Tag Archives: SABEW

SABEW to hold training call on covering the economy

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The Society of American Business Editors and Writers plans to hold a training conference call later this month on covering national and local economic stories.

The call will be held on Sept. 26 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST.

This session will give journalists a better understanding of the direction of the national economy as well as insight into how they can track and cover their own regional economies. The call will also teach listeners how to tap into Bureau of Economic Analysis data and other economic resources.

On the call will be Adolfo Laurenti, deputy chief economist, Mesirow Financial, and Mike Schneider, correspondent and computer mapping specialist, The Associated Press, as well as a Bureau of Economic Analysis representative. The call is being moderated by Daniel Burns, financial training editor for the Americas, Reuters.

Please RSVP for the event by registering here. Then, on the day of the event, please call 218-339-2626 and, when prompted, enter the access code 4058935. You’ll be able to hear the panelists but not speak to them.

During the call, listeners may send questions via e-mail to sabew@sabew.org. Selected questions will be forwarded to the moderator for the panel to answer.

Biz journalism pay remains steady, but many report raises

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Although the median business journalism salary remained level with 2010, slightly more than half of those who responded to a Society of American Business Editors and Writers survey said that their salaries had increased during the past year, while less than 10 percent said that their salary had decreased.

Nearly 40 percent said there was no change to their salary in the past 12 months. More than 6 percent of the respondents whose salaries had risen said their pay had gone up by more than $15,000 in the past year, while another 4 percent reported a salary increase between $10,000 and $15,000 in the past year.

The results of the salary survey were released Tuesday.

SABEW received 317 responses in July and early August in the attempt at quantifying compensation among the estimated 8,000 business journalists working in the United States. More than 3,000 business journalists were invited to participate through direct e-mail to SABEW members, notices on sabew.org and other communications. The 2010 poll received 394 responses.

“It’s encouraging that we’ve seen salaries rise for a good number of business journalists,” said Kevin Noblet, SABEW’s president and a managing editor at Dow Jones Newswires. “It indicates that the job market in business journalism remains strong despite weakness in other areas of the economy.”

In terms of those who received raises, more than half said that the extra money came at their current job, while 14 percent said they changed employers. Another 8 percent received pay raises by changing jobs with their employer.

At the beginning of the year, American City Business Journals, one of the largest employers of business journalists in the country, gave back the 5 percent pay cut that it instituted in 2009.

Read more here. The average salary remained at between $65,000 and $70,000, although pay for business reporters in the Northeast rose while pay for business reporters in the South fell.

SABEW to hold training call on writing and reporting investigative stories

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The Society of American Business Editors and Writers will hold a training call on Monday, July 25, for business journalists interested in learning tips about investigative stories.

The call will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST.

The moderator for the call will be Chicago Tribune reporter Jason Grotto. The panelists for the call will include Investigative Reporters and Editors executive director Mark Horvit, investigative reporter Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star, and Scott Eden, a freelance journalist who was recently on the staff of TheStreet.com

Please RSVP for the event by registering here. Then, on the day of the event, please call 218-339-2626 and, when prompted, enter the access code 4058935. You’ll be able to hear the panelists but not speak to them. During the call, listeners may send questions via e-mail to sabew@sabew.org.

Selected questions will be forwarded to the moderator for the panel to answer.

Contact SABEW board member and training committee co-chair Mary Jane Pardue of Missouri State University, mjpardue@missouristate.edu or (417) 889-9438, if you have questions.

SABEW conducting biz journalism salary survey

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The Society of American Business Editors and Writers is conducting its second annual confidential survey of business journalists throughout the country to determine the pay for business reporters and editors in various positions.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY.

The compensation information you provide for the salary survey will remain strictly confidential. None of the information provided by any business journalist will be available to anyone else.

The results of the survey will be made available to all SABEW members by the end of September, and the data will be updated annually to determine whether pay for business journalists is rising or falling, by how much, and what positions are seeing the biggest changes in compensation.

To do that, we need your help. Please click on the link above. Answering the questions will take less than a minute, but will provide valuable data for business journalists such as yourselves.

“The salary survey is part of SABEW’s increasing focus on providing information and career services to its members,” said Kevin Noblet, SABEW’s president and managing editor at Dow Jones Newswires. “We hope this data will become useful for our members who want to compare their pay to others in the industry and who want to see where they stand.”

The 2010 informal survey, which received nearly 400 responses, discovered that business journalists in the United States make a median salary of $65,000 to $70,000. Reporters and editors in business journalism make more in the Northeast than any other geographic area, while the South has the lowest median salaries for reporters and editors. This year’s survey asks business journalists whether their salaries have risen or fallen, and by how much.

The survey results will be analyzed by SABEW’s research director, Chris Roush, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Walter E. Hussman Distinguished Scholar in Business Journalism. The results will be broken out among geographic areas in the country, as well as by position, by length of time on a job, and by experience.

For questions, about the survey, e-mail Roush at croush@email.unc.edu.

Social media usage grows among business journalists

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Four out of five business journalists use Twitter during their workday, while half are blogging, according to an informal survey of business journalists conducted by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

And more than three-fourths of the business journalists who responded also use Facebook and LinkedIn for job purposes.

The survey results show the growing usage of social media and other new technology among business journalists in addition to the traditional tools of the job such as a computer, a telephone and a notebook.

For example, Bloomberg News, one of the largest employers of business journalists in the country, recently hired a social media director to train its reporters and editors on how to use Facebook and Twitter more effectively. New York Times reporter Brian Stelter, who covers television and digital media, has more than 62,000 followers on Twitter.

“The day when business journalists could simply report and write stories about business and the economy using traditional resources have long passed,” said Kevin Noblet, president of SABEW and managing editor of wealth management coverage at Dow Jones Newswires. “Now they have to be constantly online, looking for and soliciting information in new and unique ways and providing business news consumers with information in multiple formats throughout the day.”

Social media technology is also changing how business journalists interact with their sources and how business news is first reported. Last month, Pacific Investment Management Co. co-founder Bill Gross posted on Twitter that The Wall Street Journal was working on a story about the management company’s losses from investing in Lehman Brothers — a full 10 days before the story appeared in the paper.

Still, nearly half of the business journalists who responded to the survey said that the new technology had made their job easier. Less than a third said their work was now harder, while 20 percent said there was no difference.

Read more here.

Top business journalist editors to speak at fall SABEW conference

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Reuters editor Stephen Adler, Bloomberg editor Matthew Winker and Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson will speak at the fall Society of American Business Editors and Writers workshop in New York.

The three will discuss the present and future of business news at a reception Oct. 13 to open the Oct. 13-14 workshop at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, 219 W. 40th St., New York City.

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, located in the historic former home of the old New York Herald-Tribune just a few blocks away from Times Square, will be the site of the workshop.

Moderating the discussion will be Steve Shepard, founding dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and former editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek.

For more information about the fall workshop, go here.

Tips on better gas price coverage

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The Society of American Business Editors and Writers is holding a conference call next week for journalists interested in tips from business reporters on covering the gas price story.

The call, which will be held May 23 at 3 p.m. EST, will provide access to the experts who are tracking gas prices and their impact on consumers, the economy and local communities. You’ll also get tips from energy journalists about how to cover and localize this important story.

The moderator will be Chris Kahn, energy writer for The Associated Press.

The panelists on the call will be James Coan, research associate for the Energy Forum at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University; Neil Gamson, Energy Information Administration; and Russell Gold, energy writer in The Wall Street Journal’s Houston bureau.

Sign up here for the approximately one-hour call.

At the time and date of the call, dial 218-339-2626, then at the prompt, enter this access code: 4058935. You’ll be able to hear the panelists but not speak to them. During the call, listeners may send questions via e-mail to sabew@sabew.org. Selected questions will be forwarded to the moderator for the panel to answer.

SABEW to assess social media use by business journalists

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The Society of American Business Editors and Writers is conducting an anonymous survey of business journalists throughout the country to determine how they use social media technology such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

The results of the survey will be made available to all SABEW members by the end of June on the organization’s web site. The data will be updated annually to determine whether new media usage by business journalists is changing.

To do that, it needs the help of business journalists. If you are one of these people, please go to the link at the end of this message and click on it. Answering the questions will take less than a minute, but the results will provide valuable data for other business journalists to see where they stand when it comes to social media usage.

“While most of us use social media, we want to examine how it’s used for reporting and disseminating business news,” said Kevin Noblet, SABEW’s president and the managing editor for wealth management coverage at Dow Jones Newswires. “We want to quantify what’s happening with social media on the business news desk, and to what degree.”

The survey results will be analyzed by SABEW’s research director, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill journalism professor Chris Roush, and will be broken out by how many business reporters use different social media and for what purpose.

Click here to go to the survey.

SABEW to hold training call on covering gas prices

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The Society of American Business Editors and Writers will hold a conference call later this month what is shaping up to be the business story of the summer: rising gasoline prices.

The call will offer access to the experts who are tracking gas prices and their impact on consumers, the economy and local communities. You’ll also get tips from energy journalists about how to cover and localize this important story.

The call will be held Monday, May 23, at 3 p.m. EST.

The moderator will be Chris Kahn, energy writer for the Associated Press. He will be joined by three panelists:
James Coan, research associate for the Energy Forum at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University; Neil Gamson, Energy Information Administration; and Russell Gold, energy writer in The Wall Street Journal’s Houston bureau.

Please RSVP for the event by registering here. Then, on the day of the event, please call (218) 339-2626 and, when prompted, enter the access code 4058935. You’ll be able to hear the panelists but not speak to them.

During the call, listeners may send questions via e-mail to sabew@sabew.org. Selected questions will be forwarded to the moderator for the panel to answer.

Investigative reporting tips for business journalists

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By Alex Barinka

Matt Apuzzo epitomized how I always imagine an investigative reporter. He spoke 1,000 mph though I’m sure his brain was working faster, he was animated and spoke with passionately waving arms, and he was so excited when he talked about the benefits of using documents.

Geeze, sounds a little bit like someone else I know (yep, that would be me).

Apuzzo, an AP reporter and member of the Washington investigative team, gave us some tips and tricks and more than a few laughs, too, in the Society of American Business Editors and Writers session on investigative reporting from conception to execution.

  • “We are in the answering questions business.” You are going to get lost in the weeds without a question in mind. Instead of writing about how the government is fixing bridges, you should address the question of whether the government is fixing the bridges that are in the worst shape.
  • “You don’t operate heavy machinery without reading the manual.” If you are covering a company, a municipality, an industry, don’t jump into it without knowing anything about it. You wouldn’t start pulling the gears and levers of a crane without knowing what they do first.
  • “Write the manual yourself.” Write the manual for your readers, and get input from those who know the machine intimately. A list of living sources: company execs, lawyers (inside and outside of the company), former execs and lawyers, analysts, politicians, economic developers, competitors, whistleblowers, suppliers, employees, retirees, associations, contractors, unions, shippers, regulators, lobbyists, accountants and major customers (phew!).
  • “All the best conversations start in a bar.” Have candid conversations with sources (unless, of course, it is supposed to be confrontational). Apuzzo says his daily ideal would be breakfast with a source, lunch with a source, coffee with a source, drinks with a source, ect.
  • “Don’t use analysts for their analysis. If you’re covering this beat, you already know all of this stuff.” Apuzzo read quotes from analysts published recently, and they all state the obvious. Use analysts for their in depth knowledge of the company, its accounting, fishy goings on or their relationships with employees.
  • “Even the mob writes stuff down.” There are more documents out there than we realize. The two questions Apuzzo always asks after an interview is, “Who else should I be talking to, and where is that written down?”
  • “Spurned spouses and people who are owed money do not hold back.” Law records, including bankruptcy and divorce records, are not used as often as they should be.
  • “I’ll have what he’s having! Give me those!” File Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the FOIA request logs. See what other journalists, whistleblowers and companies want to see, and then request for them yourself.
  • “Know an industry and find where it intersects with the government because that is where stuff gets written down.” File FOIA requests for agencies related to business or industries. File for information on things that are taxed because it is recorded. File for contact information listed on the documents.
  • “Every 3 months I would drop a FOIA request for all the email and all the calendars.” File for policymakers calendars and phone records to see who they talk to (or which reports they are calling!).
  • “Now you’ve got your CEO’s phone number because his Schnauzer is important to him.” If your area has a dog licensing database, file for that, too! Many seemingly obscure documents may have contact information on an elusive source.

Alex Barinka is a business journalism student at UNC-Chapel Hill who will intern this summer at Bloomberg News. Read the rest of her coverage here.