The free workshop, “Uncovering the Best Local Business Stories,” was originally held at the University of Kentucky’s Institute for Rural Journalism on April 13, 2012, and at Texas Christian University’s Texas Center for Community Journalism on April 26, 2012.
The session recordings below are from the workshop held at TCU. John Cheves’ PowerPoint presentations and handouts from the workshop at UK are available, along with Carlie Kollath, Chris Roush and Linda Austin’s earlier presentations, as additional resources.
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.
John Cheves is an investigative reporter at the Lexington Herald-Leader, with a focus on government watchdog stories that track how taxpayer money is spent. His projects include a nationally published 2006 series, “The McConnell Machine,” examining $220 million in political donations collected by U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and the favors that McConnell did for his biggest donors.
Carlie Kollath has been a business reporter at the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo 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.
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.
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.
Take a look through the workshop session recordings and resources below. At your own pace, you can walk through essential tips and techniques for finding great business stories in your own community.
- The business of government -- Doug Swanson
- Covering government incentives for economic development -- Swanson
- Part One: What's worked for you in covering local business? -- Carlie Kollath
- Part Two: What's worked for you in covering local business? -- Carlie Kollath
- Uncovering public information on private companies -- Chris Roush
- Uncovering stories in small business -- Roush
- Localizing national and international business stories for your audience -- Austin
- The business of government by Doug Swanson
- Highlighting local businesses: What's worked for me by Carlie Kollath
- Uncovering public information on private companies by Chris Roush
- Uncovering stories in data by Roush
- Uncovering stories in small businesses by Roush
- Localizing business stories by Linda Austin
Linda Austin is a former editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader, reporter and editor at the Dallas Times Herald, and former business editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
John Cheves previously worked in the Herald-Leader's Washington bureau and its statehouse bureau. He is a 1993 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Carlie Kollath discovered business journalism while working for two trade publications in New York after graduating from the University of Mississippi.
Chris Roush 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. He 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 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.
Additional Resources (PDFs)
- The Best Local Business Stories -- Resources and Links by Chris Roush (Fort Worth -- April 26, 2012)
- Covering Small Town Businesses by Carlie Kollath
- Homegrown Business Guidelines by Carlie Kollath
- Uncovering the Best Local Business Stories - Helpful websites by Doug Swanson
- Additional resources from the Lexington workshop (URL)