2012 Spring Conference – Indy

The Society of American Business Editors and Writers’ 49th annual spring conference was held in Indianapolis on  March 15-17. It featured appearances by prominent business and government officials – including Richard Cordray, first director of the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau– along with training an discussion panels, networking events and the year’s Best in Business Awards ceremony.

Read the conference’s schedule.

See a list of attendees here.

A list of the Best in Business award winners can be seen here.

Photos of BIB award winners can be seen here.

Click here to see candid pics from Indy.

Conference Coverage

Nearly 200 Attend SABEW’s Annual Conference for Business Journalists


CFPB’s Cordray says middle class is ‘getting hammered’

By ED GREEN, News integration editor – Business First

The federal government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a lot of work ahead as it looks to respond to the mortgage and other financial crises that contributed to the recession, according to director Richard Cordray, who was appointed to his job in January. Read the full story…

SABEW SESSION REPORT–“Keep on trucking: Examining an Industry that affects us all”

By WEN YAN, University of Missouri

Trucking transportation is to the economy what vessels and blood to our body. Higher trucking freight volume indicates greater vitality of the economy and vice versa. Read the full story…

Hot topics in the business of aging

By TIAN CHEN, The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism
As  baby boomers age, they become the target for industries ranging from health care to dietary supplements, and also an important business topic for financial reporters. Currently more than 5.7 million Americans, or 18.5 percent of the population, are older than age 60, according to 2010 Census data. Read the full story…

Tips for covering the new American austerity

By CONNOR RADNOVICH, The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism

An expert panel explored a new austerity in America, focusing on its potential impacts on higher education and retirement, during a session at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Annual Conference in Indianapolis. Read the full story…

Brief summaries of three sessions including Google official explains new tools, Legal language growing part of sports business coverage and Journos advised to learn how to use Excel. Read the summaries here…

Prize-winning ProPublica reporter tells conference-goers to focus on interview techniques

By WARREN WATSON, SABEW Executive Director

Understand and focus on the interview process, Pulitzer Prize winner Jake Bernstein told a conference of business editors and reporters here. Read the full story…

James T. Morris commends Indy sports development for economic impact

By KEVIN C. KELLER, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism

Indiana Pacers President James T. Morris helped welcome journalists to the 49th annual SABEW conference by declaring Indianapolis used sports development to bring investment and money to the city. Read the full story…

Ford’s James Farley Jr. details the company’s challenges and recent success

By Kelly Carr, special to D. W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and SABEW

After facing several trying years battling the faltering U.S. economy, the outlook at Ford Motor Co. has a glimmer these days. And James Farley Jr., the company’s vice president for marketing, is part of an executive team that helped make it happen. Read the full story…

SEC chairman details lessons learned and future plans

By DIANGELEA MILLAR, special to D.W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and SABEW

Chairman Mary Schapiro detailed lessons learned from past financial challenges and explained what the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has planned to ensure the same mistakes don’t happen again. Read the full story…

Richard Cordray, director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Keynote speaker- Richard Cordray

A former state treasurer and attorney general in Ohio, Cordray was confirmed by President Barack Obama on Jan. 4 in a controversial recess appointment. The speech to SABEW was one of his first since taking the helm of the bureau created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act to protect consumers who borrow money.

Cordray is a former Marshall Scholar at Oxford University, a past editor-in-chief of the University of Chicago Law Review and an ex-clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He’s also an undefeated five-time champion on the television game show “Jeopardy.”




Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana

Keynote speaker- Mitch Daniels

Mitch Daniels was elected as the 49th governor of the State of Indiana in 2004, in his first bid for any elected office. He was re-elected in 2008 to a second and final term, receiving more votes than any candidate for any public office in the state’s history.

Gov. Daniels came from a successful career in business and government, holding numerous top management positions in both the private and public sectors. His work as CEO of the Hudson Institute and President of Eli Lilly and Company’s North American Pharmaceutical Operations taught him the business skills he brought to state government.

Daniels is the author of Keeping the Republic, a book published by Sentinel Books (Penguin) last fall.



Mary Schapiro, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, discussed her priorities at the SEC, which include “reinvigorating a financial regulatory system to protect investors and vigorously enforce the rules; and working to deepen the SEC’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and disclosure while always keeping the needs and concerns of investors front and center.”

Other speakers at the SABEW conference included Jeff Belskus, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy car team owner/driver Ed Carpenter. Also, Steve Russell, founder, chairman and CEO of Celadon Trucking, one of the country’s largest freight trucking firms with international operations.

Ford Motor Co.’s senior marketing leader, James Farley Jr., engaged in a conversation with Reuters’ deputy editor-in-chief, Paul Ingrassia, a Pulitzer Prize-winning financial journalist and author, most recently, of “Crash Course: the American Automobile Industry’s Road from Glory to Disaster,” published by Random House in January 2010.

ESPN sports reporter Kristi Dosh joined Sam Mamudi of MarketWatch and  Bill King, senior writer of SportsBusiness Journal , for a panel discussion about creating a “new playbook” for covering sports business.

Diana Henriques of The New York Times, author of the best-selling book about Bernard Madoff and his multibillion-dollar Ponzi investment scheme, The Wizard of Lies, participated in a panel on turning beat reporting into a book.

John Ketzenberger, president of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute and a former writer and editor at the Indianapolis Star and the Indianapolis Business Journal, moderated a panel on the ongoing battle over the role, scope and reach of labor unions. The panel will explore right-to-work, an issue that has emerged as a flashpoint nationally this year.

Opportunities to pick up new skills and burnish existing ones is a major feature of SABEW conferences. In a nod to the host city, home to the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Indianapolis 500, attendees were offered 500 Minutes of Skills Training, a prime opportunity for business reporters and editors to pick up tips on covering sports, non-profits, healthcare, immigration and a new wave of American austerity measures.


Ethicist Bob Steele and writing coach Jacqui Banaszynski, both affiliated with Poynter Institute, spoke as well.  Banaszynski gave advice on better business writing while Steele focused on ethical dilemmas and leadership challenges. Also, Sarah Cohen, Duke University’s Knight Chair helped attendees to better understand local economic studies.


  • The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and Investigative Reporters and Reynolds Center 2011 training scheduleEditors co-presented Be a Better Business Watchdog — CAR for Business Journalists, a workshop focusing on computer-assisted reporting (CAR).




VENUE INFORMATION: The 2012 spring conference was held at the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex at Indiana University. To view images of the venue, click here.



Leave a Comment

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