Corporate Governance Guide for Journalists

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, in conjunction with the International Center for Journalists, has produced  A Guide to Reporting on Corporate Governance designed for reporters and editors with experience covering business and finance. The goal is to help journalists develop stories that examine how companies are governed, and spot events that may have serious consequences for the company’s survival, shareholders and stakeholders.

Topics include the media’s role as a watchdog, how the board of directors functions, what constitutes good practice, what financial reports reveal, what role shareholders play and how to track down and use information shedding light on a company’s inner workings.

Journalists learn how to recognize “red flags,” or warning signs, that indicate whether a company may be violating laws and rules. Tips on reporting and writing guide reporters in developing clear, balanced, fair and convincing stories. Three recurring features in the Guide help reporters apply “lessons learned” to their own “beats,” or coverage areas:

  • Reporter’s Notebook: Advice from successful business journalists
  • Story Toolbox: How and where to find story ideas
  • What Do You Know? Applying the guide’s lessons

Each chapter of Who’s Running the Company: A Guide to Reporting on Corporate Governance, (pdf >75 pages) helps journalists acquire the knowledge and skills needed to recognize potential stories in the companies they cover, dig out the essential facts, interpret their findings and write clear, compelling stories:

Each chapter ends with a section on Sources, which lists background resources pertinent to that chapter’s topics. At the end of the Guide, a Selected Resources section provides useful websites and recommended reading on corporate governance. The Glossary defines terminology used in covering companies and corporate governance topics.  I have included an additional link to the Guide on our Education page for future reference so that we can all easily find it in future.

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