Tag Archives: Educational
Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger will address the Society of American Business Editors and Writersâ€™ conference in Orange County, Calif., in May 2007.
Iger succeeded long-time Disney CEO Michael Eisner as the entertainment and news companyâ€™s leader in October 2005. He oversees a diverse set of operations from a major Hollywood studio to the ABC network and its news production as well as a massive tourism business.
Previously, Iger was Disneyâ€™s president and chief operating officer. He came to Disney through the companyâ€™s purchase of Capital Cities/ABC, where Iger was president.
Igerâ€™s talk will be part of a SABEW event that will also feature a town hall meeting on business journalism ethics, presentations of SABEWâ€™s Best in Business awards, sessions on how to better cover hot-button topics, and how to best manage your workflow in budget-crushing times for newsrooms.
SABEW Trivia: Eisner was a keynote speaker when the organization last visited Southern California for an annual conference in 1998.
The Society of American Business Editors and Writers is seeking business journalists who would like to serve terms on its board of governors.
At least eight governor seats will be up for grabs at its annual conference in Orange County, Calif., in May 2007.
There’s nothing honorary about the title of SABEW governor. This is a working board that runs SABEW’s conferences and contests, helps with our fund-raising efforts, and produces content for The Business Journalist newsletter and its Web site. This is work that aids business journalists of all types.
In return, if elected, you’d belong to a fun, hard-working group. Governors are dedicated to SABEW, and they share their professional wisdom freely.
If you’re interested — or know somebody who’d be great for SABEW — drop an e-mail to Jon Lansner, chair of the nominating committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline to submit nominations is Dec. 8.
On Tuesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that company filings would now be searchable through a new function on the agency’s web site.
This afternoon was the first time that I’ve had to play around with it, and I must say that I am duly impressed.
Here is what you get when you search for mentions of “country club memberships” in SEC filings.
Here is what you get when searching for companies that offer their executives “personal use of corporate aircraft.”
Here is what I found when I searched for mentions of “backdated stock options.”
And here is what I got when I searched for my hometown of “Auburn, Ala.”
I realize that I have now exposed myself as a total geek by playing around with the SEC search function on a Thursday evening. But this kind of search function opens up a whole bunch of possibilities for business journalists. When you’re writing a story about a trend in corporate management or executive compensation, think of how easy it will be to search for other examples to support your trend.
Also, think of how easy it will be to find business newsÂ in cities and towns where public companies have operations, but there aren’t headquarters there. Two thumbs up for this new tool for business journalists.
Here is the link to the search function.
Joe Moore, a journalism instructor at the University of Central Missouri, will be attending a workshop in January held by the Donald W. Reynlds National Center for Business Journalism to train professors how to teach a business journalism course.
In an interview with Andrea Bartlow of DigitalBurg.com, Moore said, “I want to get a better understanding of business journalism, of what are the most important areas to cover and how to cover them as efficiently as possible. The terminology used by business journalists deals with economic market trends, business practices, etc. I want to be familiar with those terms and in turn share that information with the students.â€?
Bartlow also wrote, “Terry Cunconan, chair of the communication department at UCM, stressed the importance and purpose of Mooreâ€™s participation in the seminar.
â€œ’First, itâ€™s important because [Moore] wants to go. I feel and he does as well that this is a good professional development opportunity,’ Cunconan said. ‘As we continue to expand our curriculum, we are considering offering a specialized topics course on the subject, as well as using the information to involve other academic departments and local newspapers.’
“The arrival of big business representatives such as Loweâ€™s and the eventual opening of Hawthorne Heights Shopping Center will spark an interest and a need for business journalism at its best. Previously the subject did not receive enough attention because, Cunconan said, there had not been a professor interested in it and because adding new classes to the curriculum of an already large academic department is a complicated task.
“‘This is an area where agriculture and industry merge constantly,’Â Moore said. ‘And there are lots of newspapers that need to gain a better understanding of the topic in order to cover the two industries efficiently.’”
Read more here.
Fifteen professors and adjunct instructors will attend a four-day workshop in January on how to teach business reporting at their universities, the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University announced.
The Phoenix Business Journal reported, “The goal is for the fellows to return to their schools with the knowledge to teach business journalism courses.
“‘Business journalism is a crucial field of coverage that requires much greater emphasis at the university level,’ said Andrew Leckey, director of the Reynolds Center.
“The U.S. fellows are: Len Barcousky, University of Pittsburgh; Steve Crane, University of Maryland; Anita Fleming-Rife, Grambling State University; Dennis Herrick, University of New Mexico; Harold Higgins, University of Minnesota; John Irby, Washington State University; Ed Lenert, University of Nevada-Reno; Bill McWhirter, Michigan State University; Joe Moore, University of Central Missouri; Mark Morrison, University of Texas at Austin; Thomas Ruggiero, University of Texas at El Paso; Timothy Smith, Kent State University; and Chris Warden, Troy University.
“International fellows are: Thalyta Swanepoel, North-West University in South Africa, and Xu Xiaoge, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.”
Read more here.
The Society of American Business Editors and Writers unveiled a new web site Friday morning, just in time for the groups fall conference in New York City, which begins on Sunday.
Of particular interest to business journalists is the increased emphasis on training. There are new tip sheets under the training section that include how to cover a new company in town, how to write an earnings story, how to cover bankruptcy, how to determine if a company has been backdating stock options, and tips on covering the economy. These are similar to the tip sheets seen on the Investigative Reporters & Editors web site.
Also new are links along the right-hand column to other resources, such as PR Newswire and the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.
Beginning next month, the news section on the web site will have more breaking news about the business journalism industry.
USA Today financial markets reporter Matt Krantz has a great explanation Wednesday of one of the first rules that every business journalist should learn — that when two companies call their deal a “merger,” it’s usually an “acquisition.”
A reader wrote into Krantz and suggested he might have gotten it wrong when he wrote that Lucent was being bought by Alcatel. As proof that Krantz was wrong, the reader noted that the Lucent CEO would be in charge of the new company.
Krantz replied, “One of the first things I learned in business journalism is that there’s no such thing as a merger.
“With few exceptions, when companies say they ‘merged,’ what they’re really saying is that one company was acquired. Why don’t they just say that? Maybe it’s an ego thing, but for whatever reason, many acquired companies don’t want to fess up. And the acquiring company helps the target save face.
“That’s kind of what happened here. The companies went to great lengths to try to hide the fact that Alcatel was buying Lucent. They used terms like ‘merger of equals’ to disguise the fact. Some investors might think â€” that Lucent is an equal in the deal because Lucent CEO Pat Russo will be CEO of the new company.
“But as savvy investors know, to find the truth, follow the money.
“Look at the terms of the deal: A seller is the party who gets something of value in exchange for giving up their stake in a company. And that’s what’s going on with Lucent shareholders. Lucent holders are getting 0.1952 of a share of Alcatel stock for every Lucent share they own. And get this: The ordinary shares will trade on the Euronext Paris and only derivatives, called American Depositary Shares, will trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The company will be incorporated in France and the executive offices will be in Paris.
“And after all the shares are exchanged, former Lucent shareholders will own just 40% of the combined company; Alcatel shareholders will own 60%.”
Read more here. I recently got into somewhat of a friendly disagreement with a business reporter — who is a former investment banker — when I made the same case that Krantz is making. But I stand by what I said then, and what Krantz says now — there are very few, if any, mergers. It’s always one company getting the better end of the deal.
Unfortunately, there still seem to be business journalists who don’t know the difference between a merger and an acquisition.
Paul Nowell, who had worked as a business writer for the Associated Press in Charlotte for the past 20 years, has left the wire service to become media relations manager at UNC-Charlotte. Nowell will also teach a business reporting class at the university this spring.
Nowell had worked for the AP since 1982, serving as a newsman, business writer and correspondent. He’s covered issues across the Carolinas, including the Jim Bakker scandal, the Rae Carruth murder case, politics, sports, business operations and natural disasters.
He received a bachelor’s degree in English from Boston College and a master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri.
Read more here.
Dallas-based Southern Methodist University has posted on its web site that it is now seeking applications for the William O’Neil Chair in Business Journalism.
The ad reads in part: “The Division of Journalism invites nominations and applications for an opportunity in the development of an innovative interdisciplinary program in business journalism. A background in business journalism in a major media market is essential. The candidate selected will be expected to teach business journalism and media management and also help coordinate an interdisciplinary program with the Cox School of Business. Tenure possibilities are dependent on qualifications and background. The position begins August 2007.
“Minimum qualifications: bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications and five years’ professional media experience.
“Preferred qualifications: graduate degree in journalism or communications or MBA and significant background in business journalism in a major media market.”
At a recent panel of economics reporters at Dartmouth College, a number of the top journalists in the profession expressed how difficult it was to reach the average consumer with their stories.
Among those on the panel were CNBC’s Steve Liesman, The Wall Street Journal’s Greg Ip, and BusinessWeek’s Peter Coy. (Disclosure: I worked with Coy at BW, and Liesman is a friend who has spoken to my classes.)
Wrote Naomi Sosner, a reporter for The Dartmouth, the college paper: “In answer to Samwick’s question about the unique experiences in reporting economics, the panel members all mentioned the difficulty of reaching non-economists with their coverage.
“‘One of the biggest challenges for me is writing about economics in a way people don’t find intimidating,’ Ip said.
“Liesman elaborated, saying, ‘Economics is a lot more than numbers. To me it’s a way of thinking about the world. If at the end of the day you say, ‘If you’re going to cut taxes these are the effects,’ and have society understand it, that’s good enough.’
“The proliferation of bloggers, or ‘citizen journalists,’ spurred excited discussion on the panel.
“‘Ten years from now there will be a panel of bloggers up here, dressed in pajamas,’ Coy said, when asked what changes he anticipates for journalism in the next decade.
Read more here.