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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Why I’m returning to business journalism

By Chris Roush

For more than 20 years, I’ve been in academia full-time, becoming one of the leading experts about business journalism. My students now work at The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and many other business news desks.

Last year, I published “The Future of Business Journalism: Why it Matters for Wall Street and Main Street,” a critically acclaimed book about the problems in business journalism and how some of those can be fixed.

Chris Roush

Now, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and become executive editor for digital for Business North Carolina magazine, a publication I’ve long respected for its quality content. I’m starting in June.

Unlike many others, I don’t see the impending death of journalism. What I see is that delivery contents have changed, and that many media companies have failed to adapt to consumers, causing them to cut back on coverage.

Business North Carolina is not one of those companies. In addition to its robust print magazine, it has email newsletters and a growing events business. My job will be to expand the newsletter and digital operations and increase the revenue from those so that the publication can continue to grow.

From June 2004 to September 2007, I was a contributor to Business North Carolina magazine, writing a monthly sports business column, a couple of cover stories and some profiles. It has always been the best business magazine in the state, and it’s also been recognized as one of the best in the country.

My background includes stints as a business reporter for The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Tampa Tribune, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and BusinessWeek magazine. Like Business North Carolina editor David Mildenberg, I also worked at Bloomberg News. Before entering higher education, I was editor in chief of SNL Financial, a company based in Charlottesville, Virginia, that published newsletters and magazines for investors. It has since been bought by Standard & Poor’s.

As a journalism professor, I wrote “Show me the Money: Writing Business and Economics Stories for Mass Communication,” the leading textbook. I also wrote a history of business journalism called “Profits and Losses: Business Journalism and its Impact on Society” and a biography of Vermont Royster, a North Carolina native who was editor in chief of The Wall Street Journal from 1953 to 1971 and won two Pulitzer Prizes.

I’ve also written books about companies, including histories of two North Carolina companies – Alex Lee Inc. and Progress Energy.

Business journalism has always been the one area of journalism that has continued to grow. And there are plenty of opportunities to grow business news in North Carolina.

I’m excited to show my former students and colleagues that this is a field still full of tremendous potential. And Business North Carolina is the place where that’s going to happen.

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