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Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley awarded Bloomberg grant for business reporting center
18 April 2001

By Kathleen Maclay, Media Relations

Berkeley - The Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, will launch a business journalism center for aspiring and veteran business writers and editors, thanks to a three-year, $585,000 grant from Bloomberg L.P.

Starting with the fall 2001 semester, the journalism program housed at North Gate Hall will offer instruction on the basics of financial and economic markets along with specialized courses in reporting on personal finance, technology, international business and economics. Site visits to corporations and business publications will be an integral part of the curriculum.

"Because covering the 21st century world of business by means of a multi-media approach in all its many manifestations is one of the highest commitments of the Graduate School of Journalism, it is with great excitement and gratitude that we contemplate Michael Bloomberg's contribution," said Orville Schell, dean of the school. "It will help us to give future generations of journalists the tools to make sense of the topsy-turvy world of the marketplace today."

Bloomberg L.P. started Bloomberg News in 1990. Leveraging the data and analysis of the Bloomberg Professional Service, Bloomberg News has grown to more 1,100 reporters and editors in 80 bureaus worldwide, providing economic, business, political and sports stories to leading corporations, financial institutions and newspapers throughout the world. Bloomberg Radio AM 1130 made its first broadcast to the New York City tri-state area in 1993. Broadcast 24 hours a day, Bloomberg Radio's reporters were the first to exclusively use digital equipment and now syndicate their reports to more than 200 radio stations nationwide. Bloomberg Television, consisting of 10 networks in seven languages, as well as many national and international affiliates, now reaches 200 million viewers worldwide since its debut in 1994.

"Whether the economy is booming or crashing, there are few stories today more important than that of business," Schell said of the increasing business coverage. "In effect, the culture of commerce has become the ascendant culture of our times. And whether looking at financial markets, start-ups, venture capitalists, trade and foreign investment, or growth rates, we are looking at the prime movers of modern life."

As part of the business journalism center, North Gate students also will be encouraged to take classes in accounting and finance at UC Berkeley.

Students also will write for a school-based business news service that will provide stories for financial Web site and daily newspaper publications, as well as for trade journals and broadcast outlets.

Plans call for conferences, other events and short courses for business news editors and writers to update them with the latest in financial coverage, as well as about new data and technologies

UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism already boasts several established business journalists working now or in the recent past as teaching fellows. They include syndicated financial columnist Andrew Leckey; The New York Times financial columnist Dan Akst; San Jose Mercury News editorial editor Sara Bachman; and Karl Shoenberg, former Los Angeles Times Tokyo bureau chief and the bureau chief in Hong Kong for Fortune magazine.

"The last few years have seen an incredible rise in the public's interest in business and the financial markets, raising the bar for journalists who cover this complex and dynamic subject," said Michael Bloomberg, founder and CEO of Bloomberg L.P.. "This institution has been increasing the quality of journalism for many years, and I expect this grant will allow it to produce some exceptional business journalists."