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Reynolds Week 2012

  • Blog for Reynolds Week 2012: 36 fellows, 4 days of intensive study in business journalism
    Two sets of fellows – 20 journalists, 16 professors – will attend separate, all-expenses-paid seminars Jan. 2-5, 2012,
    at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix.

    Reynolds Week 2012



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    Quick chat with the Chicago Tribune’s Alejandra Cancino

    Alejandra Cancino, a business reporter at the Chicago Tribune, writes about commercial real estate and the Chicago markets. Before joining the Tribune in 2009, she was a multimedia reporter and a web producer for a Spanish-language newspaper.

    Cancino spent Jan 2-5 as a fellow during the Reynolds Center’s Strictly Financials Seminar. During a quick break, she shared her advice for how to make your resume rise to the top.

    Some of her tips included:

    • Apply to any kind of internship or residency opportunities.
    • Get published while you are a still a student.
    • Be on the lookout for training programs.
    • Remember, many times it’s about doing the extra little things to help yourself stand out. Always ask yourself, what else can I do?


    Quick chat with High Point University’s Carol Davis

    Carol Davis, a communications instructor at High Point University in North Carolina, was one of the first video bloggers reporting from the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange. She also covered the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, NASDAQ, the NYSE and the American Stock Exchange.

    During the Business Journalism Professor Seminars on Jan. 2-5, Davis chatted with us about opportunities in the blogosphere. She shared tips on how to create a “Portfolio of You” to continue moving forward in the marketplace.

    Some of her insights included:

    • To be credible, go through a well-established program so that you understand how to source, attribute, and report.
    • You are your own brand. Market yourself accordingly.
    • Be well rounded. Know how to do everything.
    • Always be ready to redefine and improve your skills.


    Quick chat with The New York Times’ Eric Lipton

    Eric Lipton is a Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporter stationed in The New York Times’ Washington bureau . He wrote The Reckoning, a series on why the recession started, and Back to Business a series about players trying to profit off the recession.

    From Jan. 2-5, Lipton was a fellow in the Reynolds Center’s Strictly Financials Seminar. We caught up with him to gain insight into what stories business reporters should seek out in the aftermath of the recession. For starters, Lipton suggests tracking stimulus funds and the inventory of foreclosed homes.


    Veteran editors give professors tips on getting students hired

    Editors Reynolds Week 2012

    Ralph Merkel, right, talks with business editors about coaching new graduates. Editors, from left, are Jodi Schneider (hidden), Linda Austin, Kathy Tulumello and Ilana Lowery.

    Experienced editors discussed with Reynolds Week Professor fellows on what they expect from journalism school students hunting for jobs.

    The panel members included Linda Austin, executive director of the Reynolds Center and former editor of Lexington Herald-Leader; Ilana Lowery, longtime editor at Phoenix Business Journal; Kathy Tulumello, business center director at the Arizona Republic and azcentral.com; and Jodi Schneider, Congressional team leader at Bloomberg News.

    Consensus among the editors was that times have changed and professors have a tougher job coaching students in ways to battle for the few good jobs out there. Key points they shared about hiring journalism school students include:

    Q: What do editors look for in the students that they might hire?

    LOWERY: A right fit. This means the students have to be passionate about business journalism, have good attitude, and know how to present themselves in front of CEOs. They do not need to be financial statement experts at the entry level, but must have excellent intangible qualities.

    Andrew Leckey and editors panel

    Reynolds Center President Andrew Leckey joined the panel of business editors coaching journalism professors.

    TULUMELLO:  Internship. This gives students clips, hands-on experience and persuasive references. Other than this, editors also look for initiative, teamwork, accurate facts in stories and attention to details. Also, early application is encouraged because interns are subject to background checks, drug test and other tests that full-time employees go through.

    AUSTIN: Initiative, which is the students’ willingness and ability to learn. Judgment, which indicates whether students could make the right call under difficult situations. If no, whether they could learn from the mistake. Teamwork, which encompasses the students’ ability to efficiently cooperate with the TV staff, photo staff, etc.

    SCHNEIDER: Structured Internship; and Recommendation from people who the student has worked with. And students should also keep in touch with organizations where they and other students have interned in or freelanced for.

    Q: What are editors expecting from students’ résumés?

    SCHNEIDER: Professional Experience. This includes internship, student publication and classroom experience. The résumé should be less than a page long, and the content should only be journalism-related. Reference. In addition to putting “reference available upon request,” students are encouraged to include the references’ contact information, as well as one-sentence descriptions or comments from them.

    TULUMELLO: Highlights of the Internships. Students should include bullet points detailing what they have achieved in particular professional experiences.

    AUSTIN: An Online Résumé. This is portable, universally accessible, and shows students’ multimedia skills.

    Q: How students can approach the interview?

    TULUMELLO: Ability Highlights. Bullet points are preferred. And students’ Network with people who work with the publication. Handwritten Thank-You Note after the Interview. This shows the applicant’s manner and his/her desire to get the job.

    SCHNEIDER: Body Language. And how serious the young applicant is about journalism and the publication. Stay in Touch. After the interview students should check their voicemail frequently. If they do not respond to a call-back within several days, the publication assumes the applicant is not interested.

    The panel members also suggest that students should do comprehensive background research on publications they are applying for, always show up at interviews on time, and keep their social network websites, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, as professional as possible. Also, any skills that are obviously required, such as Microsoft Office, should not show up on the résumé.


    Day 2: Reynolds Week 2012 Resources

    Below are session recordings, PowerPoint presentations and handouts from Day 2 of Reynolds Business Journalism Week 2012, which consists of concurrent four-day seminars: one for business journalists called Strictly Financials, and one for professors on how to teach business journalism.

    2011 Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism

    Andrew Leckey president of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, moderates this panel, which includes winners of the 2011 Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism and Jim Steele, Pulitzer-winning contributing writer at Vanity Fair.

    The Gold, Silver and Bronze Award winners include Craig Harris of The Arizona Republic; Raquel Rutledge and Rick Barrett of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; and Michael J. Berens of The Seattle Times.

    View Part I and Part II below.


    The business journalism professors studied teaching techniques with Alan Deutschman of the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno; Steve Doig of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University; Pam Luecke of Washington and Lee University; Randy Smith of the Missouri School of Journalism; and Mark Tatge of DePauw University.

    Session Recordings


    Handouts (PDFs)



    The Strictly Financials Seminar fellows, who are professional journalists, studied financial statements with Jimmy Gentry of the University of Kansas.

    Session Recordings


    Handouts (PDFs)


    Jodi Schneider details how journalism professors can prepare students for the job market

    Reynolds Business Journalism Professor Fellows. Photo by Michel Duarte

    During her career as a manager, trainer, recruiter, editor, and now in her current role as a team leader for Congress at Bloomberg News, Jodi Schneider has hired and supervised diverse personalities. With years in the business, she can relate to the often daunting task of helping students find jobs in journalism.

    But since professors are often the lifeline for students seeking a journalism career, Schneider said it’s important to take this challenge seriously. She offered a tips for helping newbies prepare for the job market to a group gathered for the Business Journalism Professors Seminar on Jan 2-5.

    Here are some of the top takeaways from the session:

    Job seeking needs to be taught as a skill, even at the high school level.  Make this a part of the conversation not just when students are heading out the door and ready to graduate. “In our business you are going to switch the kind of job you have many times over,” Schneider said. “We should be teaching people how to navigate this new system.”

    View your class time as set aside time. Whatever time you can dedicate to teaching job-seeking skills will not only help your students, it will help your program.

    Bring in speakers who can tell students how to get hired.  Remind students that the chance to mingle with speakers will help them develop relationships for the future.

    Students should be looking for internships early on in their college career as this will allow them to “test out” a workplace. Students should seek out internship opportunities for professional credibility, even at places that might not be their first pick. Make sure you instruct students to think outside the box.

    Jodi Schneider

    Network, network, network. Schneider suggests showing students LinkedIn to learn about networking and encouraging them to join professional groups.“There is extraordinary pressure on managers to get the right hire.” Schneider said.  “And they’re going to be very reluctant to hire somebody unless they know or worked with someone who knows them…It’s important for students to understand they are not just selling an idea of themselves.”

    Facebook pages need to be scrubbed clean. Recruiters, editors and other managers may read them when they are backgrounding a candidate.

    Know the company. The research a student conducts before an interview is important to landing the job.

    Education and experience are necessary.  These days people are not getting hired on education alone,” Schneider said.  “Experience is the key to getting the job you want.”

    Focused  job searches. Students should think about the geographical area, pick three regions, and know why they would want to work in those areas. Students can also set themselves apart by knowing the kind of publication they want to work with and by having a specialty area.

    Packet preparation.  Student resumes should be one page and accomplishment-based as much as possible.  In the cover letter, tell students to use journalistic storytelling skills to tell a bit more about themselves.  It’s not a bad idea to follow up with a thank-you note or email within 24 hours of an interview.


    Digging deep into covering private companies with Jodi Schneider

    jodi schneider

    Jodi Schneider, Congress team leader at Bloomberg News, leads a workshop on covering private companies.

    Jodi Schneider, Congress team leader at Bloomberg News, shared advice on how to cover private companies during a workshop at The Arizona Republic. The training served as the finale for the Reynolds Center’s Business Journalism Professors and Strictly Financials Seminars held Jan. 2-5 in Phoenix. 

    “They don’t have to tell you anything and most of the time they prefer not to,” said Schneider about privately-held companies.  “So you have to give them a reason and you have to think about where that company intersects with public information.”

    Schneider offered various resources for cracking private companies. Here are some of her top tips: 


    1. Become a very good keeper of databases
    2. Make friends with other people in your news organization that will help you fill in the holes (e.g. the police reporter, planning and zoning reporter, courts reporter, and/or city hall reporter.)


    • People
      • Former employees
      • Competitors
      • Vendors and suppliers
      • Local officials who have helped the company
    • The company’s own records
    • Universities


    1. Think like a detective
    2. Don’t be afraid to ask
    3. Study the company and the material it generates
    4. Don’t overlook a company’s holdings
    5. Think about where private overlaps with public

    Robin Phillips shares LinkedIn strategies for the business beat

    Robin J Phillips teaching LinkedIn for Journalists

    Robin J. Phillips stressed that LinkedIn is especially useful for business journalists. Photo: Kelly Carr

    Robin Phillips, the web managing editor of the Reynolds Center and adjunct journalism professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, detailed ways financial journalists can utilize LinkedIn on the business beat.

    Phillips told a group of journalists gathered for the Strictly Financials and Business Journalism Professor Seminars that the career-building website can be used to promote and brand themselves, as well as to find sources and contacts for stories.

    “I moved to several different jobs across the country,” Phillips said. “But I could bring all my colleagues with me using LinkedIn.”

    According to Phillips, the 135-million-user résumé and social media website is user-updated, very portable, and well-sorted by company, industry and geography. All these features help create a user-friendly and professional-focused network.

    Here are some of Phillips top tips for how business journalists can effectively use LinkedIn:

    • Maintain a current profile even if you are not actively looking for a job. This keeps your coworkers, employers, sources, etc., updated.
    • Have a complete profile. This includes your work background, skills and connections.
    • Don’t cut-and-paste your résumé. Give your work history personal flair.
    • Make your profile public. LinkedIn is a professional network serving the purpose of communication and job-hunting, public disclosure is essential.
    • Recommend people, but avoid recommendation “swapping.” It is acceptable to write recommendation for someone who has asked for one from you, as long as the letter is genuine.
    • Join groups and discussion boards. Joining groups allows users to discuss issues of interest and share information.
    • Keeping non-professional accounts separate from LinkedIn. This prevents people from intruding your personal life, and helps you build a completely professional image.

    Phillips also suggested journalists explore LinkedIn’s advanced search tool, which allows users to identify people by skills, language, location, etc. This comes in handy when journalists need employees or sources with particular backgrounds.

    Check out Parts I and II of Phillips’ presentation:


    Lessons from a rookie year teaching business journalism

    business journalism professors

    Photo by Michel Duarte

    Alan Deutschman has spent more than 20 years as a financial journalist – mostly writing about technology and Silicon Valley – for a slew of national publications including Fortune and Vanity Fair. He has also written four books, including an in-depth biography, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs.

    In 2010, he took on a new challenge, this time in academia. Deutschman is now the Reynolds Chair of Business Journalism at the University of Nevada in Reno, a role that has him guiding future business journalists.   

    And while the transition to academia was welcomed by Deutschman, it was not without unexpected twists and turns. He shared his classroom experience with the Reynolds Business Journalism Professor Fellows in a session called “Reflections on a Rookie Year.”    

    alan deutschman

    Alan Deutschman

    Below are insights Deutschman shared about his first year teaching business journalism:  

    The prosaic very quickly led into the profound. “It was exciting to me that they (students) were interested in looking at business in a kind of humanistic way,” Deutschman said.  “When I was trying to give them the nuts and bolts they wanted the philosophy, they wanted the psychology and it was a great introduction to the course.” 

    Dealing with inspiration verses perspiration when training business journalists. After much thought about the challenge, Deutschman rented a van and drove students to San Francisco to visit the offices of Facebook, Fortune, and Bloomberg. He said it was inspiring for students to meet accomplished journalists. As a result, the students gained insight into the dedication and focus they need going forward.

    Requests for all media, all the time. Halfway through the semester his students asked if instead of just reading long magazine articles they could diversify their media diet. For next year he decided to incorporate different media options throughout the semester. 

    Shared governance. From creating a Facebook group used as a forum, to turning students’ leadership issues into case studies, shared governance helped to build a sense of community in the class.

    Handing over control. Deutschman says the riskiest action he took was to let students design their own projects matching the level of the course.  He worried about punting his own responsibility, but the students gave themselves assignments and challenges that were far beyond his expectations.