By Dougal Beatty
It’s time to face facts people, business journalism (whether we like it or not) sells.
My warning to the media industry: ignore the men and women in suits market at your peril!
Business journalism is a growth area that young journos must consider as a career option because business is where the jobs are at.
Additionally, those smarties who know their audience and market, stand to make a huge windfall if they can entice readers across from the old school publications.
Someone who has mastered this space already is Alan Kohler – better known as that grey-haired bloke who presents the ABC finance report every night.
Kohler, a former editor of the Australian Financial Review and The Age, is now the owner of Australian Independent Business Media, which publishes the online personal investment newsletter the Eureka Report and a free, 24-hour business news website Business Spectator.
Kohler, along with business partners, Stephen Bartholemeuz and Robert Gottliebsen, are doing something that most of the media industry are finding it hard to do right now; making money.
He has proved to the industry there is still a profit to be made, but the boundaries have shifted a little.
The both Kohler’s publications are online; while the Business Spectator utilises its high hit rate to attract advertising income, the Eureka Report has taken the bold to step to implement a subscription-based model.
So far the business market has been contained to the online printed form, but I wouldn’t be surprised if video reports started to boom online too.
As for the other mediums, the outlook for business is a little unclear.
The closest thing “business” in the free-to-air bulletins is a cursory glance at the sharemarket’s performance and how the Aussie dollar fared for the day.
There’s a little more scope on the cable networks with Bloomberg and the Sky News Business Channel.
But at this stage, online is still king.
So, I ask you, if the commercial imperative of news organisations is to turn a profit, could business journalism + the online medium = the future of journalism?