Introduction to Business and Economics Reporting
This course is designed to provide students with basic skills to cover business and economics as professional journalists. Business and economics journalism plunges students into many of the most important news stories of our time. It also offers a doorway to a sophisticated understanding of the market forces that shape societies and affect the quality of daily lives. Business and economics journalism reveals many of the deeper elements of news stories that on the surface might be viewed as about politics, the environment, science, social justice, lifestyles, education, religion or sports.
An overarching aspiration of the course is to encourage students to see the news creatively and with a concern for people even as they develop their skills of diligent analysis.
The course presumes that students already possess basic news writing skills. It will build on those skills and introduce concepts in finance, marketing, investment, accounting, corporate management and macroeconomics.
The goals of the class are to
1. Encourage students to see business stories, especially from their own lives.
2. Provide an understanding of different varieties of business stories.
3. Explain the key elements of business stories
4. Cultivate a vocabulary for talking and writing about business.
5. Offer an understanding of how business is governed, managed and organized.
6. Provide direction on where to turn for information about business.
7. Develop the ability to read financial statements.
8. Provide an understanding of stock markets.
9. Offer an overview of how the economy works.
10. Illuminate the connection between business and civic society.
The professor’s availability
I will make every effort to be available for your questions between classes. I enjoy meeting with students, and sometimes the best learning occurs in informal meetings. You can reach me via email or at my office in Room 402 every weekday afternoon. I promise a response within 24 hours. I’m available for lunch with a few days notice. Students can drop by during office hours or make an appointment for meetings at other times.
The class will replicate a professional work environment. It will be collegial. Students will be expected to show up to class on time, prepared to participate. Students are allowed one unexcused absence. Additional absences, unless excused, will reduce a student’s class-participation grade. Grades will be based on classroom participation (one third), writing assignments (one third) and the final project (one third). Late assignments will be penalized.
Students should be mindful of the importance of providing attribution when they draw on the work of others and aware of university policies on crediting material that is not their own.
Students should remain current on business new of Ukraine and the world. I suggest reading the Kiev Post and another local newspaper. Also: The Economist or Bloomberg Business Week.
All students also should buy a good address book, one that
can hold hundreds of names and addresses. Building a list of sources and
contacts is essential to a professional journalism career. It’s a lifelong
process, and we will get started immediately.
Class 1 - Introduction to the field. Assignment: Find a local business and collect basic information.
Class 2 - Understand the basics of a business including two financial statements. Assignment: Develop the local story further.
Class 3 - Financial statements continued, and ways of analyzing a business.
Class 4 - Markets including markets in equities, bonds, commodities and currencies.
Class 5 - The current financial crisis. Also, the business cycle and understanding economic indicators.
Class 6 - Discussion of final projects and developing an agenda for business and economics coverage.