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“What isn’t business that we cover?” — Laurie Ezzell Brown, editor of The Canadian Record in Canadian, Texas
That’s the thinking behind this free workshop designed to help community journalists cover local business better. Whether it’s finding stories in the municipal budget, the local economic-development agency or area small businesses, business and the economy are big news on Main Street, as well as Wall Street.
Geared to the needs of generalists on small staffs, this daylong training will arm you with resources, tips and ideas to bring more meaningful coverage of this important topic to your community.
The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism is presenting this free workshop, which is hosted by the Texas Center for Community Journalism at Texas Christian University’s Schieffer School of Journalism. The Reynolds Center is offering a similar workshop on April 13, hosted by the University of Kentucky’s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
- How to find good stories in the business of government, including budgets and contracts,
- How to cover economic-development agencies at the state and local levels,
- How to find public information on private companies,
- How to find stories in publicly available databases, such as incorporation records and real estate transactions,
- How to find stories in small businesses, including 15 questions to ask for small-business profiles, and
- How to localize national and international stories for your audience.
Linda Austin is the executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. A former editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader and reporter and editor at the Dallas Times Herald, she is also a former business editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Carlie Kollath has been a business reporter at the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo, Miss., since 2007. She fell in love with journalism in high school and discovered business journalism while working for two trade publications in New York after graduating from the University of Mississippi.
Chris Roush is the Walter E. Hussman Sr. Distinguished Scholar in business journalism and the founding director of the Carolina Business News Initiative at the University of North Carolina. He was named Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Teacher of the Year in 2009 and the North Carolina Professor of the Year in 2010. He is the author of Show Me the Money: Writing Business and Economics Stories for Mass Communication and co-author of The Financial Writer’s Stylebook: 1,100 Business Terms Defined and Rated.
Doug Swanson is the investigative projects editor at The Dallas Morning News. Before that, he was a projects reporter specializing in coverage of troubled state agencies and the financial misdeeds of state contractors. He has written five crime novels and is at work on a biography of Benny Binion, who started the World Series of Poker. Swanson is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and was a John S. Knight Fellow in Journalism at Stanford University.
Tommy Thomason is the founding director of Texas Christian University’s Texas Center for Community Journalism. He was also the founding director of TCU’s Schieffer School of Journalism, which he led until starting the center in 2009. He has taught journalism at five universities and has been at TCU since 1984.
AGENDA: Uncovering the Best Local Business Stories
- 8:30-9 a.m. Registration and continental breakfast
- 9-9:20 a.m. Welcome, introductions and why cover local business — Linda Austin
- 9:20-10:50 a.m. The Business of Government: Uncovering good stories in local government budgets, taxes and contracts — Doug Swanson
- 10:50-11 a.m. Break
- 11 a.m.-noon Covering government incentives for economic development — Swanson
- Noon-1 p.m. What’s worked for you in covering local business? A conversation over a boxed lunch (provided) on what’s worked for you. — Carlie Kollath and Tommy Thomason
- 1-2 p.m. Uncovering public information on private companies — Chris Roush
- 2-3 p.m. Uncovering stories in data — Example: accessing and presenting incorporations data on your website — Roush
- 3-3:15 p.m. Break
- 3:15-4 p.m. Uncovering stories in small businesses — 15 smart questions to ask for small-business profiles — Roush
- 4-5 p.m. Localizing national/international business stories for your audience — Austin
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Please do not register unless you are sincere about participating. Signing up and not participating deprives someone else of the opportunity.
Those who successfully complete three regional workshops or online seminars presented by the Reynolds Center are eligible to receive a “Circle of Achievement” certificate.
This free seminar is sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. If you have any questions about the workshop or the center, please email Executive Director Linda Austin or call 602-496-9187.