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Economics 101: Self-guided training

The free webinar, “Economics 101,” was originally held June 26-28, 2012.

Marilyn Geewax, senior business editor for NPR’s National Desk, demystifies economics for business journalists by breaking down complicated concepts and making them easier to understand.


  • What is a recession? What constitutes a recovery? How can you identify what’s happening in your area?
  • What do the unemployment rate and first-time jobless claims mean? How many jobs have we lost in the last four years, and what will it take to recover those jobs? What are the local stories to be done on the labor market?
  • What forces led to the recent wave of housing foreclosures? When will the residential real estate market start to recover? How can you get good data on what’s happening in your area?

AGENDA: Economics 101
Each session lasts approximately one hour.

Day One: It’s the economy, stupid - What will it take for us to get out of this economic slump? How can you tell whether your local economy is recovering; what are the signs to track?

Day Two: What will it take for jobs to come back - How do you find fresh stories in the drumbeat of stats about joblessness in your area?

Day Three: Foreclosures and falling housing prices – What needs to happen for the housing market to recover? What are the fresh local angles to pursue now – four years after the mortgage meltdown?

Marilyn Geewax

Marilyn Geewax


Marilyn Geewax is a senior business editor on NPR’s national desk and the national economics correspondent for NPR’s website. She was the national economics correspondent for Cox Newspapers’ Washington Bureau. Before coming to Washington in 1999, she worked for the Cox flagship paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, first as a business reporter and then as a columnist and editorial board member.

Geewax was also a Davenport Fellow at the University of Missouri, and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio State University. From 2001 to 2006, she taught a business journalism class as an adjunct professor at George Washington University.


Check out the resources below. At your own pace, you can walk through the self-guided lesson on economics basics.

Session recordings

PowerPoint presentations

PowerPoints may be viewed at Slideshare.net, a free service that may require a log-in before downloading the presentation.

Additional resources


In 2014, Business Beats, Financial/economy, Self-guided and archives, Story ideas.

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