The Reynolds Center Horizontal Logo In Color

Two Minute Tips


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 broaden the understanding of business journalism among journalism students, give journalists tools to improve their business coverage while promoting industry best practices, and help freelancers navigate working with a variety of publications.

The Student Experience

The Reynolds Center is housed inside the Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University which uses a teaching model that allows students to get hands-on experience in their chosen career path. The Center follows this approach.

Every year, up to three graduate students are funded through the James B. Steele Fellowship to work with the Center’s team to produce content that aligns with their scholarly pursuits, including articles, podcast episodes, social media posts, and videos. The materials produced are intended to spark a conversation on business and economic topics not only among fellow journalists and students but also among the general public. Fellows learn to take the seemingly complex business topics that impact the daily lives of citizens and make them easily digestible to keep local communities informed.

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

Two Minute Tips

Simple Skills You Can Use, Delivered to Your Inbox Every Tuesday.

Free Email Course

Sign up for Our Free Email Course Covering Financials.

Business Beats Basics

The Reynolds Center Guide To Business Beats Basics.

Survive and Thrive

Survive and Thrive in a Shrinking Newsroom.


Get Two Minute Tips For Business Journalism Delivered To Your Email Every Tuesday

Two Minute Tips

Every Tuesday we send out a quick-read email with tips for business journalism. Sign up now and get one Tuesday.