Reynolds Visiting Journalism Professor Micki Maynard will teach two journalism classes at CMU in spring semester 2013, one in business journalism and one in entrepreneurial journalism.
Maynard, a former New York Times senior business correspondent, visited campus to tell students about JRN 397C Fundamentals of Business Journalism and JRN497B Introduction to Entrepreneurial Journalism. JRN 397C will focus on basic concepts of business and economic journalism, while JRN 497B will require students to craft ideas for future projects and come up with pitches to get funding for those projects.
“My goal is for students to be able to talk to anybody, but especially people in power,” Maynard said.
She believes every story has an element of business in it.
“A well-rounded journalist ought to be able to cover anything,” Maynard said.
In JRN 497B, students also will work with computer science and business advisers. Maynard encouraged students to try the class, even if they have never sold anything.
“Never think of your first try as a failure; think of it as your first step,” she said.
Maynard is a real believer in business journalism education. She wants to make sure students strive to get the public the correct information.
“It is such an important time in journalism,” she said. “I’m really happy to be part of the revolution.”
Maynard sees teaching as an opportunity to be an adviser to students.
“It helps you crystallize how you learned something and how to explain it to someone else,” she said.
Maynard lives in Ann Arbor, so she was excited to be chosen for the visiting professorship at CMU.
“For me, I have a great curiosity about everything,” she said. “I love hearing about what students are doing.”
Much of business journalism is press releases, she said. She told students that it was their job to explain to the audience what the company is really like.
“Your job is to find something different than everyone else has told you about,” Maynard said.
She compared writing a good business story to making a salad. She said you add the greens and all the normal stuff, but you look for extra things, like goat cheese, to mix things up.
“You think of new things to add, and pull it all together,” Maynard said.