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Uncovering the best local business stories

April 12, 2013

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Photo by flickr user Jon Sittner

The free workshop, “Uncovering the Best Local Business Stories,” was originally held at the University of Arkansas on April 12, 2013.

Geared to the needs of generalists on small staffs, this training will arm you with resources, tips and ideas to bring more meaningful coverage of this important topic to your community. Though examples used are focused on Arkansas businesses, the techniques used to gather data can be duplicated in any state.

This workshop was also held in Kentucky and Texas in 2012.


  • 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.
Linda Austin
Linda Austin


Linda Austin is the former 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, Association of Health Care Journalists
Jeff Porter

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.

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.

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.

Carlie Kollath Wells
Carlie Kollath Wells


Take a look through the workshop session recordings and resources below. At your own pace, you can walk through essential tips and techniques for finding great business stories in your own community.

PowerPoint Presentations


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