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Robin J Phillips

I am digital director at the Reynolds Center for Business Journalism, which I joined in 2009. Before that I was Online Community Manager for azcentral, the online site for The Arizona Republic. Before arriving in Arizona, I worked at Newsday where I was Deputy Business Editor. I was the small business editor at BusinessWeek Online. I teach journalists to use Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools to expand and manage their networks. And I am a cofounder of #wjchat, a weekly Twitter chat about web journalism. You can reach me at Email: Robin.Phillips@BusinessJournalism.org OR RobinJPhillips.com OR @RobinJP

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Weird Al Yankovic takes on business lingo in latest video

Wrapping up a series of eight videos in eight days, Weird Al Yankovic parodies business language.

With a tune that sounds very much like Crosby, Stills & Nash’s “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” the song – “Mission Statement” features Yankovic harmonizing with himself on lyrics full of corporate jargon. As he sings, an artist illustrates the lyrics on an animated whiteboard.

“At the end of the day, we must mooooonetize our assets”

“Robust and scalable, leading edge and next generation, best of breed, we will succeed.”

“Mission Statement” one in a collection called“Mandatory Fun.”  “Word Crimes” (a take on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”), “Tacky” (a spoof of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”) and “Foil” (a parody of Lorde’s “Royals”).


And for copy editors, “Word Crimes”:

Beyond Bylines: PRNewswire blog is full of useful tips for journalists

PRNewsWire Beyond Bylines blog


If you stop by BusinessJournalism.org regularly, you know that I enjoy finding new (and sometimes unusual) resources for journalists.  Digging into LinkedIn, finding company tutorials on Slideshare. Finding insight on local economies by browsing Indeed or thinking about a new way to cover corporations while listening to TED Talks Social Good Playlist.

Anywhere people are interested in learning new things and sharing, there are lessons to be learned… and perhaps stories to unearth.

Today I want to share a new blog on PRNewswire. Beyond Bylines: Covering the intersection of journalism, emerging media and blogging.

This recent Beyond Bylines’ Faster Fact Checking series will be particularly useful for journalists.

PRNewswire is full of useful information for journalists including journalist profiles, reports on media successes and best practices like this recent Grammar Hammer: Why so Tense.

In addition to the blog, don’t forget about PR Newswire for Journalists, which features photos, graphics, and information about the companies a journalist may cover.

As the editors say in their introduction to the site: “Don’t let the name PR Newswire for Journalists dissuade you. Any content creator — whether you’re a journalist, freelancer or blogger — can set up a customized profile to receive news based on your preferences. You can also find thousands of high-resolution photos on our Photo Archive, and connect with brands through ProfNet for upcoming blog posts and articles”




Columbia Journalism School announces its 2014-15 Knight-Bagehot fellows

Annalyn Kurtz, senior writer at CNNMoney and former BusinessJournalism.org intern, is among the 10 2014-2015 Knight-Bagehot Fellows in economics and business journalism announced by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

annalyn censky

Annalyn Kurtz

Kurtz, a 2008 graduate of Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, joins business reporters from The Associated Press (AP), Bloomberg News,  Forbes, Marketplace, Thomson Reuters and The Wall Street Journal. While at ASU, Kurtz studied under Reynolds Center for Business Journalism’s President Andrew Leckey in the Cronkite Business Journalism Specialization.

The mid-career fellowships provide full tuition and a living stipend of $55,000 for experienced journalists to take graduate courses at Columbia’s Schools of Business, Law, and International and Public Affairs. Fellows also attend special seminars at the journalism school led by scholars and business experts during the nine-month program, which begins in August. The program is open to journalists with at least four years’ experience.

“These journalists represent the best and brightest in business journalism,” said Terri Thompson, director of the program. “We look forward to welcoming them for a rigorous program of study here at Columbia.”

This year’s fellows are:

Nathan Becker, 27, is a copy editor and sports editor for The Wall Street Journal in New York where he was hired in 2009 as a breaking-news reporter. After graduating from Truman State University in 2008, he interned as a business reporter for MarketWatch in San Francisco and Bloomberg News in Chicago.

Dan Bobkoff, 31, has spent the last two years reporting on top business stories and trends for NPR News and the public radio show, Marketplace. Before working in New York City, he reported for public radio stations from Ohio and Massachusetts. He won the National Headliner Award and regional Edward R. Murrow Award for his work as the Cleveland reporter on “Changing Gears,” a public radio project that explored the economic transformation of the industrial Midwest. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2005.

Maria Danilova, 32, is the chief correspondent in the Kiev Bureau of the AP. Born in Russia, she holds a B.A. in Linguistics from Moscow State University and an M.A. in Political Science from Central European University. She previously worked in Moscow for The Washington Post and The Moscow Times and joined the AP’s Moscow bureau in 2003.

Angela Moon

Angela Moon

Mark Garrison, 35, is a reporter and substitute host for Marketplace. Based in New York, he covers a variety of topics, including economics, media, transportation, retail, marketing and culture. His previous public radio experience includes newscasting for NPR, The Takeaway and New York’s WNYC, and he has worked for NBC, ABC and CNN. At CNN, he was senior editorial producer for Anderson Cooper 360° and part of the team that won Peabody and duPont Awards for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Asian tsunami, respectively. Garrison graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in journalism and psychology.

Annalyn Kurtz, 27, is a senior writer for CNN Money, covers economic indicators and the Federal Reserve through breaking news articles, blog posts, data visualizations and “real people” slideshows. She is the winner of two SABEW Best in Business awards. As an adjunct lecturer at CUNY’s School of Journalism, she co-teaches a course on covering the economy for graduate journalism students. While a student at Arizona State University, she interned at The Arizona Republic and Phoenix Business Journal. She graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism.

Alfred Lee, 29, is a staff reporter for Los Angeles Business Journal where he writes about legal issues in industries, including real estate, retail, health care and manufacturing. The recipient of many awards, including two SABEW awards and L.A. Press Club’s first place in News Feature, he has also worked for Pasadena Star-News and Los Angeles CityBeat and freelanced for NPR, Los Angeles Review of Books and Flaunt. He is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Angela Moon, 32, is a correspondent covering Wall Street for Thomson Reuters with specialty in financial markets. She analyzes and reports breaking news and trends in stock trading, market structure, exchanges and derivatives. She is also a regular contributor for Thomson Reuters’ Insider TV. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she graduated with honors from the University of Toronto with a B.A. in English Literature and International Studies. Prior to joining Thomson Reuters, she was a general news reporter for South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

Erin Zlomek

Erin Zlomek

Niamh Sweeney, 34, was working as a New York-based freelance journalist for the Irish Times, Sunday Business Post, Fortune, NPR and Irish Independent when the Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland asked her to return to her native Ireland as his special adviser. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology and Columbia’s School of Journalism, she moved back to Dublin in 2012 to manage the Deputy PM’s press and advise on foreign and domestic policy matters. In addition to freelancing, she has reported for Bloomberg Radio, The Street, and RTE News (Ireland’s national broadcaster).

Halah Touryalai, 31, is a staff writer at Forbes where she writes features for the magazine and web articles for Forbes.com about wealth management, asset management, banking, and economic and markets trends. She is also the author of The New Wealth Doctors, Wall Street’s Hottest Career, an e-book about the shortage of young financial advisors on Wall Street. Before joining Forbes in 2010, she reported and wrote for REP. magazine, formerly Registered Rep. magazine. At Pace University, where she majored in English, she was news editor of the university’s official newspaper.

Erin Zlomek, 30, is a contributing writer for Bloomberg Businessweek and a speed desk editor for Bloomberg News, where she analyzes SEC filings to filter market-moving disclosures. After graduating from Virginia Tech in 2006 and completing the Pulliam Journalism Fellowship, she joined The Arizona Republic where she was a business reporter until she joined Bloomberg in 2010.


Forbes publishes ‘Curbing Cars’, an EBook by Micki Maynard

Curbing Cars Micki Maynard

Micheline Maynard is Reynolds Visiting Professor of Business Journalism.

The most recent Forbes EBook is by Micheline Maynard, Reynolds Visiting Professor of Business Journalism at the Cronkite School at Arizona State University and a Forbes contributor.

‘Curbing Cars: America’s Independence From the Auto Industry,’ is the sixth book in Forbes’ EBook series.  Distributed by Vook for $6.99, the book looks at one of the biggest changes over the past decade: Americans are driving less, and fewer teens and young people are getting their driver’s licenses.

Maynard writes about how Americans are changing their habits and finding ways to drive less, in some ways what she calls “driving light.”

Curbing Cars explores a movement is brewing among cyclists, public transportation devotees and auto upstarts like Tesla and Uber. The next automobile revolution in America, according to Maynard’s book, may just be one with fewer cars.

Maynard is the author of four books, including “The End of Detroit: How The Big Three Lost Their Grip on the American Car Market.”

Forbes’ 2014 e-book line will feature several unique subjects over the upcoming months, including “How the World Changed For Millenials.”

In addition to being a Reynolds Visiting Professor, Maynard also writes for BusinessJournalism.org.  One of her most popular (sadly) posts is on How to Cover a Plane Crash




Storify: Nation’s business journalists gather in Phoenix


Gorkana surveys 500 biz journalists: Online news sources advance

On the opening day of SABEW’s spring 2014 conference in Phoenix, Gorkana released its second survey of financial journalists throughout the U.S.

The 2014 findings show that there is ongoing optimism that the economy will continue to grow. In contrast to the 2012 Survey of Financial Journalists, the 2014 survey shows that while traditional media still dominate as the most influential outlets, online sources are starting to break the stronghold.

One of the largest studies of the financial journalism industry,  Gorkana’s 2014 Survey of Financial Journalists looks at journalist’s outlook on the economy, opinions of leading sources of news and information and how they themselves find stories.  |  For your own copy, The 2014 Gorkana Survey of Financial Journalists

Carried out by the Gorkana Group in collaboration with Matt Ragas, Ph.D. and Hai Tran, Ph.D. of DePaul University College of Communication, nearly 500 financial journalists responded to this survey.

Key findings for 2014 study include:

  • US Economy: 45% hold a positive outlook and 42% neutral
  • Financial Sector: 36% hold a positive outlook with 49% maintaining a neutral view
  • Financial Journalism Industry: 32% maintain a positive position and 42% neutral
  • Most Influential Journalist: Andrew Ross Sorkin voted no.1; Jon Hilsenrath no.2 and New York Times journalists, Gretchen Morgenson and Paul Krugman share third spot
  • Most Influential Outlet: The Wall Street Journal retains the top position with Bloomberg News second and the New York Times third. Two online outlets, Yahoo! Finance and Business Insider, enter the top 10 for the first time.
  • Most Reliable Sources: Newspapers and publications retain the top spot, personal interest remains in second position, and corporate news releases jump into third place
  • Most Credible Sources: Academic/expert rises from second to first place, swapping places with company CEOs who move to second. Technical expert in a company takes third place
  • Most Respected PR Professionals: Brandon Ashcraft of Barclays ties for first place with Tucker Hewes


ACBJ is looking for editor for new Bizwomen site


American City Business Journals BizwomenAmerican City Business Journals is looking for an editor to create, launch and grow a new business news site aimed at women and about women in business.

Bizwomen, which will hold Monday mentoring events in coordination with the ACBJ network of business journals, is scheduled to launch on April 7.  The site aims to cover the interests of women in all kinds of buisness, from Fortune 100 to start-ups.

An ad for an editor for Bizwomen describes the idea candidate as someone with proven experience driving news coverage, demonstrated ability to grow an audience and the entrepreneurial chops to build a brand from scratch. 

The job will require travel, public speaking and an ability to coordinate coverage of women’s news with the ACBJ network.

The editor position is based in Charlotte, N.C.



IRE watchdog workshop will focus on financial and data

IRE’s highly rated Watchdog Workshop, held in New York City at the end of this month, will have a particularly interesting focus for business journalists.

2014 New York Watchdog Workshop will include an expanded program that will include two extra tracks focused on financial and data journalism.

IRE business watchdog training NYCWHEN & WHERE

Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 – Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014

CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
219 West 40th Street, Fourth Floor
New York, New York 10018

REGISTRATION for IRE members closes on Friday, Jan. 17.

Just some of the interesting sessions on the business beat include:

And those are among all the other great detailed sessions about investigative techniques.



Healthcare, Snowden, side hustles: Learn by exploring Slideshare

If you don’t already spend time on Slideshare, you might check it out. Slideshare.net is a huge website where people share presentations – PowerPoints, documents, PDFs, videos and webinars.

I know it’s popular to diss PowerPoints, and I agree that bad ones are terrible, but good ones can be great tools for learning something new. This makes Slideshare not only a tool for people who create presentations, but a great tool for people wanting to learn new things.

You can find presentations on any topic, download them, print them out, share them or just read them. You can even go on Slideshare to find out how to make better PowerPoints: You Suck at PowerPoint.

We share a lot of Reynolds Center training here: Slideshare.net/BizJournalism. And there are many more that will be helpful for journalists.

You never know what you’ll find on Slideshare. If your sources use it, you should be checking them out. Intel’s a good example: Intel shares slides for employees who are trying to connect with other Intel employees about industry topics or projects.


Here are a few presentations that caught my eye this week:

HEALTHCARE: Marie Ennis O’Connor is a PR consultant based in Ireland, but her list of healthcare accounts to follow on social media is international and extensive.

MAKING TIME FOR THE SIDE HUSTLE: Thinking about freelancing or branching out on your own?

YOU EFFEN’ KIDDING ME? 15 actual examples of business shortsightedness you can reference.

SHARE WITH PR FRIENDS: S%#T PR people do that journalists hate

BIG CHARTS: Big Data. Big Products. Info that people share within their own industries can be interesting, useful.

OR… : What a cyber security company thinks about how Edward Snowden did it.

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