CNBC Workshops

How Top Professors Describe Business Journalism

"Business, finance and economics journalism remains at the core of a lot of impactful stories this past year--Manafort, Mueller, Trump taxes, #MeToo settlements, Brexit, China trade wars, GDPR, selling our data on social platforms--where following the money has often resulted in meaningful accountability. Every journalist needs to grasp the fundamentals of business journalism." -Raju Narisetti
Professor of Professional Practice &
Director, Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism
Columbia Journalism School
Columbia University
"Money drives business and is at the core of every story. A company's financial dealings are rooted in history, have global implications and are too complex to explain in a 140-character tweet. All journalists - whatever the beat - should think of themselves as business journalists. There are good job opportunities for those who work to truly understand the role of business in society and effectively tell those stories." -David D. Kurpius, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean
Missouri School of Journalism
University of Missouri
"Business reporting has burst well beyond the traditional business pages. Many of the most important and contentious issues debated today—among them taxation, trade agreements, environmental policy, immigration policy, Brexit, and the populism that has arisen in America and Europe—involve not only politics but also business and economics in some form. Today, an understanding of the underlying economics enables journalists to cover critical stories with both precision and depth, and in so doing they help their readers make sense of the world." -Stephen D. Solomon
Marjorie Deane Professor of Journalism
Associate Director, Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute
Director, M.A. Program in Business and Economic Reporting
New York University
"The number of well-trained young business journalists lags far behind the need for them in our global financial world that impacts daily lives at all levels of society. Diversity in those covering investment, whether in front of or behind the camera or through multimedia, is a must because money directly affects everyone. I know from my own experience and that of my students working at CNBC that its news operation is serious about not only providing accurate fact-based information but also useful differing opinions to help empower the viewer’s own decision-making process. The CNBC workshops at diversity conventions, aimed at either beginning journalists or those with some work experience, focus on a crucial need while also describing the promising career potential for ambitious young people within the ever-expanding field of business journalism." -Andrew Leckey
Donald W. Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Arizona State University
President, Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism
"Business journalists act as the watchdogs against the increasing influence of the biggest organizations in society – corporations. Business journalists are the ones that tell us what companies are hiring and which ones are struggling, which ones are taking care of the environment and which ones are not. Even if you’re not interested in business journalism as a career, the skills of a business journalist are used across all beats, from crime to education to government." -Chris Roush
Founding Director, Carolina Business News Initiative
Walter E. Hussman Sr. Distinguished Professor
UNC School of Media and Journalism
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"At a time of increased consolidation, globalization and the digital transformation of commerce and markets, business journalists play an increasingly important role in helping us understand the impact these forces have on our lives and livelihoods. More than ever, we need knowledgeable, well-trained business journalists to serve as watchdogs and chroniclers of the mechanisms and events that shape our economies as well as our socio-political interactions at home and abroad. 'Follow the money,' as Deep Throat told Woodward and Bernstein, is an important piece of advice for aspiring journalists of all stripes, from sports reporters to pop culture junkies. The skills you will learn in business reporting will hold you in good stead no matter what domain you hope to cover." -Charles Whitaker
Interim Dean and Professor
Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications
Northwestern University
"In a swirling storm of media disruption, business reporting has emerged as a beacon of best practices. From fundamental daily coverage to long-form investigative work, we are seeing more and more business reporters breaking stories that are shaping the course of not just our economy, but also our democracy." -Jeffrey Rutenbeck
Professor and Dean
School of Communication
American University
"Business reporting offers the chance to combine the best of data journalism and storytelling. Doing both of those things well allows you to discover stories that others cannot see and tell stories in more personalized and engaging ways. There is strong demand for business journalists because they help meet the information demands of consumers in search of producers, workers seeking data, and audience members who value intriguing stories." -James T. Hamilton
Hearst Professor of Communication
Director, Journalism Program
Stanford University
"As the current worldwide upheaval over globalization demonstrates, business and economics are among the strongest forces shaping people's lives. But because those forces are often unseen or mysterious to so many, the public is vulnerable to manipulation, spin, and flim-flammery. By making these subjects understandable and accessible, skilled business journalists equip their audiences to make better decisions about everything from how to save for retirement to how to cast their ballots." -Mark Vamos
William J. O'Neil Chair of Business Journalism
Meadows School of the Arts
Southern Methodist University
"Why consider a career in business journalism? Drama. Impact. Relevance. The most compelling business and financial news stories have all that and more. Business news is one of the most dynamic and demanding fields in journalism. You will cover stories that matter to investors, policy makers and business leaders and to people's daily lives." -Willow Bay
Dean and Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication
USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
University of Southern California
"If you can explain a business story, then you can explain almost anything. Audiences have shown they crave information about the economy. A good business journalist will always find a job." -Lucy A. Dalglish
Philip Merrill College of Journalism
University of Maryland
"Business journalism is at the heart of every important story, just consider what has happened since Trump was elected president. It is the most interesting field, it's always changing and business journalists are constantly forced to learn new things and report in new and interesting ways. Even if you don't agree with those propositions, the fundamental skill of following the money will give you an edge in any other area of coverage." -Greg David
Director, Business and Economics Reporting Program
CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
The City University of New York
"Students who pursue business journalism not only learn the nuts and bolts of reporting, they also become subject-matter experts—a necessity in this day and age. Business journalism has the additional advantage of teaching students something about the business of journalism, which is also an essential body of knowledge for any aspiring journalist." -David Ryfe
Professor and Director
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Iowa