ASU journalism school launches business reporting program

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is establishing a business reporting program through a $1 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation that will offer Arizona State University students unparalleled experiences while producing critical business and economic stories.

Opening in January, the Donald W. Reynolds Business Reporting Bureau will be the only university-based newsroom in the country that produces daily coverage of business and economic issues for regional and national media outlets.

students working in a newsroom at the ASU Cronkite School

The Reynolds Business Reporting Bureau will be located in a state-of-the-art newsroom at the Cronkite School on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus and will be part of the news operations at Eight, Arizona PBS – the largest media organization run by a journalism school in the world. The bureau will also distribute stories through Cronkite News Service, which annually feeds some 700 stories to regional news organizations.

“The trustees of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation have aimed, from the beginning, to enhance the quality and integrity of journalism, focusing particularly on strengthening business journalism,” said Steve Anderson, Reynolds Foundation president. “The Cronkite School’s Reynolds Business Reporting Bureau will serve to better train the next generation of business journalists and, in the long run, to better serve society with in-depth reporting on increasingly complex business topics.”

As part of the grant, the Cronkite School will hire a prominent business journalist to serve as director of the bureau, leading newsroom operations and providing guidance to students during the fall and spring semesters. In the summers, the director will lead business coverage for the Carnegie-Knight News21 program, a national initiative where top journalism students from across the country report on an issue of national significance. The grant also annually covers four students to participate in News21 each summer, covering business and economic aspects of the project.

“The Reynolds Business Reporting Bureau will give our students extraordinary preparation to cover financial stories in business, government and even sports,” said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School. “We sincerely appreciate the Reynolds Foundation’s tremendous support of our mission to educate the next generation of business journalists.”

The Reynolds Business Reporting Bureau is part of a growing constellation of Cronkite professional immersion programs that will be contributing to Eight, Arizona PBS. The new bureau marks the ninth immersion experience available to Cronkite students.

Others include Cronkite NewsWatch, a live, student-produced news broadcast that reaches 1.9 million households in Arizona; Cronkite News Service in Phoenix and Washington, D.C., in which students cover stories of concern to Arizona audiences; the New Media Innovation Lab, where students from various disciplines create cutting-edge digital media products; the Cronkite Public Relations Lab, where students develop PR strategies and campaigns for real clients; and the Public Insight Network Bureau, where students work with professional news organizations mining news sources and generating story ideas. Cronkite also is establishing immersive sports reporting programs in Phoenix and Los Angeles as part of its new sports journalism program.

Through generous support from the Reynolds Foundation, the Cronkite School has become the world’s leader in business journalism education. Cronkite is home to the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, a global training center dedicated to improving business journalism coverage; two endowed chairs in business journalism; and a national visiting professors program, which brings business journalism courses to journalism schools across the country. Cronkite is also home to the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the world’s leading association of financial journalists.

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, it has committed more than $115 million nationwide through its Journalism Program.