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Writing about business and finance
Friday, May 17, 2013 (All day)

It’s not money that makes the world go ’round—it’s the journalists who write about money.

OK, both parts of that statement might be a stretch. But for anyone who cares about business and finance, it’s hard to deny the impact of the reporters and editors who tell us about the people, companies, events and ideas that drive these dynamic spheres. Their stories cover everything from entrepreneurs with bright ideas, to corporate espionage, to personal money-saving tips, to crowdfunding campaigns, to stock investing strategies—and often provide useful insights on how commerce and cash affect our daily lives.

Writers who want to learn more about these fascinating beats will get their chance next week at PWAC Toronto Chapter’s seminar, Break Into Business and Financial Writing. The May 23 event will feature a presentation and discussion on the nature, how-tos, highlights and challenges of business and financial journalism. Sharing their first-hand experience and expertise will be panellists Helen Burnett-Nichols, a freelance business, legal and investment writer; Graham F. Scott, managing editor of Canadian Business magazine; and Dawn Calleja, a senior editor at Report on Business magazine.

Meanwhile, if you want to become more familiar with branding, change management, big data, world markets and the many other facets and concepts of business and finance, and want to know how to write about them competently, check out these resources:

The U.S.-based Reynolds Center provides free in-class and online training to help journalists better cover business topics. Its website is a treasure trove of resources, including current news stories from a wide range of business beats; examples of best-practice business journalism; Q&As and live chats with established business reporters on their experiences and tips; and even ideas for business stories—a current suggestion is to cover Angelina Jolie’s recent decision to have a double mastectomy from the perspective of the growing genetic testing industry.

The Society of American Business Editors and Writers is another great source of information and tools for those working in the field. The non-profit organization offers web-based training on covering different aspects of business; videos featuring interviews with accomplished business executives; an annual conference; and job listings. It also has a sizeable archive of free teletraining sessions that include “How to Make Tax Season Interesting for Readers,” “Fresh Ideas for Covering Retail,” “Covering the Runup (and Down) of Gasoline Prices” and “How to Find Sources & Stories on Social Media.” Another business journalism organization in the U.S. that is worth checking out is the American Society of Business Publication Editors, the professional association for full-time and freelance writers, editors, art directors and designers employed in the business, trade and specialty press.

For those wanting a better understanding of the world of finance, it’s hard to beat Investopedia. The Canada-based, Forbes-owned website focuses on investor education, market analysis, personal finance and free trading simulation. Well used by investors, it includes finance news, an in-depth financial dictionary and stock trading tactics. It’s a useful resource for journalists who want to cover this beat in a knowledgeable way.

It’s hard to cover commerce without following Forbes, the leading business publication, which covers finance, industry, entrepreneurship, investing and marketing, as well as the related subjects of technology, communications, science and law. Both the biweekly magazine and the website provide information and insights into current business trends and issues, and are considered a key resources for senior business executives.

NetWords editor Sharon Aschaiek writes about issues, trends and opportunities in education, business and employment, and helps schools and educational organizations with their communications initiatives.


- Sharon Aschaiek


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