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Photos: CAR for business workshop at SABEW 2012

Jaimi Dowdell, training director for Investigative Reporters and Editors, worked with business journalists at a Reynolds Center workshop on CAR for business journalists in Indianapolis on March 15, 2012.


Indiana Gov. Daniels challenges journalists to do their part

Indiana’s Gov. Mitch Daniels urged America’s business journalists to do their part in not damaging the U.S. economy.

Gov. Mitch Daniels

Gov. Mitch Daniels urges SABEW members to be more vigilant. Photo: Robin J. Phillips

“We have to be very careful not to injure that vibrancy,” he said about the risk companies take to get started. “Where there is no failure, there’s likely to be very little growth. Look for stories that reflect that … it’s too easy to see the downsides sometimes.”

Daniels spoke to U.S. business journalists at the annual convention of the Society of Business Editors and Writers.

The two-term Republican governor who demurred when national party leaders called on him to run for president talks about the Hoosier state economy, his party’s contentious primary and whether he might consider running as vice presidential contender.

During the lunchtime chat on Day 1 of the convention at IUPUI Informatics & Communications Technology Center, Indianapolis.

Other thoughts from Gov. Daniels included:

On U.S. unemployment: “I’m not sure if we’ve had a permanent structural change in the labor force, hope that we haven’t.”

On why it’s important for business journalists to be vigilant: “Unemployment figures need a lot of inspection these days. … The common imperative we share is the growth of the private economy. Our economy is skating on a very thin edge. ”

On not jumping into the 2012 Presidential Election: “It’s not for me and not for my family.”

On whether he regrets not running for president: “No sir. This was never something I lusted in my heart to do.”

On healthcare reform: “We will never have cost control in healthcare until we’re all cost controllers.”

On steps to take: “It is arthmetically impossible for this nation to succeed if we don’t” change entitlements process.

Two key issues he argues are not debatable:
1. “We’ve got to change the entitlement program. If we simply start taking the right steps, the world will cut the U.S. some slack and keep financing us in the meantime.”
2. “The private economy in this country has got to grow more swiftly.”
“These two points are not ideological, They are mathematical.”

And a plea to the business journalists about America’s need for dynamism:
Let’s look at “the way a business can start, take a flyer, get started .. we have to be very careful not to injured that vibrancy. Where there is no failure, there’s likely to be very little growth. Look for stories that reflect that … it’s too easy to see the downsides sometimes. “


SEC chairman details lessons learned and future plans

Mary Schapiro

Mary Schapiro

Chairman Mary Schapiro detailed lessons learned from past financial challenges and explained what the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has planned to ensure the same mistakes don’t happen again.

Schapiro, who became the SEC’s chairman in 2009 after several scandals that raised public concerns about commission’s effectiveness, shared these remarks during Thursday’s keynote speech at the 2012 Society of American Business Editors and Writers Annual Conference in Indianapolis.

Schapiro mentioned the 2008 credit crunch and the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy. She emphasized the importance of learning from these downfalls to prevent future issues.

“When the next shock comes, without a strong regulatory regime, financial markets will be vulnerable,” she said.

Schapiro said her primary goal is to ensure market transparency.  This includes plans for capital and margin requirements, regulated trading markets and secure anti-fraud rules. She also wants to consolidate audit trails to make it easier to track data.

“We’re beginning to transform from proposing rules to adopting them,” she added.

Schapiro said her present concerns include money market funds and future flash crashes. She believes that without capital infusements, these mutual funds might have “broken the buck,” leaving American taxpayers on the hook for $3 trillion.

“As a regulator that saw the damaging effects, I find it hard to remain on the sidelines,” Schapiro said.

After her speech, Schapiro took questions from the audience filled with business writers and editors. Andrew Leckey, president of the Donald W. Reynold’s National Center for Business Journalism, asked the SEC leader about journalists’ role in covering business topics.

“It’s absolutely critical,” she said. “We learn a lot from journalists. Journalism is a  part of what we do in policing the markets.”


SABEW’s Best in Business Awards contest opens Dec. 1

On Dec. 1, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers’ 17th annual Best in Business Awards Competition will open. That’s more than a month earlier than it did last year.

The deadline for submissions to the contest, which is open only to SABEW members, is 8 p.m. ET Jan. 24, 2012.

As introduced in last year’s contest, entrants will be able to enter in:

• A division for international publications and correspondents.

• A division for radio/broadcast TV/cable media outlets.

• An expanded division for digital media outlets.

• Two open categories to recognize the work of real estate and personal finance journalists and columnists across the country.

Those who enter individual contests between Dec. 1 and Jan. 5 receive an early entry fee of $55, $5 less than the later rate. For general excellence categories, each entry is $125 if received before Jan. 5 and $135 after that.

Content from calendar year 2011 is eligible. All entries must be submitted online in pdf or permalink format.

The awards ceremonies will be at SABEW’s 49th annual spring conference in Indianapolis, March 15-17.

SABEW, with more than 3,400 members, is the world’s largest membership organization of business and economic journalists. Its BIB competition was developed in 1995 to honor the best in business journalism.

Questions? Email bib@sabew.org. For general contest information, contact SABEW Executive Director Warren Watson. For more information about SABEW membership, contact Membership Coordinator Mark Scarp.


30 tips from media trainer Bill McGowan on how to ace TV interviews: REMOVED


This post has been removed from BusinessJournalism.org at the request of the conference organizers.


Clarity Media Group Twitter

You can find more information about media training and Bill McGowan at Clarity Media Group

or you can follow Clarity Media Group on Twitter:getsomeclarity.  



Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff says expect slow growth

Kenneth Rogoff, economist, Harvard University

Kenneth Rogoff

NEW YORK – Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff says to expect slower growth for some time because of the “overhang of debt” weighing on the economy.

Rogoff, former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund, also said he expected some countries in Europe to default on their debt.  “There’s obviously Greece. That’s just tip of it,” he said, adding that Portugal and Ireland are likely to need debt restructurings unless the economy booms.

He spoke at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) Fall Conference today at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Europe makes up about 25 percent of the global economy, he said, and if its economy “blows up in an ugly way – and that can’t be ruled out at all — it can’t be very good for us.”

Another problem in Europe is the structure of the Euro, which he described as a “halfway house that doesn’t work,” adding that the Euro Zone need political union.

Rogoff is the author, with Carmen M. Reinhart, of a new book, “This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.”

How can business journalists do a better job?

Rogoff said that reporters “are somewhat a slave to your sources.” He urged reporters to reach out to more varied sources.

“I’m not just talking about talking to a few prominent bears but looking at a broader cross-section of people and having more sustained engagement.”

Reporters need to take the time to understand what they’re hearing, and “in one meeting (with a source), you can’t.”


Top business-news execs express pessimism about newspapers, print

business-news executives

Stephen J. Adler (left), editor-in-chief of Reuters News; Norman Pearlstine, chief content officer of Bloomberg L.P.; and Robert Thomson, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones; made a rare public appearance together at the SABEW Fall Conference in New York.

NEW YORK – Top news executives from three major financial-news organizations expressed pessimism about the future of  metro newspapers in particular and print publications in general.

Stephen J. Adler of Reuters, Norman Pearlstine of Bloomberg and Robert Thomson of Dow Jones spoke today in a rare public appearance together at the Fall Conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW).

Thomson, who is the editor-in-chief of Dow Jones, said we may still have to cope with the prospect of mass layoffs across the country in the newspaper business.

Additional cuts would come on top of the loss of 13,500 jobs in newspaper newsrooms in three years, according to Pew’s 2010 report on The State of the News Media. That means that newspaper newsrooms have already shrunk by 25 percent. In contrast, Reuters, Bloomberg and Dow Jones continue to hire.

Robert Thomson, editor-in-chief, Dow Jones

Robert Thomson

Thomson said that he visited 28 states a decade ago on a car trip and saw a lot of great journalism, but he also saw a lot of local business journalism turning into sloppy personal finance. He said it reflected a lack of understanding of the role of business in the local community.

“We need local proprietors willing to invest in local markets,” he said, asking why the Houston Chronicle had not become the leading provider of energy news or the Los Angeles Times the top purveyor of celebrity news.

“Those opportunities exist in some places still,” he said, and “it’s up to enterprising journalists” to capitalize on them.


Stephen J. Adler, editor-in-chief, Reuters News

Stephen J. Adler

Adler, who is editor-in-chief of Reuters News, said, “To the extent that print is viable as a business model, there will be a small number of winners,” noting that The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have opportunities.

Thomson, who is also the managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, said the Journal has been able to hold onto its print subscribers because  its emotional connection with them is stronger than four years ago — “even though the most functional way to deliver business news may be on a BlackBerry.”

Pearlstine, who advised a private-equity firm before joining Bloomberg L.P. as its chief content officer in 2008, said he looked at the Tribune Co. and could not craft any scenario in which its 11 newspapers could be more valuable if purchased. They “couldn’t cut themselves to profitability,” as Sam Zell, the eventual buyer in 2007, clearly demonstrated, he said.

Norman Pearlstine, chief content officer, Bloomberg, L.P.

Norman Pearlstine

Pearlstine said perhaps a different kind of local media will evolve, providing a better model “than trying to replicate a failing newspaper.”

As for job opportunities for business journalists, he said, “I’d be far more inclined to look for opportunities outside the United States.”

Both Adler and Thomson said niche journalism provides opportunities for business journalists, with Adler saying that it “is not a lesser form of journalism.”

For more on the panel, see reports on TalkingBizNews.com and SABEW.org.

The conference continues at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism on Oct. 14, with Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff.



SABEW survey: Business journalists, what do you earn?

Paycheck posterThe Society of American Business Editors and Writers is conducting its second annual confidential survey of business journalists throughout the country to determine the pay for business reporters and editors in various positions.

The 2010 informal survey, which received nearly 400 responses, discovered that business journalists in the United States make a median salary of $65,000 to $70,000.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY: SABEW Salary Research (Summer 2011)

The compensation information you provide for the salary survey will remain strictly confidential. None of the information provided by any business journalist will be available to anyone else.

The results of the survey will be made available to all SABEW members by the end of September, and the data will be updated annually to determine whether pay for business journalists is rising or falling, by how much, and what positions are seeing the biggest changes in compensation.

To do that, we need your help. Please click on the link above. Answering the questions will take less than a minute, but will provide valuable data for business journalists such as yourselves.

Survey results will be analyzed by SABEW’s research director, Chris Roush, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Walter E. Hussman Distinguished Scholar in Business Journalism. For questions about the survey, e-mail Roush at croush@email.unc.edu.


Governing’s Ryan Holeywell on finding national issues with local consequences

Ryan Holeywell is a staff writer for Governing magazine, a publication that covers state and local governments nationwide.

The George Washington University graduate has covered the Troubled Asset Relief Program extensively, and in a BailoutSleuth.com article he revealed that nearly 10 percent of all banks receiving funding were later cited by federal regulators for various violations. His stories examined the financial workings of these banks from a business perspective, like stock transactions, SEC filings, and income and revenue numbers, and how this affects the taxpayer.

Holeywell was attended the Society of American Business Editors and Writers’ Covering Public Pensions Seminar in June. He shares his advice for covering local issues for a national audience in the video below.

Ryan Holeywell shares advice for focusing national news locally from Reynolds Center on Vimeo.