JRN 401 Week 10 March 15





Pre-lecture survey – Who has an idea for a business story?


AGENDA – Business and Economic Journalism

A survey of American business editors in 2012 said that 51 percent of graduating journalism students were “moderately unprepared” and 6 per cent were “extremely unprepared”

To be prepared, journalism graduates need to understand:

  • corporate financial statements,
  • company hierarchies
  • business strategy
  • Securities markets,
  • global trade
  • Key economic principles and barometeres.

One way to address this is to have journalists who specialize in certain content areas, like business and economics

This knowledge-based journalism is encouraged

Business reporters are supposed to make the complex worlds of finance and commerce intelligible to non-experts.

But business journalism generally failed to predict the looming credit collapse of 2008

a few reporters warned us about it, but they were “drowned in a vat of glimmering C.E.O. profiles and analyst chatter”

Business reporters missed opportunities to investigate abusive lending, negligent rating agencies, and dodgy derivatives trading

To critics, they were complicit in the financial crisis and the recession that followed.

One of these critics, Dean Starkman, is the author of a new book, “The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 9.26.10 PM

In his history of business news, Starkman describes how reporters, dependent on insider sources to inform an élite audience of investors, practice a kind of journalism that is defined by access.

News becomes a guide to investing, more concerned with explaining business strategies to consumers than with examining broader political or social issues to the public.

Access reporting is friendly to executives because it relies on their candor.

Starkman writes that during the crucial lead-up to the financial crisis, from 2004 to 2006, this news culture crowded out the kind of investigative journalism that might have inspired reform.

Andrew Ross Sorkin’s “Too Big to Fail,” a book that paints culpable Wall Street kingpins as weary heroes, is, to Starkman, the definitive account of the crash—and wrongly so.

Too Big To Fail Extended Trailer by HBO



At the very least, you have to be comfortable looking for information and have some idea where to start…

Watch video

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 1.54.35 PM













Exercise 1 – Finding Canadian industry data

Each student to name a company they know, are interested in…

Is it listed in the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada site?

What interesting, topical thing, newsworthy thing did you find out about it?


Exercise 2 – Business stories by sector/industry

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 3.12.33 PM
















Each student to chose a section and be ready in 15 minutes to tell us three key things you learned in that section, as well as one Canadian source that corresponds to the American sources of data listed in the section.

Your choices are:

Exercise 3 – Working with business experts

Call U of R Business faculty members and ask them to suggest for you a business story that they think should be covered by journalists….

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 5.26.21 PM









If you are interested in learning more about the history of business journalism, check out

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 9.42.50 PM







The last major event they list is the establishment of the Donald W. Reynolds National Centre for Business Journalism…

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 9.40.39 PM











Cool things I found…


B2B publications – like Annex Business Media

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 8.27.02 PM








Publicly Traded Companies in Saskatchewan

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 2.17.06 PM



















Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 2.48.59 PM





Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 2.58.59 PM






Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 8.27.02 PM










Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 3.16.46 PM




Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 2.20.33 PM









Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 2.39.25 PM




Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 2.42.19 PM




Exercise 4 – Pitching business stories…


%d bloggers like this: