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The Reynolds Center for Business Journalism

The Importance of Business Journalism

From the companies we work for, to the ones we purchase from, business impacts our daily lives. All of us rely on businesses to meet our most basic needs: from food, clothing, and shelter to communicating with our loved ones and searching for information. Businesses have the power to influence government policy on everything from food safety to healthcare to education. And we rely on businesses to pay a fair wage, allowing us to enjoy a healthy and rewarding work life while saving for the future.

Business journalism is critical in keeping corporations accountable, exposing them when they aren’t, and providing consumers with the information they need to make good economic decisions. Ordinary consumers often find themselves at an information disadvantage when dealing with powerful corporations and governments. But armed with the right tools and training, business journalists can help narrow that information gap and level the playing field.

Why are there so many advertisements for prescription medication targeting consumers when they can’t access them without a doctor’s approval? Why is high-fructose corn syrup commonly used as a sweetener in the U.S., but not in most of the rest of the world? Why is it cheaper for companies to source clothing from halfway around the world than to produce locally? The answers to these questions reveal profound truths about how our modern world works and it is up to business journalists to provide those answers.

What We Do

The Reynolds Center for Business Journalism was established in 2003 with the goal of improving the quality of media coverage of business and the economy. Since then our mission has been to promote the importance of business journalism among journalism students, give journalists tools to improve their business coverage and help freelancers navigate working with a variety of publications.

Over the years the Reynolds Center has trained more than 30,000 journalists and educators through in-person and online training throughout the country. We have worked with a wide range of freelance writers and collaborated with academic professors and departments in order to continuously improve the quality of content we produce including ebooks, podcasts, and instructional fun videos. 

The Reynolds Center is housed inside the Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Every year the center funds three graduate students at the Cronkite School during the fall and spring semesters who contribute to the research, training, and journalism content the center produces.

Barlett and Steele Awards

The Reynolds Center hosts the Barlett and Steele Awards, which are named after the Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative team of Don Barlett and Jim Steele and honors the best investigative journalism in the country. Since 2007, three awards (gold, silver and bronze) have been given to journalists and news organizations ranging in size from local to international. Several of the recipients have gone on to receive a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting the following year.

In 2022, the awards were expanded to separate national and international publications from local and regional publications. A gold, silver, and bronze award is now given in both of those categories. A new award to recognize an outstanding young business journalist was also introduced. The Awards carry cash prizes between $1,000 and $3,000, and there are no fees to enter.

Who We Are

Meet The Staff At The Reynolds Center

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