“I” and “Me” in business journalism is bad

Here’s an observation from a recent round of judging for the Society of American Business Editors and Writers’ latest “Best in Business” contest: A lot of submitted pieces in the news features categories used the first person. And right in the lead. That was not the case just a few years ago. The first person […]

The cold business vs. the warm community

Have you ever noticed something I call the “The ’60 Minutes’ Scene” in video news reports, particularly in community vs. company themed stories? It’s the tendency for interviews with the community members to be in real life settings like the outdoors, in the sun, with children and animals frolicking in the background. Or in a […]

Get your head in the game, business reporter

If you’re a business journalist, you have to have your head in the game the moment you walk through the office door. Earlier even. Like the movie says, money never sleeps. So your beat or assignment could have, quite literally, had a major change overnight. Sure, that can happen in any journalistic area. But for […]

Dear beat reporters: You better know other sectors as well

There are lots of business sectors. And they are fun to cover. And not just as individual beats, but as a group. “Sectors? Careful, you’re dating yourself,” said an editor acquaintance during a recent meeting. She gestured out at the vast newsroom beyond her office. “Most of the kids out there wouldn’t know what you’re […]

When business journalism falls into a rut

What’s more important in business news coverage: Experience or a fresh perspective? Or, put in a different frame, what’s worse: “same old same old” or “doesn’t know what’s going on”? This is becoming an issue for financial news coverage, especially as everyone in the business continues to dog the seemingly never-ending story this year: the […]

A good business journalist needs a calendar

If you are a business reporter covering a particular sector or group of companies there is one item you definitely need in your toolbox: A calendar. And it should look a lot like the calendars of the CEOs on your beat. This is a big difference between business journalism and general news. Police busts and […]

This is a drill. This is only a drill

Practice makes perfect. Luckily for business journalism, there are plenty of opportunities for practice. The trick is taking advantage of those opportunities so when lightning strikes, you’re prepared. Every week various economic numbers are released. Some have peripheral importance, others have medium importance, and some are very, very important. But every one of them is […]

Being fast and smart while reporting the jobs number

One of the regular tests of business news competence and execution is coming this Friday: the jobs number. It’s always an important number — the primary thermometer of how the economy is doing. This time around it will attract even more attention, given the market anxiety over the Fed’s September interest rate decision. For business […]

Business journalism, confirmation bias and the stock market

“What happened?!” That question is going around a lot these days, given recent market volatility. And there are already a lot of analyst notes, on-air debates, and public speeches attempting to connect dots between the market ups and downs and ongoing developments in China, Europe, the oil patch and tech sector. It’s a time for […]

Business journalism and the nut graph

There is probably nothing more squandered in business journalism than the nut graph. And as what is arguably the most important money event of the year is about to hit, the business press as a whole is likely to do it again. The nut graph: That’s the paragraph where you tell people why the story […]