Why Business Reporting Is Important
A former editor of a Kentucky newspaper likes to tell the story about how one of her business reporters went to interview the CEO of Humana Incorporated, a locally based managed care company.
The CEO began talking about the SEC. After several minutes, the reporter, who was new to the beat, interrupted the CEO and asked, "Excuse me, but what does the Southeastern Conference have to do with your business?"
At that point, the annoyed CEO abruptly ended the interview. He was not talking about the conference of universities from Kentucky to Florida that compete in sports ranging from football to swimming. He was talking about the Securities and Exchange Commission, the federal agency that regulates thousands and thousands of companies across the country.
Business reporting is just like reporting any other beat. You have to know what you are writing about, what documents to look for, and the correct sources. Even though the quality of business journalism has improved in the last 15 years, there are still concerns that reporters in the field are not fully knowledgeable about