Business news articles are a core component of business journalism. They report, record, analyze and interpret the economic environment of a particular geographical location. Such articles may discuss anything from shopping malls to industry news and from performance analysis of popular companies to the prevalent status of the macro business environment. Wall Street Journal is one popular platform for business writers and business news articles. The format and content of a business article may vary by place, business journal and industry.
Business journalism commenced as early as the Middle Ages. In 1700s, British newspapers started publishing advertisements for merchants while in the same year, newspapers in both England and American colonies began providing information on the ships and cargos entering and leaving ports. In 1735, the court of law accused John Peter Zenger of sedition for criticizing the government on business related affairs. It was a breakthrough in 1889, when the Wall Street Journal started publishing. In 1902, writings of the famous journalist “Ida Tarbell” for Standard Oil Company, provided thousands of business journalists a template. Business news articles further received limelight in 1990s, when stock markets were the most important and urgent concern to write about.
It will be a folly to underestimate the worth of business news articles. Consider this: On a hilltop in Kenya, the Thambu family started earning more money when their son read an article about a new and cheap irrigation system. He dug out a water hole at the hill’s base and installed a water pump with irrigation kit. The information which enabled him to set up this new irrigation system was published in a business article in the country’s leading newspaper. Not just the Thambu family, but thousands of families who were living on hills, were later benefitted by the article.
Another example from Kenya can explain the role of business journalism in a macro-environment context. In 1990s, Kenya was the main supplier of cut flowers to Europe. In 2006, China began its program for cut flower production with the aid of latest technology. Chinese combined their investment with the same brokers that were buying 70% of Kenya’s cut flowers. When the Chinese flowers arrived in European markets, the prices of Kenyan flowers were almost halved in a matter of days.
Had Kenya could foresee Chinese plans, it would be possible to devise a solution and save the flower industry, on which relied several thousands of families to earn their bread. The Kenyan media had neglected the issue which could be easily reported [and consequently resolved] with the use of business news articles.
In the absence of business journalism, it is difficult to precisely ascertain:
o The activities which are making the greatest profits
o The business sectors which are expanding as well as shrinking
o The market segments to urgently deal with
o The competition foreign suppliers can offer
Although business journalism has been utterly neglected in the third world for shortage of resources, in recent years, there has be a significant emphasis on business news and articles. Information is the key to successful business and in the absence of business journalism, it would not be possible for industries to thrive.