Show Me the Money: Writing Business and Economics Stories for Mass Communication

By Chris Roush | Go to book overview

2

Building a Foundation

DEFINING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COMPANIES

Read the business section of almost any major metropolitan newspaper, and you will find that most of the stories are written about large companies with stock traded on an exchange in New York.

For example, the front page of the business section of the News & Observer in Raleigh, NC, on December 12, 2002 featured articles about Quintiles Transnational, a Durham-based drug company that is a public company, as well as Bank of America, the Charlotte-based bank that is also public. Inside the section were articles about defense contractor Northrop Grumman and phone company Sprint, also public companies. All of these stories mentioned how big these companies are in terms of revenue or profits.

But read the business section of a paper in a smaller town or city, and the stories are likely about small, private companies that are not required to disclose information about their operations. For example, the December 12, 2002 front page of the business section of the Huntsville Times in Alabama contained a story about Alterations & More, a one-woman alteration and sewing business. As a private company, this alteration business was not required to disclose its revenue and

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Show Me the Money: Writing Business and Economics Stories for Mass Communication
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Lea's Communication Series *
  • Show Me the Money - Writing Business and Economics Stories for Mass Communication *
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Why Business Reporting is Important 1
  • 2 - Building a Foundation 22
  • 3 - The Economy and Business 48
  • 4 - The Basics of Company Financial Reporting 77
  • 5 - Writing Company News 109
  • 6 - Mergers and Acquisitions 136
  • 7 - Wall Street and Ipos 161
  • 8 - The Executive Suite 193
  • 9 - Private and Small Companies 218
  • 10 - Nonprofit Organizations 243
  • 11 - Business in the Courthouse 270
  • 12 - Bankruptcy Court 300
  • 13 - Writing About Real Estate 327
  • 14 - State and Federal Regulatory Agencies 349
  • 15 - Finding Information on the Internet 385
  • Glossary 408
  • Index 423
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