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Finding Your Best Investigative Business Story: Madison, Wis., Sept. 28

The Particulars

9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 28, 2013

Room 2195, Vilas Communication Hall
University of Wisconsin-Madison
821 University Ave., Madison, Wis. 53706

Alec Klein,
journalism professor at
Northwestern University;
Chris Roush, business journalism professor
at the University of North Carolina

Madison Pro Chapter of the
Society of Professional Journalists

, 525 W. Johnson St.
UW’s Union South, 1308 W. Dayton St.
UW’s Lowell Center

Parking: Type “Vilas” in the search box,
and tick the box for
public parking on this map.

Register here

Photo by flickr user spectacle productions

Business stories – or stories with strong business angles – have won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in each of the last eight years. Business is fertile territory for investigative reporting, but all too often is overlooked by local reporters.

Get the skills you need to identify and develop local investigative business stories at a free, daylong workshop in Madison, Wis., on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Sign up here for this free workshop.


How to:

  • Find public information on private companies
  • Ask 15 smart questions about small businesses
  • Find and pitch your best investigative business story
  • Develop sources and get people to talk to you
  • Find and utilize public records in investigative business journalism


This workshop is for any journalist who wants to find and pursue investigative business stories. Novice or veteran, business journalist or general-assignment reporter, you’ll take away something that will help you the next time you pursue a business investigation.


Alec Klein

Alec Klein joined the Medill journalism faculty in fall 2008 after eight years at The Washington Post as an investigative business reporter.  His investigation into the reuse of single-use medical devices won the Society of American Business Editors and Writers award for special projects and prompted an investigation by the Government Accountability Office, as well as industry reform.

His best-selling book, Stealing Time: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Collapse of AOL Time Warner, was named one of the “Best Business Books” by Library Journal and Strategy + Business. The book built on his coverage of AOL at The Post, for which Alec won the Gerald Loeb Award, business journalism’s highest honor. Before coming to Northwestern, Klein taught journalism at Georgetown University and American University. He was a business writer-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Chris Roush, UNC journalism professor

Chris Roush

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.

AGENDA: Finding Your Best Investigative Business Story

  •  9:30-10 a.m.: Registration and continental breakfast
  • 10-10:10 a.m.: Welcome, introductions
  • 10:10-11:10 a.m.: Uncovering public information on private companies – Chris Roush
  • 11:10-11:30 a.m.: Case study – Where would you find the info? — Roush
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 15 smart questions to ask small businesses — Roush
  • 12:30-1 p.m.: Box lunch provided
  • 1-2 p.m.:  Finding and pitching your best investigative business story – Alec Klein
  • 2-2:20 p.m.: Exercise – Write the first paragraph of your editor’s memo pitching your investigative story. Critique those willing to share. — Klein
  • 2:20-3:20 p.m.: Developing and interviewing sources in investigative business journalism — Klein
  • 3:20-3-30 p.m.: Break
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m.: Finding and using public documents in investigative business journalism – Klein


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.

In Basics, Calendar: Workshops, Webinars, Career tips, Investigation, Training.

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