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TODAY ALMOST EVERYTHING THAT happens in the world has an economic impact. Business and financial journalists make sense of it all. They cleverly craft their stories so everyone can readily understand the ever-changing trends of a global economy. Their reporting resonates with savvy financial and corporate professionals, as well as those who find the intricacies of business transactions and the jargon in annual reports, profit-and-loss statements, and public stock offerings, totally mystifying.
Once part of an overlooked department in a bustling newsroom, business and financial reporters are front and center when it comes to reporting today's headlines. Business news has come into its own over the last 30 years. The business desk is no longer the dumping ground for boring stories that only make it to the back pages of a publication or get cut when a television news program is running too long. Business and financial news is much more than a footnote to history these days, as fluctuations on the world's financial markets reach into everyone's wallet.
In a money-driven world, the business or economic angle of a story is usually in the lead. With jobs and benefits, mortgage rates and household budgets, retirement plans and pension funds all hanging in the balance, news from the world of business and finance is not just for Wall Street types anymore. People in all walks of life – from blue-collar workers to white-collar professionals – want the latest news from the world of business and finance, and they want it put into perspective to help them understand how it impacts them.
Business and financial journalists have to figure out the importance of the latest business headlines and report, and what they mean both short and long term. Federal and state government agencies are constantly reporting on economic indicators, from jobs reports to housing starts, but determining what those findings mean for a particular region requires the insight of business and financial reporters.
These intrepid journalists take an unbiased look at the numbers and determine whether a lower unemployment rate stems from surging job growth, or it simply means that a certain segment of the population has given up searching for work. Understanding the nuances of the worldwide economy, business and financial reporters separate propaganda from truth. They sift through financial reports and determine whether there is really good news to report, or there is just a positive spin being put on a rather bleak economic outlook.
These journalists ask the tough questions, trying to pry out information from tight-lipped business executives who do not like bad news of any kind to leak out. Navigating between the movers and shakers of the business world, trying to augment their bottom line, and government officials, working to increase their political capital, journalists who report on the financial world keep these powerful people honest and hold them accountable. Reporting on the economy was not always seen as a job that would get your blood flowing, but times have certainly changed. Today, business and financial news is where bold, ambitious, dogged reporters build their reputations.