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Learn on your own schedule with these new tutorials

Got 20 minutes or so? Use them to pick up some tips. Now, you can learn when it fits your schedule with bite-sized training.

We’ve added two new tutorials to our lineup of daily tips, news and free training on this site.

They are:

  • Essential Math for Business Journalists: Maybe you went into journalism to avoid math, but fear not. Most analysis in business journalism involves just basic arithmetic. Review the formulas in this tutorial, and in 20 minutes, you’ll be up to speed on how to calculate percent of a whole, percentage change, average, median and mode, plus how to round. Your instructor is yours truly, Linda Austin, executive director of the Reynolds Center.

  • Magic with Google Spreadsheets: Google spreadsheets are a powerful tool for business journalists that combines the strengths of traditional spreadsheets, such as Excel, with the ability to import and edit data; style, analyze and chart data; create a “magic” spreadsheet that will automatically update with current stock data; and share, publish and embed data and charts online. In this 25-minute tutorial with Jeremy Caplan, director of education at the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, you’ll learn how to use Google spreadsheets to do all of the above.

The tutorials explain concepts using audio and video and also include quizzes, making them interactive. Download Adobe Reader for free to use them. You can find “Tutorials” under the drop-down menu for “Tools” in the green navigation bar at the top of this page.

You’ll also see in that drop-down menu, “Self-guided training.” Self-guided training usually consists of videos from past training events, either workshops or Webinars, with the handouts and PowerPoints. You can also review those at your leisure; the videos are normally an hour or more. They are not usually interactive, although in some cases, the instructor’s PowerPoint is embedded in the video and can be used to skip forward and back in the video.

Magic with Google Spreadsheets


We plan to add more tutorials in the coming months and would like your ideas on which ones you’d like to see. Some possible topics include:

  • Better Business Writing
  • Understanding Financial Statements
  • Covering Private Companies
  • Covering Financial Markets
  • Covering the Economy
  • Deciphering SEC Filings
  • Covering Unemployment and Labor Markets
  • Covering Bankruptcy Court
  • Covering Nonprofits


Three ways to tell us what you’d like next:

  1. Quick poll
  2. Or e-mail me at linda.austin@businessjournalism.org
  3. Or leave your ideas in the comment box below.

We welcome your feedback on these first two tutorials as well as your ideas on what the next ones should be.

In 2014, Career tips, Tutorials.

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