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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 Walter J. Lemke Department of Journalism at the University of Arkansas, as part of its Journalism Days.
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.
IS THIS WORKSHOP FOR YOU?
This workshop is geared to community journalists at weeklies and small dailies, as well as other small media outlets. It is for generalists on small editorial staffs who are called upon to cover business.
Linda Austin is the executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. A former editor of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader and The (Fort Wayne, Ind.) News-Sentinel, she is also a former business editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Jeff Porter is the special projects director for the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) at the University of Missouri. He spent two decades as a journalist in Arkansas, working at the Batesville Daily Guard and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He left the Dem-Gaz in 2001 as the computer-assisted reporting specialist to become database library director for Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, also at Mizzou. In that role, he trained journalists across the United States and overseas. He joined AHCJ in 2008.
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 SABEW Writer’s Stylebook: 2,000 Business Terms Defined and Rated.
Carlie Kollath Wells is a freelance journalist in New Orleans. She was a business reporter at the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo, Miss., from 2007 until February 2013. 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.
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 — Jeff Porter
- 10:50-11 a.m. Break
- 11 a.m.-noon Covering government incentives for economic development — Porter
- 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 Wells
- 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.