Business journalism

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As business journalism is journalism jobs with economic issues understood. The focus is on economic and economic policy topics, company reporting and stock market topics. In the broadest sense, the entirety of public reporting and commentary on economic issues can be characterized as “business journalism”, says Gabler .



At the beginning of the press history is business journalism: The forerunners of the printed press were business letters such as the Fuggerzeitung , which provided business people with information. In times of crisis such as inflation at the beginning of the Thirty Years War , the days of the tipper and wipper , the interest in economic topics naturally grew.

Walter Hömberg writes in his essay From the Fugger letter to the stock exchange website. The history of business journalism , even the earliest printed weekly papers would have contained business information. The author mentions the Aviso from 1609 published in Wolfenbüttel as an example. Although economic issues were considered in the newspapers from the beginning, they were initially only a “marginal phenomenon”. This was due on the one hand to the fact that politics dominated in the early periodicals, and on the other hand to the situation of the economy itself. The exchange of goods took place predominantly at the local level, and those involved agreed on this in personal contact can. It was only with the gradual replacement of concrete public marketplaces by abstract supra-regional markets that media-mediated communication gained in importance for broader sections of the population.

18th century

The state-controlled intelligence papers emerged as the new media in the 18th century . This new type of press not only contained news about trade , traffic , exchange rates , trade and agriculture , but was also the medium in which official announcements and all advertisements had to be published, according to Hömberg.

19th century

Hömberg: “Since the beginning of the last century (note: 20th century), economic reporting has been more or less established in most newspapers. The nationally distributed newspapers and the large regional subscription newspapers contained their own trading section, which also opened up to general economic and economic-political topics. "

20th century

With the beginning of industrialization, the upswing of the stock exchanges began and with it the interest of a wider public in business news, analyzes and advice on financial matters. The first stock exchange newspapers were founded and daily newspapers introduced an economic section . The first news agencies came into being due to the high demand for stock market information .

Business journalism established itself across all mass media in the 20th century. From the 1960s onwards, television (magazines) and newspapers published consumer-related economic topics. The stock market boom in the late 1990s, when more and more private individuals invested in stocks and foreign exchange, also developed into a boom in business magazines and business journalism. Some business magazines were founded; Newspapers and magazines expanded the economic departments. With the financial crisis starting in 2007 , business journalism experienced another boom.

The stronger the share of economic aspects in politics - such as unemployment, the EU internal market, etc., the greater the shares that economic issues have in the scope of the media, such as newspapers, and the higher the demands on the quality of the Be journalism. “Everything that was politics last year was economic politics,” explained a journalist for a business magazine in the 1990s.

21st century: after the banking crisis

In their article Business journalism in crisis: Clueless, disoriented, overwhelmed , Hans-Jürgen Arlt and Wolfgang Storz write that the global crisis in the financial market has also triggered a crisis in business journalism. The daily updated German business journalism faced the global financial market “like a grizzled city archivist to the first computer - with a mixture of ignorance and admiration, without knowing how it works, without a clue of the momentous connections that are building up” - in case of doubt one has subscribes to the prevailing opinion. The change in the financial market from a service provider for the real economy to an independent sector with highly speculative decision-making and action criteria is generally accompanied and welcomed by the daily business journalism at least until August 2007 without any awareness of the problem: the information is poor and the orientation is misleading. From this fact, the authors derive the following duty for business journalism: Since the finance and banking industry provides society and the economy with a quasi-public good with credit and money, this industry must be under particularly careful observation.

“The daily updated German business journalism worked poorly as an observer, reporter and commentator on the financial market and financial market policy until the outbreak of the global financial market crisis; This is called botched construction in the craft. The fact that the focus of our investigation was on quality media arouses bad suspicions about what the rest of the current media landscape in the field of financial market policy may have looked like. "

Arlt and Storz point out the need for a debate about the conditions of production of published opinion. You recognize in the accusation against business journalism that it did not warn or inadequately warned of the Great Speculation and failed to alarm, not only a “justified criticism”, but also the “social search” for a “scapegoat”. So it is overwhelming for journalism in general and business journalism even more to take on this warning function instead of many other responsible social institutions (e.g. politics, the responsible supervisory authorities, business associations, economics, etc.). Crises are more the rule in society than the exception.

The research network deals with important media policy issues and advocates critical business journalism. In a discussion draft by the Netzwerk Recherche e. V. on critical business journalism, it is said that this tends to be less critical and more affirmative than reporting in other departments. In the political and cultural departments there is a higher plurality of opinions, analyzes and attitudes of the authors. Business journalism moves in a difficult source environment - unlike in politics and culture, the market for academic and scientific positions is much more focused on an elite consensus on economic and economic policy issues. Business journalism, which had been discussed until the late 1990s and criticized as “dry” and “remote from the reader”, hardly existed in this form. Most of it has been replaced by business reporting that can be characterized as consumer, service or utility journalism. “This makes utility and service journalism the expected mainstream - also for companies.” There is only a way out of the “trap of purely product-oriented business journalism” if one penetrates the company's economic activities behind the products. However, this is only possible if journalists “do their homework, research connections, analyze interests and check balance sheets.” The increased media attention to share prices is also criticized. The journalist Albrecht Müller says: "The misery of business journalism finds its completion in stock market reporting."

Professional field of business journalism

In his article “Noise in the System. Business journalism in a globalized world ”writes Dennis Murphy, if you want to become a business journalist, you have to ask yourself what problems are in the foreground in business journalism today and what the“ noise ”is in the economy. Once this “noise” has been recognized in a system, you have two options: you can turn it off or learn from it. If you want to work in business journalism, writes the business journalist Ulrich Viehöver, you have to have an idea of ​​the publishing industry, and above all the “big guys” shouldn't be overlooked. The new media in particular have fundamentally changed the professional profile of business journalists in recent years. There is no longer "one" business journalism. In fact, today we encounter the profession of business journalist in many facets: In the role of generalist, company reporter, financial journalist, consumer journalist, economic-political reporter and a journalist who has special communication skills, Christoph Moss writes with regard to the professional profile "business journalist".

Theses on the future of business journalism

The newspaper will not go away, writes the business journalist Christoph Keese about the future of the medium, but the online sector will grow radically - driven primarily by the advertising business. At the moment, according to Keese, the advertising share is 25 percent in the newspaper and 5 percent in the online business. The latter recorded high sales growth, and this will continue. This would create a whole range of new jobs there. For young journalists who have just finished their training, Keese said, it would be a good idea to join them. At the same time, however, it can be observed that five years ago most well-known journalists would have felt “at home” in the print media. This has changed: Many journalists switched to the Internet to write weblogs. In the future, journalists will present their topic through various channels - in daily or weekly newspapers, online or as an Internet video. Christoph Moss, on the other hand, assumes that there will be a dichotomy on the market: “The Internet will continue to gain in importance in terms of topicality and usefulness. In contrast, investigation, background and science will remain the domain of the print editions. Entertaining, tabloid elements will be found in both print and online media. "

The specialization in business journalism will continue, Moss continues. The specialization will also give rise to new forms of work organization, such as a further development of the model of reporters and editors. And it will pose great content-related challenges to the training and further education of journalists. This is a task that publishers have to face just like every single business journalist. Moss' specialization thesis is supported by new specific training offers, such as the study of economic journalism at the TU Dortmund (since winter semester 2013).

Forms of business journalism

Business magazines

Business magazines bring material on economic topics at least four times a year and at most once a week, accessible to everyone. They belong to the genre of the business press, provide information about the latest happenings in the business sector (and politics), are financial advisors (reader's note). They offer advertising companies the option of placing advertisements to promote their products and services (advertising market).

Business magazines

Business magazines are counted among the general-interest magazines due to their design and target group. They are part of business journalism in the broader sense. See also: List of business magazines

News agencies and information services

The United Economic Services, based in Eschborn, provide business information to the media and companies. In addition, they analyze the demands on a business magazine and the readers' needs for this type of information.

Journalism awards for business journalism (selection)


  • Hans-Jürgen Arlt, Wolfgang Storz: Business journalism in crisis. For dealing with financial market policy in the mass media (= OBS workbook . Volume 63). Otto Brenner Foundation, Frankfurt am Main 2010 (PDF; 6.8 MB).
  • Lutz Frühbrodt : Business Journalism: A Handbook for Training and Practice . Springer VS, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-658-01746-0 .
  • Jürgen Heinrich, Christoph Moss: Business journalism. Basics and practice . VS-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2006.
  • Ferdinand Knauß: Is Growth Above All? How journalism became the mouthpiece of economists. Oekom Verlag, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-86581-822-5 . (An interview with the author in the newspaper neue deutschland from November 9, 2016, p. 17)
  • Claudia Mast : Business Journalism. Basics and new concepts for the press. Opladen 1999, ISBN 3-531-33443-3 .
  • Christoph Moss: There is no such thing as “one” business journalism. In: B. Dernbach, T. Quandt (Ed.): Specialization in journalism . 2009, pp. 147-155.
  • Christian Nuernbergk (2006): The PR campaign of the New Social Market Economy Initiative and its success in the media. First results of an empirical study . In: Ulrike Röttger (ed.): PR campaigns. About staging the public . 3rd, revised edition. Wiesbaden, pp. 167-182.
  • Ulrich Viehöver: Economics department . UVK Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Konstanz 2003.
  • Siegfried Weischenberg, Hans J. Kleinsteuber, Bernhard Pörksen (eds.): Handbook of Journalism and Media. UVK publishing company. Konstanz 2005. ISBN 3-89669-429-4 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon: Business journalism , business journalism . Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  2. a b Walter Hömberg: From Fugger letter to the Exchange website. The history of business journalism . In: Career target media industry. Business journalism. Nuremberg 2002, pp. 13-17.
  3. Claudia Mast: Business Journalism. Basics and new concepts for the press . 1999, p. 128.
  4. ^ A b c Hans-Jürgen Arlt, Wolfgang Storz: Business journalism in the crisis: clueless, disoriented, overwhelmed. As of March 4, 2011
  5. a b c draft discussion 10 theses on critical business journalism (PDF). Network research , status: October 26, 2006.
  6. ^ Rudolf Stumberger and Simon Poelchau: Bloodbath on the stock exchange. The reporting on stock prices gives them a meaning that they don't even have. In: Neues Deutschland from December 5, 2016. P. 6.
  7. Dennis Murphy: Noise in the System. Business journalism in a globalized world . In: Career target media industry. Business journalism. Nuremberg 2002, p. 115.
  8. ^ Ulrich Viehöver: Economics department. UVK Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Konstanz 2003, p. 19.
  9. Christoph Moss: There is no such thing as “one” business journalism. In: B. Dernbach, T. Quandt (Ed.): Specialization in journalism . 2009, p. 147.
  10. ^ New & Forthcoming Titles at Springer, accessed on July 7, 2017.
  11. Christoph Moss: There is no such thing as “one” business journalism. In: B. Dernbach, T. Quandt (Ed.): Specialization in journalism . 2009, p. 149.
  12. Christoph Moss: There is no such thing as “one” business journalism . In: B. Dernbach, T. Quandt (Ed.): Specialization in journalism . 2009, p. 154 f.