Business Reporting and Explanatory Journalism

Business reporting is important to people beyond just the world of business. It has a common importance in that it deals with normal people living out normal lives that are affected by the work that they do. It also has a common interest in this way – work is what many of us build our lives around, so it is interesting to us to hear the stories of other’s work. Oftentimes, those stories get at their humanity.

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William E. Blundell

The Life of a Cowboy: Drudgery and Danger

By William E. Blundell

Blundel’s study on the business cowboys is so interesting that the business is almost lost within the humanity of it. It is almost a full-blown profile of Jim Miller, one of this country’s last remaining cowbosses. Only occasionally does it get into the failing business side of the cattle industry and even then, the effect of that portion is most felt on the character of Miller. This connection is in many ways what drives the story to effectiveness, because it gives the audience a human prism to see the figures through.

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Peter Rinearson

Making it Fly: Designing the 757

By Peter Rinearson

An airplane is a thing that many of us fear. It is a thing that instills anxieties about freak accidents and heightens worries of bad weather. And for all the anxiety that airplanes cause, it is a wonder that more of us don’t research them more – that is, until you read Rinearson’s in-depth feature on them. At points, Rinearson’s writing sends your head spinning with the difficulties of compromise. At others, he turns the door of the Boeing 757 into a stubborn character or a simple cork. The end result is what feels like a thorough understanding of the complexities involved in crafting one of these machines, matched with a much more thorough understanding that it is too complex to ever comprehend. Perhaps Boeing is best left to their devices and our faith is best left in them.

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Michael Gartner

Property Tax Exemptions: Legal but Terribly Unfair

By Michael Gartner

As a rule, people don’t like talking about taxes. They are usually either terribly boring or something to dread. Gartner knows this, so he takes taxes and turns them into something worth rallying over. He appeals to another modern human emotion – resentment towards the big guy. The big guy in this case is just anyone getting away with the tax exemption described. He makes sure the readers understand how unfair it is by repeating and elaborating on his points several times.

Here are some current examples:

10EPA Workers Try to Block Pruitt in Show of Defiance

By Coral Davenport

Davenport does well to provide quotes from both sides of this issue. This gives the reader an in-depth analysis of the situation in a short amount of time. What’s more, because of the nature of this story, it is naturally interesting to give the two sides. The fact that they are so at odds really helps push this past the business side.

PewDiePie Dust-Up Shows Risks Brands Take to Tap Into Social Media

By Sapna Maheshwari

This is a good example of a business article because it is talking about a subject that normally resides within pop culture, but connects it to the business world. This is a story that catches the eye of potentially millions of millennial – just look at PewDiePie’s YouTube subscriber account. In this way, it’s almost clever deception. People who see this article and click on it out of interest might end up learning a thing or two about advertising principles.

Texans offer sanctuary to endangered African rhinos

By Jim Forsyth

Forsyth uses the emotional ties that people feel for animals, particularly endangered ones, to make this an article worth reading. By the end of it, the reader has a basic understanding of the issue. Forsyth also does well to set the scene of the habitat concerned with descriptive language and pictures.

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