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

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

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

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

Synopsis

Show Me the Money is a business reporting textbook offering hands-on advice and examples on doing the job of a business journalist. Author Chris Roush draws on his own business journalism background to explain how to cover businesses and industries, and where to find sources of information for stories. He includes examples of business stories demonstrating how reporters take financial information and turn it into relevant facts that explain a topic to readers. With numerous examples of documents and stories in the text, it is an essential guide for doing business journalism.

This definitive business journalism text:

• provides real-world examples of business articles;

• presents complex topics in a form easy to read and understand;

• offers examples of where to find news stories in SEC filings ;

• discusses, in full-length chapters, how to write stories on mergers and acquisitions, as well as bankruptcy court filings;

• gives comprehensive explanations and reviews of corporate financial, balance sheet, and cash flow statements, dissected so reporters at all levels of experience can understand them;

• provides tips on finding sources, such as corporate investors and hard-to-find corporate documents; and

• gives a comprehensive listing of Web sites for business journalists to use.

Show Me the Money is essential for graduate and undergraduate students with an interest in business journalism, and will also serve professional reporters and editors new to the field of business journalism or needing a refresher. In addition, it will be of value to public relations students and professionals, particularly those who are in the corporate communications field.

Excerpt

The request was urgent. the ceo of a local company was retiring and rumors were that he was walking out the door with a hefty bonus.

The call was from a young reporter at a medium-sized newspaper in the South. His editor, reading wire stories about the latest scandal on Wall Street, assigned him to investigate the local CEO's golden parachute. the reporter was on a tight deadline. He needed help in finding the answers, and could the professor help?

The questions poured out: What documents do I need to find? Are they available online? What's the average retirement for executives in that same industry? What's the proper method to evaluate the stock options the ceo was given? How do I write the story fairly?

The reporter was overwhelmed. Like many of his colleagues, he had a journalism degree but no specific business education besides Econ 101 in college. But as a result of recent events on Wall Street, readers and viewers of business news are demanding to know more about the inside deals of American and foreign companies. For today's Americans a lot more is at stake—their retirement savings, their children's education—not to mention the future of their weekly paychecks.

Companies like Enron have unraveled, ripping away the life savings of thousands of workers and investors. Events in remote villages have sent prices at the comer gas station spiraling. It's no wonder that with world terror at an all-time high, most Americans' chief concern is still the economy.

Americans want and expect business journalists to be watchdogs of "Big Business." Just like their colleagues on the metro or political desks, business reporters must be vigilant in protecting and representing the interests of the masses. Today's public face of business goes beyond the interests of shareholders, workers, and consumers. Business and government increasingly intersect, with public tax monies used to lure workers to jobs, or build new roads or sports stadiums in the guise of economic development.

That means that journalists—even those working at smaller publications—must have knowledge of the inner workings of publicly and privately held companies. Journalists must be able to apply government statistics to local circumstances and help citizens evaluate the costs and consequences of tax breaks that fund economic development. in short, they must effectively translate the workings of Wall Street and Washington for a "Main Street" audience.

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