Want to know how the stock market works or find out the latest
on the global economy? Some students in the School of Journalism
and Mass Communications can answer your questions, thanks to
the school’s emerging specialty in business and financial
Cassie Cope, a senior journalism major, was a student in one
of SJMC’s first business journalism classes offered in
spring 2012 by Rob Wells, a visiting professor and former deputy
bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal.
“It was a really cool experience,” said Cope. “He
taught us how to navigate Securities Exchange Commissions files,
so I could in five minutes probably tell you how much the top
executives at Google get paid.”
Cope now has business journalism on her
resume, hoping it will make her more marketable and hirable
as she is applying for post-graduate internships and jobs.
She also has put to use the skills she learned in the class
with an internship with The State newspaper.
“It’s nice to have the opportunity to focus on
such a niche and be able to understand and learn about it early
on and apply it,” said Cope.
SJMC is focusing on business journalism thanks largely to
a generous donation from alumnus Ken Baldwin. Through visiting
professors, speakers, conferences and a new partnership with
South Carolina ETV, students have many opportunities to learn
about the increasing importance of merging these two fields.
Business reporting skills can make students stand out from
other candidates when they apply for jobs because business
is often an integral part to any news story.
Business Journalism: The Student Perspective
As news editor for The Daily Gamecock, Thad Moore, a sophomore
political science major, said he understands the importance
of learning about businesses, because money is often at the
heart of everyday news.
“We have a responsibility to be doing in-depth reporting
on business, on education and on government, so it’s
important that we all have those skills,” said Moore,
who wants to make a career out of business writing.
SJMC alumnus Josh Dawsey is using his business journalism
education at the Wall Street Journal’s foreign exchange
desk — the result of hard work with USC classes, editing
The Daily Gamecock and networking with journalism professionals
like Professor Wells.
“I think for all journalists, whether you’re a
features writer for a magazine or you cover the highest level
of government, knowing how to cover business is very important,” said
Dawsey. “A lot of times in journalism, the best trick
is to follow the money.”
Wells will teach a course this spring
about understanding and covering the economy.
According to SJMC Director Dr. Carol Pardun, Wells’ 2012
course received “rave
reviews,” so the 2013 roster filled up quickly, and there
are no open seats left in the class.
Current Gamecock editor-in-chief and senior print journalism
major Colin Campbell is excited about taking the course.
“What I think the business initiative is looking to
do is deepen that reporting… and go beyond just the
surface level of what’s happening, what’s been
announced, to what the implications of those announcements
are and why they’re important,” said Campbell. “I
heard last semester’s class was very open and had a lot
of discussion about how business journalism comes into contact
with the world. It’s something I would encourage anyone
Business Journalism: The Professional Perspective
Sophomore public relations major
Thomas Bell also claimed a spot for the spring 2013 course.
He says he hopes to learn more about business while working
toward a career in corporate public relations.
“This class focuses on reporting about the number one
issue in the nation — the economy — and I feel
taking this class will be very valuable in the future,” said
WIS News anchor Hannah Horne, who recently completed a master’s
degree in business administration at USC, has praised the school
for providing these new opportunities for students to gain
a greater depth of business knowledge. Horne said that she
values her deep understanding of business-related issues because
viewers or readers can tell the difference when the details
are merely glazed over in a complicated business story.
“As someone who had to go back to get a master’s
degree in order to accentuate my news experience with business
experience, I’m glad now to know it’s something
offered right out of the gate to young people,” said
Jenni Knight is the
2012 recipient of the G. Richard Shafto Fellowship. As a fellow,
she spent 200 hours of internship work in the WIS Newsroom,
working with reporters, producers and news staff. In addition
to her internship at WIS, Jenni worked with Dr. Andrea Tanner
to write this article and produce the videos for this web feature.
a senior broadcast journalism major and a student in the South
Carolina Honors College. She is from Lynchburg, Virginia and
received the McNair Scholarship for out-of-state students.
As an aspiring television reporter, Knight has been involved
with Student Gamecock Television since she was a freshman,
working as an executive producer, content director and assistant
station manager. She has hosted and produced five seasons of
SGTV’s entertainment news show,
Talk of the Town.