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Business Journalism: How to Report on Business and Economics

Book Description

Business Journalism: How to Report on Business and Economics is a basic guide for journalists working in countries moving to open-market economies, students in journalism courses, journalists changing direction from general news reporting to business and economic reporting, and bloggers. It also explains the differences in technique required for general reporters to deliver business news for text, TV, or radio.

Veteran journalist Keith Hayes, who has worked for such organizations as Reuters, PBS, the BBC, CBC, and CNBC, provides a quick reference to journalistic practice that covers everything from how to meet a deadline to getting answers from company or government officials who would rather not talk. It also provides background on specific knowledge that journalists should have to report on the business and the economy accurately and with insight. That includes understanding the major markets and how they work, learning to read a balance sheet, and getting the story even when a company or government sets up roadblocks.

As Hayes demonstrates, effective journalists are story tellers who need to tell the story well while making certain they are providing the facts as they find them and understand them. Among other things, readers will also learn:

  • How to write a business news story

  • How to report business news on television

  • How to report in a globalized business world

  • How to get usable information from press conferences and briefings

  • The basics of macroeconomics, the financial markets, and company-specific financial data

  • How to dig for facts and get the story

This book covers comprehensively the basics of business and economic reporting. With its insights and tips from Hayes and other veteran journalists, it's a book that will remain on your shelf for years to come and help you acquire and cement career-enhancing skills. It will also help you hone your craft as you begin to write more sophisticated stories and take jobs of increasing responsibility.

What you'll learn

  • Good basic journalistic practice

  • How to write an effective business news article

  • Reporting business for television

  • Basics of economic reporting and the importance of the census

  • Understanding financial markets and privatization

  • Reading and interpreting company accounts

Who this book is for

Journalism students; novice journalists; experienced journalists in general news who want to switch to business reporting; and journalists in emerging economies where training opportunities are sparse.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Apress Business
  3. Dedication
  4. Contents
  5. Preface
  6. About the Author
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. A Brief History of Business Journalism
  9. CHAPTER 1: Establishing Good Journalistic Practices
    1. The Business Journalist
    2. Who, What, Where, When, How—and Why
    3. A Cautionary Tale
    4. The Importance of Business and Economic News
    5. The Need for High Journalistic Standards
    6. Code of Practice
    7. How to Conduct Interviews
    8. How to Write the Story
    9. Last Thoughts
    10. Key Points
  10. CHAPTER 2: Writing Effective Business News
    1. The Basic Skills of the Business Journalist
    2. Writing Effective Leads
    3. Things to Keep in Mind When Writing Your Story
    4. Practice, Practice, and More Practice
    5. Key Points
  11. CHAPTER 3: Reporting for Different Business News Media
    1. The Importance of Learning How the Various New Media Operate
    2. News Enterprises
    3. Broadcast Journalism
    4. Reporting for Online Journals
    5. Key Points
  12. CHAPTER 4: Establishing Sources of Information
    1. Rights and Responsibilities of the Media
    2. Contacts: The Life Blood of the Journalist
    3. Human Nature
    4. Emergency Services
    5. Forward Diary Systems
    6. The News “Patch” or “Beat”
    7. Everyday Conversations and Eavesdropping
    8. Getting to the Facts
    9. Key Points
  13. CHAPTER 5: Enterprise Stories
    1. Turning a Simple Question into an Enterprise Story
    2. Turning a Simple Drink into an Enterprise Story
    3. Turning a Simple Question into an Enterprise Story
    4. From Police Blotter to Enterprise Story
    5. From Mock Press Conference to Enterprise Story
    6. From Census Data to Enterprise Story
    7. Key Points
  14. CHAPTER 6: Ethics and Change
    1. A Brief Definition of Ethics
    2. The Importance of a Code of Ethics
    3. Unbiased Reporting
    4. Adherence to Ethics in Obtaining a Story
    5. Protection of a Source
    6. Accounting for Political Beliefs
    7. Avoiding Protocol Journalism
    8. Insider Trading
    9. Changing Times
    10. Freedom of the Media and Responsible Reporting
    11. Codes of Conduct in Emerging Democracies
    12. A Test of “Real” Journalism
    13. Embracing Change
    14. The Changing World of 24-Hour News
    15. Key Points
  15. CHAPTER 7: Making Economic Reporting Relevant
    1. Defining What It Means to Be a Business Journalist
    2. Why Business Journalism Is Relevant to Journalists
    3. Why Business Journalism Is Relevant to Industry
    4. Why Business Journalism Is Relevant to Society
    5. A “Liquid” Example
    6. More Breadth and Depth
    7. Key Points
  16. CHAPTER 8: Getting the Best from Press Conferences
    1. The Benefits of Press Conferences
    2. The Role of Press Conferences
    3. After the Press Conference
    4. Press Briefings
    5. Key Points
  17. CHAPTER 9: Television Reporting Skills
    1. The Visual Nature of Television
    2. Keys to Successful Interviewing
    3. Setting Up the Shot
    4. Writing and Recording the Story
    5. Editing the Interview
    6. The Making of a News Program
    7. The Making of Morning Business Report
    8. Key Points
  18. CHAPTER 10: Reporting on Business for Television
    1. Business Television Viewership
    2. Business Television: A Common Vision
    3. Writing Stories for Television
    4. Business Journalists Must Take Extra Care When Broadcasting
    5. Working as a Team
    6. Producing Successful Business Documentaries
    7. Reporting on Business for Television
    8. A Bright Future for Television News
    9. Key Points
  19. CHAPTER 11: Newswire Agencies and Their Role
    1. The Big Three Newswire Agencies
    2. The Role of the Newswire Agencies
    3. Governments and Companies as Sources of News
    4. The Role of the Journalist within News Agencies
    5. The Importance of Pictures
  20. CHAPTER 12: Getting the Pictures
    1. The News through Images
    2. The Challenge of Sourcing Pictures
    3. Presentation Is Key
    4. How Getty Images and Other Picture Agencies Work
    5. Keeping Imagery Current
    6. The Business of Video Clips
  21. CHAPTER 13: New Media
    1. The Past, Present, and Future of the Media
    2. The Future of the News Industry
    3. New Media Journalism and the Citizen Journalist
    4. Policing the New Media
    5. A Change in Traditional News Organizations
    6. The Literature of the Everyday
    7. Out with the Old?
    8. Key Points
  22. CHAPTER 14: Macroeconomics
    1. Key Economic Measures
    2. The Central Banks
    3. Reporting on Macroeconomics
    4. Key Points
  23. CHAPTER 15: Globalization and the Interdependence of Small Economies
    1. Local Events Lead to Global Changes
    2. Business in Emerging Democracies
    3. Domestic News in a Global Economy
    4. What Journalists Need to Know in a Global Economy
    5. The Relevance of Globalization
    6. Foreign Affairs and Their Consequences Make for a Good Story
    7. A Wealth of Potential Stories
    8. Key Points
  24. CHAPTER 16: Stock and Bond Markets
    1. Shares, Stocks, and Bonds
    2. Local Events Spur International Market Consequences
    3. Stock Exchanges, Bond Markets, and Foreign Exchange Markets
    4. The Language of Financial Markets
    5. The Role of Stock Markets
    6. Regulation and Transparency in Stock Markets
    7. The Role of the Journalist Who Covers the Stock Market
    8. Key Points
  25. CHAPTER 17: Commodities and Other Exotic Financial Products
    1. Today’s Gold Market
    2. What Is a Commodity?
    3. Oil as a Commodity
    4. Precious Metals as a Commodity
    5. The Diamond Market
    6. Agriculture
    7. Reporting on Commodities
    8. Key Points
  26. CHAPTER 18: Investigating Company Accounts and Assessing the Board
    1. Reviewing a Company’s Annual Accounts
    2. What to Look for in Annual Accounts
    3. What Journalists Need to Know about Boards of Directors
    4. Covering Annual Meetings
    5. Key Points
  27. CHAPTER 19: Privatization
    1. What Privatization Means for the Business Journalist
    2. The Advantages of Privatization
    3. The Disadvantages of Privatization
    4. Hostility toward Privatization
    5. The Role of the Press in Privatization
    6. Covering the Private Sector
    7. A Look at Balance Sheets
    8. A Focus on the Future
    9. Privatization Agencies
    10. Key Points
  28. CHAPTER 20: SMEs and the Economy
    1. The Development of SMEs
    2. Improving Media Coverage of SMEs
    3. Examples of SME Policies
    4. Attitudes toward Small Business and Entrepreneurship
    5. Key Points
  29. CHAPTER 21: The Importance of a Census
    1. The Need for a Census
    2. Census Information and the National Budget
    3. What Census Information Tells Us
    4. The Role of Reporters and Census Information
    5. No More Census?
    6. Using Census Data in Stories
    7. Key Points
  30. CHAPTER 22: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
    1. Covering the 2008 Financial Crisis
    2. An Example of Careless Reporting
    3. An Example of Good Reporting
    4. Reporting in Emerging Economies
    5. Britain’s Phone-Hacking Scandal
    6. A Bright Future
    7. Key Points
  31. CHAPTER 23: The Pros Speak: Journalists from the East and the West
    1. The Joys of Being a Journalist
    2. Alex Kirby on the Importance of Journalism
    3. Ann Turner on Having an Open Mind
    4. Bob Eggington on Surviving in the News Business
    5. Robert “Bob” Elphick on Writing the First Draft of History
    6. Anna Di Lellio on Getting the Story
    7. Danijela Kozina on Problem Reporting in the Balkans
    8. Anastasia Haydulina on Experiences of a Young Journalist
    9. Alexander Sambuk on the Hazards of Starting a Business News Department
    10. Behar Zogiani—Lest We Forget the Hazards of Journalism
  32. APPENDIX A: Sample Balance Sheet
    1. Observations: What the Numbers Tell Us
  33. Index