OLD Media Moves

Journalism students learning how to cover business

December 30, 2011

Posted by Chris Roush

Christine Lavelle of the Phoenix Business Journal writes about how students from the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications partnered with journalists at the paper this semester to produce stories.

Lavelle writes, “This fall, the Journal teamed with the school’s business reporting class, challenging students to find and report on companies in the Phoenix community that are thriving despite a lagging economy. You can see the result of this collaboration in today’s paper, which features student-written stories on several local businesses.

“In class, the students brainstormed various types of businesses, talked about companies familiar to them and those that offered products or services that might appeal to the college-age demographic. We wanted to find out how they were doing in today’s difficult business climate. Are they profitable? Are they hiring? Are they more in debt now than a few years ago? If they just opened in the past couple of years, what prompted the owners to start now? And what do they do to keep the business growing?

“Students in the Cronkite School’s business journalism specialization are taught by Andrew Leckey, president of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and the Reynolds endowed chair in business journalism at the Cronkite School. Leckey gives students the insights he has acquired during his career as an investment columnist for the Chicago Tribune, former CNBC    anchor, and author or editor of 10 financial books. The program is funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation in Las Vegas, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit foundations.

“The students learn to ask financial questions, dig into a company’s marketing plans, interview owners and CEOs, and compare one company to others in the same industry. Whether students are print or broadcast majors, everyone today learns to be a multimedia journalist, so some stories are enhanced with videos posted on the Business Journal’s website.”

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