Covering Business When Business Isn’t Your Beat

Wall Street electronic stocks art | SABEWMaybe you’re an editor who’s moved a reporter from covering sports to the local economy. Or perhaps you’re a freelancer or recent journalism grad who wants to develop business reporting chops. SABEW is here to help.

We’re the number one business journalism organization of some 3,400 members in the U.S., Canada and Southeast Asia.

We’re initiating a training program to develop journalists’ understanding of businesses, the economy, and unemployment; it’s particularly timely during this critical time of COVID-19.

You can start by listening to the following virtual trainings conducted by experienced, skilled business journalists.

New to business coverage? Here’s how to get going on your new beat

Getting started on a new beat is never easy, particularly when it’s a business beat. In this session, you’ll learn how to launch into a business beat, how to identify sources that are close to companies you’re covering, and how to quickly come up to speed on business terms and concepts. Alex Heath, who received no formal training in financial journalism but now covers Facebook and its competitors for The Information, also talks about the importance of proactively reaching out to sources, leveraging social media as a business reporting tool, and developing stories that stand out from the crowd.

Once you’ve listened to this session, you’ll be able to:
• Identify sources close to company, including bankers, investors, analysts and former employees
• Craft story ideas that stand out in a crowded field
• Use social media to find business stories and business sources
• Proactively recruit and develop relationships with sources

Looking for local stories you can write about the economic impact of COVID-19? This resource can help

Have you been thrust into covering the local economic impact of COVID-19? The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently made available county-level information on the Gross Domestic Product. This is a key measure of the health of your county, and it’s a great resource for launching into stories about the future of your local economy. This session will give you step-by-step instructions for navigating BEA data and reporting out your story.

Once you’ve listened to this session, you’ll be able to:
• Write about the impact COVID-19 and other national trends are having on your local economy
• Write a story about the economic future of your local economy
• Use economic data when telling stories, and use it accurately
• Understand what’s truly driving economic growth in your county
• Find local economic stories no one else is writing about

How to find business story ideas and sources using LinkedIn

LinkedIn, because of its focus on professionals and professional activity, can be a particularly helpful resource for business journalists. This session will teach you how to use LinkedIn to find current and former employees of a company and track down other sources. You’ll also learn how to mine LinkedIn company pages, groups, content, and comments for story ideas. As a bonus, you’ll also get tips to spruce up your profile and build your brand.

Once you’ve listened to this session, you’ll be able to:
• Track down current and former employees of companies
• Use LinkedIn to generate business story ideas and find new sources
• Get updates about companies you cover on LinkedIn
• Optimize your LinkedIn profile

Understanding these economic indicators will give you a better handle on the national economy

If you’ve heard terms like Gross Domestic Product, Consumer Price Index, and the Unemployment Rate talked about, but you haven’t been sure exactly what they mean or how to incorporate them into your reporting, this session is for you. This primer on the major economic indicators walks you through these indicators, explaining what each means and offering tips on how to report on them and use them in your stories.

Once you’ve listened to this session, you’ll be able to:
• Find state and regional economic data that you can mine for story ideas
• Use economic indicators to get a real-time sense of the health of the economy
• Write your own local stories about these indicators
• Incorporate helpful context about the health of the economy into your stories

Build out your business reporting toolkit with public records requests

Filing a few standard FOIA requests can help you going on your new business beat right away. Requesting inspection reports, lawsuits, and even a company’s organizational chart can give you a head start when it comes to developing story ideas, finding sources, and learning your new beat. This session will teach you exactly which records requests to file and give you examples to crib from. It will also give you a better understanding of how to incorporate regular records requests into your beat in a way that gives you exclusives and makes your work stand out.

Once you’ve listened to this session you’ll be able to:
• Find scoops and exclusive business stories using public records requests
• Use documents to bullet-proof your reporting
• Incorporate regular public records requests into your weekly routing
• Fact-check economic development claims through public records

With a recession looming, here’s what you need to know about the Fed

With the nation entering a recession, it’s helpful to have a fundamental understanding of the Federal Reserve and the way it regulates the economy. This session outlines the role the nation’s central bank plays and suggests resources in regional Federal Reserve District offices that you can tap in your reporting. You’ll develop an understanding of how to develop story ideas about your local economy and learn what rookie mistakes to avoid.

Once you’ve listened to this session you’ll be able to:
• Tap data and experts in your regional Federal Reserve District office
• Write about the economy in a way that resonates with an everyday audience
• Use Federal Reserve resources to gauge the health of your local economy
• Avoid rookie mistakes when writing about the Fed and the economy

Best in Business Book Awards

Official Media Partner

BIB Book Awards Sponsors

Exclusive Sponsor
Investing & Personal Finance category

Exclusive Sponsor
Business & Reporting category

Official Content Distributor