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Business Journalism Boot Camp: Self-guided training

The free workshop, “Business Journalism Boot Camp,” was originally held at the Star Tribune, Oct. 4, 2011 in Minneapolis. This daylong training was co-hosted by the Star Tribune, Asian American Journalists Association — Minnesota and Twin Cities Black Journalists.


  • How to understand public companies’ financial statements, with special emphasis on income (profit/loss) and cash-flow statements.
  • Best ways to find stories in earnings reports and cash-flow statements.
  • How to analyze companies’ financials using common-size analysis.
  • Tips for finding public documents on private companies, and knowing the basics of what you’ll find in those documents, including their limitations.
  • How to understand the new IRS Form 990 and how to find stories on nonprofits’ finances in it.

(in order of appearance)

James K. Gentry is a professor and former dean at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas. Over the past 25 years, he has taught thousands of journalists how to understand the language of business. He received the Barry Sherman Teaching Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Chris Roush is the founding director of the Carolina Business News Initiative, which provides training for professional journalists and students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he teaches classes on business and economics reporting. The Walter E. Hussman Sr. Distinguished Scholar in business journalism was named the Journalism Teacher of the Year for 2009 by the Scripps Howard Foundation .

Ronald Campbell is a reporter for The Orange County Register. He started The Register’s program in computer-assisted reporting. He has worked on many investigations, including probes of California’s dependence on immigrant labor, the trade in human body parts, abusive charitable fund-raising tactics and fraudulent stock sales.


Take a look through the workshop session recording and resources below. At your own pace, you can walk through the self-guided lesson on tips, techniques and resources for better business coverage in your area.

In 2014, Business Beats, Economy, Financial/economy, Investigation, Investigative, Self-guided and archives, Small | Private | Non-profit, Training.

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