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Business Specialization Seminar

The nation’s economy is growing at a 3.6 percent annualized rate. The Federal Reserve takes unprecedented steps to increase liquidity in the banking system. Corn and soybean prices fall 40 percent as the U.S. dollar rises. State pension reforms that impact union contracts are challenged in court. Congress fights over whether to raise the debt ceiling. These are topics that business and economics reporters deal with on a daily basis. Underpinning them is fundamental knowledge about how the economy, money and markets work. 

In this class, you will be introduced to business and business journalism concepts, including corporate financial statements, the economy, interest rates, the stock, bond and commodity markets, the Federal Reserve, economic reports, company news and business reporting ethics.    

You are not expected to become an expert in economics and finance, but in this course you will learn some basics and what resources can lead you to more answers. Importantly, you will learn how to connect the dots between financial news and how it impacts you, the community, the country and the world.  

Core skills will be emphasized to prepare you to write stories on a business beat: reading company financial reports/interpreting earnings reports; reading and interpreting official government economic releases and Federal Reserve releases; and becoming conversant in the business and economic issues of the day. In addition, you will be exposed to some personal finance, including building your own mock stock portfolios.  

Whether or not you pursue a career in business reporting, the subject matter covered in this course will no doubt be of value to you, personally and professionally.