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Journalist Fellows' Papers

Business Journalism for the General Reader: An inquiry into new media and business reporting

Reuters Institute Fellow's Paper

Olga Loiko, a business journalist at TUT.BY, the largest privately owned Web portal in Belarus, has written a new study on how journalists and their readers can take advantage of new media to improve their reporting, and understanding, of business news.

In her research, entitled 'Business Journalism for the General Reader: An inquiry into new media and business reporting', Olga starts with a reminder of how most financial journalists failed to predict the banking crisis and its effect on the world economy.  But now she argues, new technologies and social media can help business journalists meet the demand of the general reader.  Her study examines what journalists and readers need to do to avoid mutual disappointments in the future.

Olga argues that ‘the development of new technology enables journalists to use new communication means, especially interactive projects on mass media websites. Information graphics, the visualization of economic developments, rankings, online consultations are all becoming widespread. Inquisitive readers can get to the bottom of economic trends easier.’  In the specific case of Belarus, journalists and readers need a crash course in free market economics. She believes that the best option for journalists is a single-purpose economics curriculum which takes into account the peculiarities of the Belarusian economy, as well as the specific characters of Belarus' journalism. She adds that modern on-line technologies provide journalists with an enormous variety of books, articles, and online correspondent courses.

Olga concludes that non-stop self-education seems to be the most reliable way to keep up with the times.  As she reminds us, the young South Korean blogger who unmasked the world crisis was unemployed and a self-taught economist.

As with all Fellows’ research papers, any opinions expressed are those of the author and not of the Institute.