Results of the state of the industry snapshot survey for members

Posted By Aimee O'Grady

SABEW and
rbb Communications
Snapshot Survey Results

80 Respondants
Question 1 Answers
* It seems like the general tone and tenor of today’s environment has forced reporters to use “unnamed sources” more than ever.  What below best reflects your feeling on this?
1. There is a distinct, growing skepticism about the use of unnamed sources, fueled at least in part by the political landscape.  Fanned by partisan rhetoric, I am concerned our stories will be viewed as less and less credible. 18
2. Although naming a source is always preferable, most readers/viewers accept this kind of reporting and—at least in some way—understand why it’s necessary. 36
3. I’m not feeling compelled to use unnamed sources more than ever. 26
Question 2
* In covering today’s business beat, do you find:
1. For the most part, businesses and organizations have overcome their concern about being the subject of the next tweet by the President. 45
2.Businesses and organizations are still wary of being subjected to a presidential tweet, and are acting accordingly. 35
Question 3
* In thinking about today’s journalism environment, which of the following do you find the least pleasant?
1. The pressure of managing and navigating multiple platforms. 11
2. The continued uncertainty and instability in terms of jobs. 37
3. An emphasis on brevity and click-friendly content. 32
Question 4
* How do you believe journalism has been impacted under the Trump administration?
1.  Journalists are doing what journalists have always done: seek the truth, report it fully, and put it on the record. 71
2. “Unconscious bias” is affecting reporting. 9
 

Question 5

* What would you tell someone who is interested in pursuing a career in business journalism today?
Learn data journalism!
Do it. It can be immensely rewarding. Except for the money.
Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy; attribution, attribution, attribution; transparency, transparency, transparency; details, details, details. Become a subject matter expert.
I would not discourage those interested in journalism from pursuing such a career….but I would encourage them to be fully aware of the pressures and challenges that accompany a career in journalism.
Don’t do it for the glory, do it for the purpose!
Find a niche whether it’s in technology or complex finance. Mainstream journalism just doesn’t pay anymore. You need to have a well-developed skill set.
Do it! More opportunities than ever!
Make sure you are tech savvy and can get the most out of social media.
Do it! Business journalism has changed but there are also more opportunities than ever.
Study English and learn how to write. The rest can come later.
Be warned: It’s a much riskier career than even 10 years, in part because of Trump but mainly because so many papers have closed and news organizations have less revenue and take fewer risks. Corporations, meanwhile, have honed their skills at turning marketing into “news.” This new world, more than ever, requires reporters who can uncover facts, analyze them and write clearly.
Get comfortable with business terminology and concepts
Specialize. Immerse yourself in a topic, or even subtopic, that fascinates you, for whatever reason, and build your ‘brand’ around consistently delivering quality coverage.
Really love what you do. If you don’t, it makes the days long and hard. If you do, it can be a rewarding experience in a place where you continue to learn every day.
Read as much as you can
Strengthen your math and project management skills.
Find a specialty within business journalism and run with it
You don’t have to know everything, but please come to the table with some kind of background in basic economics.
If seeking the truth is a passion of yours, pursue a career at an outlet that will give you the freedom to do that.
Be very certain you want to pursue it.
It’s a great choice and there are lots of exciting stories to pursue.
Be sure to learn how to effectively report across multiple platforms and leverage your online presence so it helps boost your credibility for potential sources (this covers Twitter, LinkedIn, etc — I always get notifications on LinkedIn when comms staffers are looking me up because I’ve reached out for an interview).
Fact-based reporting in all forms is more important now than ever; businesses and markets are hungry for information they can rely on. There’s a lot of opportunity for bright reporters and editors.
Treat it as an entrepreneurial venture. Create a business plan with heavy emphasis on marketing the brand you seek to become. The fight is between the social media giants and the old-time news companies. Traditional reporters are just cannon fodder. Don’t be cannon fodder. Own your content. Own your brand. Own your livelihood.
Report. Report. Report. Your brand will build itself.
Journalism, particularly reporting, remains a fulfilling and important career.
Don’t. The pay is terrible, the public is incorrigible and media companies are far more interested click-bait quantity over journalistic quality.
Go for it. The profession is needed more than ever. Opportunity abounds all around the world across multiple platforms.
Think twice — rethink the move if you have any form of dyslexia at all.
Go work for an actual business instead of blowing money on an advanced degree in journalism
Do something else
Better love the work because you’ll do a lot of it — and probably won’t get paid what you’re worth.
Develop a tough skin, don’t take all the criticisms and hostility personally, network like crazy — social skills are nearly as important as journalistic skills (i don’t mean social media).
Specialize and do it.
Do it! Questions need to be asked.
I would tell them to read business news every day in order to become familiar with the reporting and what it may take. I would also suggest reading the Show Me Money business reporting textbook by Chris Roush for clearer insight into business reporting.
Have one or two good backup plans in case you get thrown a curve in your journalism career or reach a point where you want to transition to a different career.
Stay away from newspapers. Develop a specialty. Be willing to relocate. Consider NYC early in your career – it’s too expensive to move there when you’re older.
Integrity is who you are when no one is looking.
It’s a golden era. Tracking the money to and from politicians & leaders is one of our most important functions. It matters more than ever and being financially literate is essential to call out false claims.
Done right, business journalism isn’t just a more secure job: it allows you to explore the most powerful institutions in our country and the world. Do it.
Why not?
Don’t do it unless you do very specialized journalism.
Go for it. Attend a couple good seminars that teach you accounting basics. Know that companies spin like politicians and PR people are not your friends.
Read business news publications so you can learn how to present these types of stories.
It’s a great career! Every day is interesting. It’s lifelong learning.
We need truthtellers more than ever! Journalists hold the powerful accountable, speak truth to power, give voice to the voiceless and give citizens information to make informed voting decisions.
Business journalism and any journalism can be great, but combine the career with another passion to get more bang for your investment buck.
Find out first if it pays, and if the pay is worth the work. Then research your options for a career with your employer/clients.
It’s a great place for a young person but don’t plan on a stable career of it.
Journalism is a hard line of work, with little public appreciation, and poor pay. Even poorer are the prospects of career advancement, respect from peers in the community, and the perceived value of your work.
Carve out a niche.
Go for it. But learn some accounting and about financial statements and go searching where others find boring or out of the way. I see enough about Elon Musk and Facebook and China. There are other beats. Bonds and credit, for example, are poorly covered.
Make sure you report for an outlet that’s providing must-read content to businesses from behind a paywall.
It’s a worthy field to be in. Business news is every bit as important and interesting as mainstream news.
Learn how to report and write and then take on the multiple platforms that are required. If you don’t have anything meaningful to say, saying it to a lot of people really doesn’t do them any good.
only do it if you are obsessed with businesses and markets.
Follow your passion first. Do it because you’re interested, not just because it’s more financially rewarding than other journalism topics
Go for it.
Businesses more than ever are protected by layers of PR teams. Stick to your guns, be prepared to stand up to them, try your best to avoid fluff pieces and don’t be intimidated of these big corporations. Also know it’s easy to wind up being the reporter calling Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes “the next Steve Jobs.”
Go for it! Its an exciting field.
Don’t just email someone once. Keep asking. Keep pursuing. Keep making connects.
Go for it
Don’t do it.

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