s move by the two Detroit dailies to drop home delivery for four days of the week and put more focus on the papers’ Web sites. “Detroit may prove to be a laboratory for determining whether a large metropolitan daily can meld print and online into a successful business model, or eventually become online only,� media analyst John Morton recently told the American Journalism Review.

Turner, who was actively involved in the legislative process that led to passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, served as the chief accountant for the SEC from 1998 to 2001. He has an unusually broad perspective, having been a corporate director, a trustee of both a mutual fund and a public pension fund, an accounting professor, a partner at a major international auditing firm and a chief financial officer. Turner received the SEC chairman’s Award for Excellence twice.

Cohan wrote “The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Freres & Co.”, a 752-page book that won the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs award for the best business book of 2007. He began his career as an award-winning newspaper reporter and then spent 17 years on Wall Street, working at Lazard and as a managing director at JP Morgan Chase.

To register for the conference, go to www.sabew.org.

Knight Center seeks applications for seminar on covering economy

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The Knight Center for Specialized Journalism invites applications for a seminar on “The Economy: Bringing the Big Picture Home” to be held April 14 to April 17 at the University of Maryland.

There is no more important topic to readers and viewers this year than the economy and its implications. The recession has hit every aspect of American life, from jobs to schools to housing and even entertainment. It is global and it is very, very local.

In a wide-ranging seminar, the Knight Center will help reporters and editors bring the big numbers down to earth by digging deep into the impact of the recession on families and communities and by examining the means and scope of a recovery. Topics may include an overview of where we are and why; the view from the kitchen table; the struggles of state and local governments; the impact on different regions, industries and sectors; new directions from the Obama administration; questions about re-regulation and other upcoming challenges, and a look at Main Streets across America.

Seminars are free. Fellowships cover all seminar costs including meals and lodging. Applications are invited from print, broadcast and online journalists and bloggers and citizen journalists.

This seminar includes an optional, pre-seminar multimedia workshop on “Visualizing Data.” See http://specializedjournalism.org/index.php?q=seminars/2009/economy for more details including how to apply.

The Knight Center is extending the application deadline to Thursday, March 12.

Business journalism education in China

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Academe, the publication of the American Association of University Professors, takes a look at the business journalism program at Tsinghua University in China that was created with the help of the International Center for Journalists in Washington.

Ann Morrison, a former Fortune editor, taught there last year.

Wendi Maloney writes, “Aside from linguistic problems, Morrison found her time at Tsinghua fascinating. ‘I feel very privileged to have had this opportunity,’ Morrison says. ‘It was really interesting to observe from the inside how this country is changing and trying to cope with media challenges. And teaching, particularly in this environment, has made me much more aware of the power of words and images, of subtle and overt biases, both in Western and Chinese media, and of the importance of fact-based journalism.’

“Vjollca Shtylla says the program enrolled a second class of sixteen international students and fourteen Chinese students in 2008–09. She notes that the founding sponsors initially committed to two years, but the ICFJ hopes they or other funders will enable the program to go on. ‘The ICFJ is very proud of this program,’ she says. ‘We don’t know how long it will continue at this point, but we definitely see it as a success.’”

Read more here.