Monday, February 28, 2005

The value of learning business journalism

Some experienced reporters said that the journalism school is a waste of time. They thought reporters should go directly to work in the media if they could write. But could a good writer become a good reporter?
At least not in business journalism. Accurancy and factual is the most important character when reporting a rumor in the market. Yes, reporters should report rumor, but how to report rumor is more important than rumor itself.
A Chinese business newspaper today reported (the story is quoted in Sina.com, sorry in Chinese) a follow story on Shanda's acquistion of Sina.com. The headline is "Shanda bought Sina aiming at cooperating with Microsoft. Wow, it was big news at the first sight. But after reading the story I couldn't find any evidence supporting its headline in the context. The story said that Shanda was planning to get into the market of digital set-up box, a equipement connecting TV and PC(Microsoft tried the marketing several years ago), and acquistion of Sina.com may be part of the plan, according to source close to the company. Also, the Chairman of Shanda visited Microsoft last week, and a senior manager in Microsoft said that there was opportunity to cooperate with Shanda on the digital set-up box. But no people or source said in the story that the acquistion of Sina is aimed at cooperating with Microsoft, nor it could be a condition in the negotiation between Shanda and Microsoft. Then how did reporters get to the conclusion? Just in the three of "A love B, and B love C, so there must be some relation between A and C"?

Reporters are not analysts, partly because analysts could guess or speculate on something, but reporters can't.

That's the reason I am addicted to my business journalism class, where you could know what is good, what is bad, and what you should do in the future.

3 comments:

無塵工作室 said...

Thanks for telling me that. :)

I really do think that true reports (business or not) should be unbiased and factual i.e. avoid using words that provoke the reader's speculation, instead rely on the facts to do that for you. Those are the best reports. The general public can be influenced by what they read, and have the tendency not to question the integrity of its content (which stems from the fact that people always take things for granted), that's why the media is so powerful and can be manipulative if used wrongly.

As a writer myself, I can easily distinguish reports which involved personal feelings from those that doesn't, just by looking the wording. As a would-be scientist, I was trained to do the opposite - question everything.

Having said that, every now and then it's nice to read what the reportor really thinks, so that I'm not actually reading some sort of manufactured writing. :)

Amy or koala said...

hehe, how about the feeling being the writer and scientist-in-training?

無塵工作室 said...

The two are mutually contradicting actually. Whereas being a writer one should be more expressive in one's feelings and thoughts and such, rational reasoning becomes less important; However, being a scientist, one only works within reason or empirical facts, which involves no personal emotions at all. It kinda trains both sides of my brain, so I can be more rounded. (which means that I'm probably not going to get very far in either fields...@@)