Business Journalism Professors 2014: Jumpstarting Your Program by Andrew LeckeyPresentation Transcript
Jumpstarting your program
when you get home
Students and administrations know
business journalism is important.
But sometimes they don’t.
YOU must build your own
business journalism class:
Sell its viability to your administration.
Help promote it in every way possible.
This seminar is a terrific start!
Address faculty meetings.
Visit basic reporting classes to explain what
business journalism is all about and the courses
that are available.
• Get leads on promising students from fellow
• Ask for contacts for honors program students.
• Recruit students of color.
Point out the relevance of
• Utilize email blasts, twitter, interviews in campus
publications to promote the program.
• Provide comments on current events, ranging
from the Fiscal Cliff to Facebook stock to movie
• Become the loud, clear voice of business
journalism on your campus.
• Let everyone from administration to faculty to
students know that you are on the lookout for
quality students who want to make a difference.
Connect with news outlets and
• Build a strong and lasting personal connection.
• Groom your best students for major news
• Connect with your business school or business
This is another hunting ground for students and
for joint programs.
You must know your students:
• Their sophistication level.
• Are you selling them something
• What’s the history at your school?
This varies greatly.
• What resonates with them?
• Show flexibility your first time
through the course. Be interesting!
What can motivate students:
Talk about job opportunities!
Stress the greater long-term potential.
Print, broadcast, online are all possibilities.
Do something that’s a challenge.
View rapid changes in technology.
Foster outrage at evil doers.
Make an important difference in society.
Potential in investigative business journalism.
Relevance to their daily lives.
Forget about the good old
• Only talk about your former media employer or
someone with whom you have connections in business
media if you have a strong enough connection to help
the student contend for a job there.
• Remember that students care about their future, not
• Weave current events in as much as possible. Discuss
them and encourage arguments.
• Make them write their ideas about business in essays.
• Have them produce stories for print or broadcast
about local business and economy.
Open business journalism to
Breaking color barriers is an
And have successful students help promote your
Find low-hanging fruit:
• Sports reporters often make
terrific business journalists.
• Find journalism students with
The long and winding road:
• Build personal relationship with each student.
• Business journalists weren’t made in a day.
• Realize they often reenter your life long after
they graduate and come to understand the
opportunities of business journalism.
they know how to:
• Read balance sheets.
• Decipher significant SEC
• Compute earnings percentages.
• Understand stock and bond
• Know the basics of the economy.
Spotting red flags sets your students
Unique terminology such as “entities”
Pro forma numbers.
Resignations for “personal reasons.”
They must avoid:
• Block quotes.
• Too many numbers.
• Not listening.
They must realize:
• Business journalism is about stories and
• They must become confident enough to ask
the dumb questions.
Students must be familiar
with all mediums:
• Business can translate into any
• No one knows what the media’s
future will bring.
• They’ll need as many cards to play
Build lasting, meaningful
You must build relationships
with local media and firms:
• Visit them.
• Talk to newsrooms.
• Find ways to be useful.
• Have their editors and
producers visit your class.
• Arrange assignments.
You must build relationships
with business community:
• Visit businesses.
• Have students do
• Have business people
visit your class.
• Build connections for
the long run.
A global vision is important
Graduates may work for
international news organizations:
• They will likely have to deal with
business stories from many
• They have to understand different
economies and markets.
• They will need to know different
reporting standards and trends.
If you don’t teach them business
journalism ethics, NO ONE will.
Ethics is crucial:
• In covering the world of money,
temptations are different from other fields.
CNBC and stock ownership
Silicon Valley bribery
Five things to do RIGHT NOW
1. Meet with administrators, faculty and classes.
2. Plan a specific timely event related to business or
3. Publicize your business journalism course.
4. Find alums in business journalism and bring them
to the school to talk to students or contribute.
5. Contact media, bring editors and producers to
class or Skype, and find student outlets for