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Business Journalism Specialization, M.M.C

Tian Chen, Bloomberg, Beijing

Demand for journalists who can clearly explain business and the economy is accelerating around the globe. The Business Journalism Specialization equips graduate students in Cronkite's Master of Mass Communication program with the tools necessary to succeed in this important coverage area.

Students in the specialization regularly win top business reporting awards and land positions at major print, digital and broadcast news organizations after graduation.

The Business Journalism Specialization is part of the Cronkite School’s 12-month master’s program and includes courses in both journalism and business journalism. Depending on the undergraduate background of the student, additional courses can be taken at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business.

The program combines a thorough understanding of business and economic principles with practical journalism coursework, professional internships and a professional program immersion experience. Students learn about and practice coverage of special topic areas such as technology, financial markets, global expansion and changes in financial instruments and the regulatory environment, and they learn to use data and records and tell compelling stories that underscore the impact of business and the economy on people.

Contact with working business journalists through visiting professors and guests is an integral part of the program. Student reporting is published in newspapers, online and on broadcast outlets, and students graduate with rich portfolios of their work to show prospective employers. Students are placed in internships at news organizations that include Bloomberg News, Thomson Reuters, CNBC, CNNMoney, MSNBC.com, Financial Times, Forbes.com, MarketWatch, NPR, Center for Public Integrity and American City Business Journals in New York and Phoenix, as well as the business news departments of the Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Seattle Times, Dallas Morning News and The Arizona Republic.

Graduate assistantships and scholarships are available.

The Cronkite School is widely considered the nation’s leader in business journalism education. It houses both the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Students take these courses:

MCO 550 Issues in Coverage of Business and the Economy (3 hours)
This seminar course that includes in-class lecture and online discussions is first step in the specialization, focusing on critical study of business and economic coverage in all media, with emphasis on quality, clarity and differences. Taught by a veteran national journalist with experience in print, digital and broadcast, it covers companies, financial markets, global economies, personalities and investigative business journalism. Students will understand balance sheets and complete a project using the Bloomberg News terminal. They are assigned specific companies and economic issues to follow throughout the course and a final project. The course helps students determine their own professional preferences and learn effective ways to communicate complex topics effectively.

MCO 553 Reporting on Business and the Economy (3 hours)
This vigorous, hands-on course is second step in the specialization. Students pursue deadline stories dealing with business and economic issues both local and national, taught by a veteran business journalist with experience in print, digital and broadcast. Outlets that assign and carry student work include professional news organizations as well as the Reynolds Center’s BusinessJournalism.org Web site. There is a funded out-of-town trip to a selected U.S. city, either as a group or individually for a final reporting project in their chosen medium. Students learn to present complex financial topics in clear, elegant ways. The course prepares prospective business journalists for their internships and first jobs, with quality samples of their work to show employers. It also leads next to the Reynolds Business Bureau.

MCO 570 Reynolds Business Bureau (4 to 9 hours)
The Reynolds Business Bureau is one of 11 professional immersion programs at the Cronkite School that give students real-world experience in business journalism. Students report and produce money-related stories on all platforms for professional media outlets and Cronkite News in a newsroom environment, working under the direction of a veteran business journalist.

For more information on the Business Journalism Specialization,, contact Andrew Leckey, the Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism and President of the Reynolds Center, at andrew.leckey@asu.edu.