New collaboration lets business and journalism students take classes across disciplines

UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Haas School of Business—with support from Bloomberg News—have launched an initiative to enable journalism and business students to take classes across the two disciplines. The schools are pursuing a formal joint certificate in Business Journalism, with the goal of strengthening reporting in a field that is multifaceted, complex, and pertinent to everyday lives.

“All stories are business stories — whether you’re covering city hall, labor, the environment or education,” said Berkeley Journalism Dean Geeta Anand. “We’re teaching students how to hold power accountable and usually power lies where the money rests — in the corporations that dominate our country. We are diversifying the storytellers and giving them the tools they need to cover business responsibly, knowledgeably and robustly.”

Dean Ann E. Harrison, Anand’s counterpart at Berkeley Haas, emphasized the benefits of crossing disciplines. “In order to cover business, journalists need to understand how business operates and how money moves through the economy. And business leaders can benefit from having a deeper understanding of the media,” Harrison said. “This is a win-win for students at both schools.”

man wearing a suit teaching in a classroom
Bloomberg Senior Executive Editor Tom Giles teaches “Covering Silicon Valley.”

The Berkeley initiative kicked off with a class taught by Bloomberg Global Technology senior executive editor Tom Giles on “Covering Silicon Valley” in collaboration with Bloomberg News. The class seeks to provide a “foundation for reporting on a broad range of business topics, from IPOs and market swings to employment gains and trade flows,” emphasizing the Bay Area’s tech industry and players.

“Understanding how money is used to build businesses, create jobs, amass wealth and, too often, widen inequality has never been more urgent,” Giles said. “Our aim is to give journalists the tools they need to follow money, expose the misuse of it, and tell the story of capitalism clearly, unflinchingly and compellingly.”

Berkeley students are the first in the nation to use the just-released Bloomberg Guide to Business Journalism, which provides students and professionals with the essential tools for reporting on companies, industries, financial markets, economies, banks and government policies anywhere in the world. The book illustrates how to chronicle capitalism for different audiences — from general consumers of business news to market specialists — and how to present compelling stories across print, web, video, and audio formats.