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Business Journalism Professors 2014: Jumpstarting Your Program by Andrew Leckey


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Business Journalism Professors 2014: Jumpstarting Your Program by Andrew Leckey

  1. 1. Jumpstarting your program when you get home  
  2. 2. Students and administrations know business journalism is important.            
  3. 3. But sometimes they don’t.
  4. 4. 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 professors. •  Ask for contacts for honors program students. •  Recruit students of color. •  •  •  •  • 
  5. 5. Point out the relevance of business journalism •  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 box office. •  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.
  6. 6. Connect with news outlets and business school •  Build a strong and lasting personal connection. •  Groom your best students for major news organizations. •  Connect with your business school or business professors. This is another hunting ground for students and for joint programs.
  7. 7. You must know your students: •  Their sophistication level. •  Are you selling them something completely new? •  What’s the history at your school? This varies greatly. •  What resonates with them? •  Show flexibility your first time through the course. Be interesting!
  8. 8. Motivation 101
  9. 9. 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.
  10. 10. Forget about the good old days: •  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 your past. •  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.
  11. 11. Open business journalism to all
  12. 12. Breaking color barriers is an imperative: •  •  •  •  •  •  Kamika Dunlap Salvador Rodriguez Tian Chen Angel Gonzalez Carla Mozee Megan Thomas And have successful students help promote your program!
  13. 13. Find low-hanging fruit: •  Sports reporters often make terrific business journalists. •  Find journalism students with business minors.
  14. 14. 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.
  15. 15. MAKE SURE they know how to: •  Read balance sheets. •  Decipher significant SEC documents. •  Compute earnings percentages. •  Understand stock and bond markets. •  Know the basics of the economy.
  16. 16. Spotting red flags sets your students apart: •  •  •  •  •  •  •  footnotes. Unique terminology such as “entities” and “subprime.” Restructured businesses. Pro forma numbers. Material events. Special charges. Resignations for “personal reasons.” Tiny
  17. 17. They must avoid: •  Block quotes. •  Too many numbers. •  Not listening. They must realize: •  Business journalism is about stories and people. •  They must become confident enough to ask the dumb questions.
  18. 18. Students must be familiar with all mediums: •  Business can translate into any medium. •  No one knows what the media’s future will bring. •  They’ll need as many cards to play as possible.
  19. 19. Build lasting, meaningful relationships
  20. 20. 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.
  21. 21. You must build relationships with business community: •  Visit businesses. •  Have students do local stories. •  Have business people visit your class. •  Build connections for the long run.
  22. 22. A global vision is important
  23. 23. Graduates may work for international news organizations: •  They will likely have to deal with business stories from many countries. •  They have to understand different economies and markets. •  They will need to know different reporting standards and trends.
  24. 24. If you don’t teach them business journalism ethics, NO ONE will.
  25. 25. Ethics is crucial: •  In covering the world of money, temptations are different from other fields. •  Examples: CNBC and stock ownership Silicon Valley bribery Golf clubs The Olympics Firestone tires
  26. 26. Five things to do RIGHT NOW 1. Meet with administrators, faculty and classes. 2. Plan a specific timely event related to business or the economy. 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 business stories.
  27. 27. Ul#mately,  it’s  about  the  student’s   future.