Bussiness Wirtting Tips
Submitted By okonjibabu
KENYA METHODIST UNIVERSITY NAIROBI CITY CAMPUS
COURSE TITTLE: REPORTING BUSINESS
COURSE CODE: BACJ 249
TASK: INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT
PRESENTED TO: MR JULIUS BOSIRE
PRESENTED BY: MARTIN OKONJI
REGISTRATION NO: COM-1-3962-3/2011
SUBMISSION DATE: 10/5/2012
DISCUSS THE TEN TIPS OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC NEWS WRITING AND REPORTING BY PAUL HEMP.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC NEWS WRITING TIPS BY TO PAUL HEMP
Paul Hemp is an experienced and innovative writer, editor and communications executive. Currently he is the director of Global Thought Leadership at HCL Technologies. In his book, Ten Practical Tips for Business and Economic Reporting in Developing Economy, Mr. Paul Hemp talks about the ten Hemp rules. These rules are aimed at making business and economic stories, understandable and interesting.
According to Hemp, The basic problem with business and economic news is that they are complicated and boring. Complicated news bores people. A journalist must make it understandable and interesting. He adds that the three rules of making stories understandable are explain, explain and explain.
This former Senior Editor at Harvard Business Review, says in his book that Business, financial or economics journalists could improve the effectiveness of their communication if they followed a few simple rules:
1. Use statistics sparingly 2. Avoid economic jargon 3. Define economic terms 4. Compare statistics 5. Turn statistics into stories 6. Humanize business news 7. Generate unusual business story ideas 8. Go beyond the press release 9. Get the other side to a business story 10. Show the significance of business news
1. Use statistics sparingly
A financial, business or economics journalist should always use numbers sparingly in his or her stories. For example, when doing a business story, Instead of, writing "Maize production in Kenya rose to 1.5 million tons in 2006, from 1 million tons in 2004, an increase of 50% in three years, the agriculture ministry said," write, "Maize production has jumped by 50% in the past three years, the government has said." 2. Avoid economic jargon
As a Business journalist, when interviewing economic experts, ask for explanations each time economic experts use jargon. Jargon has its place when experts converse with other experts, but not in journalism. Sometimes journalists use jargon because they feel that using the jargon shows their mastery of the subject. No matter what the reason, it is unacceptable and should be avoided at all cost. For example when writing a story instead of using the word liquidity you can simply use the word money, which everybody understands
3. Define economic terms
Financial, Business or economics journalists need to ask their sources to explain the terms they use in simple language for them to use in their story. Without defining terms, the story is meaningless to educated readers who do not know the concepts used. For example inter- bank interest rates. They are rates at which banks lend money to and among themselves; they are usually a fundamental factor taken into consideration by banks in arriving at final interest rates on loans to their customers
4. Compare statistics
As a good Business journalist, you should be able to explain why statistics are important, make comparisons of current year against previous year, and find the story. For example a business story could read "Kenya Airways is currently running at a loss of Ksh 800 million a year, its managing director Titus Naikuni announced yesterday." Without knowing what Kenya Airways’ past losses or profits were, its revenue, who is funding the loss, whether it is likely to continue and for how long it has been making a loss, the reader or listener is entitled to ask, “So what? Why should I care?”
5. Turn statistics into stories
Hemp says in his book that too many numbers puts off the reader. This proves to be true because some Business stories display figures that overwhelm the reader. As a Financial, Business or economics journalist only use statistics when it is really necessary. At the end of the day a journalist is expected to tell a story and tell it well. Telling the story well includes making it simple so as to be understood by your audience, and also making the business story interesting to read.
6. Humanize business news
The TV technique of telling a complicated story by filming the real experiences of an individual has merit. An example would be a homeowner whose house is being repossessed because the financial institution that recklessly lent him or her money to buy the home. The story would show what it’s like to have a house repossessed and auctioned, and hear from the person concerned how it happened, as well as from the financial institution involved.
7. Generate unusual business story ideas
Unusual happenings form part of the elements of any news story. Therefore when writing a business story, look for the business angle in general news, look for the counter- intuitive stories, look for trends, look for human angle, and look for case studies that illustrate a trend.
8. Go beyond the press release
Business, economics, or financial reporters should to go beyond the official press release so as to discover how the news story affects real people. You need to ask yourself, does the news story affect people positively? Does the news story affect people negatively?
9. Show the significance of business news
It is important to show significance of any news item as a reporter. This shows what impact the, story has on people and their surroundings. Therefore a Business reporter must show the importance of the business news to readers or audience and why the business news is worthy of note
10. Get the other side to a business story
Getting the other side to a business story brings an atmosphere of objectivity and fairness in a story. When a Business reporter gets the other side to a business story it shows creativity on the reporter’s side and that he or she does actually think outside the box in terms the stories they are disseminating. Getting the other to a business story side also breaks monotony for those reporters who are used to reporting from a particular side of a story. Conclusion
The ten Hemp rules are important for any business news reporter if at all the reporter is seeking to make a story understandable, interesting, and informative.
* Ten Practical Tips for Business and Economic Reporting in Developing Economies, Paul Hemp, the Centre for Foreign Journalists, 1991. * http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulhemp * http://www.twitter.com/paul hemp