Friday, 3 June 2011

Previewing MMJ Masterclass 30: Business and financial journalism

Let’s face it: business and financial journalism is one of the most challenging specialisms you can choose

But also one of the most important
Oh, and it has jobs to offer.
Financially-savvy journalists are in demand, and business stories – once considered a niche area for the dull but worthy to make their own – are now central to every newspaper, website, TV and radio station. Because finance affects us all.
Maybe you think business journalism is not for you – that it’s all about numbers, stats, stuff you either don’t understand, don’t care about – or both.
But it’s not. As I hope to demonstrate in the modules that follow, business and finance are central to every aspect of our audience’s lives.
And hence business is a  vital area for stories, and a vital area for every journalist to at least have some grasp of.
One of the most prominent business journalists around, Gillian Tett of the FT, credits her ability to predict the financial crisis on her training as a social anthropologist.
A profile (left) of her in The Guardian (and how many journalists get profiled by other journalists in other publications?) had this standfirst:  “The banking world ignored Gillian Tett when she predicted the credit crisis. Laura Barton hears how her training in social anthropology alerted her to the danger”
So if you have, or are working towards, a science, social science, arts or humanities degree, you shouldn’t dismiss business journalism out of hand.

So here’s what we’ll look at in this masterclass...

The challenge is for us is to tell business stories in ways that make sense to our readers and demonstrate how business, finance, economics impact on their daily lives.

So we’ll explore how to find and tell business stories, drawing on wisdom from some of the best in the business, from both the US and UK.
A couple of those experts will talk on video about where they think the next big business stories will come from.
We’ll get clear exactly what business journalism is – and define all its sub-divisions: City and Wall Street reporting, personal finance, economics and so on
And we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty by itemising the core business terms and processes that you’ll need to understand. But don’t let that section put you off – it will take time to master the business beat, but if barrow boys can make millions as City traders, you can do it!
The star business journalism performers will be listed, and links provided to their work, so you can learn from them.
And there’ll be a module on universities in the US, UK and elsewhere that offer specific business journalism courses.
The modules that follow will be free to non-subscribers for a short time, and then go behind the paywall.
If the link below doesn't work for you, you either aren't a subscriber, or you haven't logged in.
If you need to subscribe, just buy the book, which costs about £28/$47 on Amazon, in either paper or ebook form, and you'll find the code to get through the paywall on the inside back page.

Next: Why every journalist needs to understand business and finance

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