Matthew Winkler, editor-in-chief emeritus of Bloomberg News, visited the University of Nebraska–Lincoln on February 9 to speak with business and journalism students. Winkler’s appearance results from a collaboration between the College of Business Administration and the College of Journalism and Mass Communications to create more financial communications courses and experiences for students in both colleges.
In the morning session, hosted by a journalism class, he discussed the role of media in the age of Twitter and the coverage of President Donald Trump and the challenges he poses for media.
“I don’t think there’s ever been a better time in America to be a journalist. They deal both with evidence and facts and are indispensable to a democracy. The best recipe for success is to report with facts,” he said.
The goal to share the most factual information played a pivotal role in growing their business. Building Bloomberg News from scratch in 1990, they leveraged the resources of the financial information company to create a global powerhouse in media with 2,500 editors and reporters in 150 bureaus worldwide.
He spoke about this process and their business plan in an afternoon town hall discussion led by Dr. Sam Nelson, assistant professor of practice in management and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, and Tate Hundahl, a senior management major from Blair, Nebraska.
“I thought Mr. Winkler’s description of his five F’s – factual, first, fast, final and future – is a great example of clearly articulating your value proposition as an organization in the very beginning and ensuring that proposition continues to permeate the company culture as it grows,” Nelson said.
Students saw the five F’s as a key takeaway that applies to startups and Fortune 500 companies alike.
“The five F’s are a way to maintain a culture that reflected the ‘Bloomberg way.’ Mr. Winkler said they emphasize preparation to deal with the unknown. Inevitably, events will happen that threaten to shake you from your values, but preparing for all possible outcomes is what has kept Bloomberg so successful and vigilant,” said Hundahl.
Nelson believes his students resonated with Winkler’s advice because it closely aligns with the college’s Start Something mantra.
“He shared a story about his willingness to say ‘Yes’ to Mr. Bloomberg’s initial offer because he didn’t want to live the rest of his life wondering ‘what if.’ Saying yes to the right opportunity can change your whole life,” said Nelson.
Hundahl, who volunteered to represent his class in leading the discussion, said interacting with individuals like Winkler has been a highlight of his studies while at Nebraska.
“This event was one example of the university providing us access to world-renowned individuals who have experienced wild success or share unique and enlightening perspectives. I wouldn’t have gotten this learning opportunity otherwise,” Hundahl said.
The CBA and CoJMC collaboration continues with an eight-week course called Financial Communications (JOMC 491/891), beginning March 6. Joseph Weber, Jerry and Karla Huse Professor of News-Editorial and associate professor of journalism, will teach the class training students in how to cover business and financial news and how to play important communications roles at companies, nonprofits or other organizations. Undergraduate and graduate students will learn how to write for financial media, as well as to understand and prepare annual and quarterly reports and to communicate with investors. The course includes an optional trip to Seattle to attend the Society of American Business Editors and Writers conference where students can network with top corporate executives and journalists from such organizations as Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal
, The New York Times
and Reuters. For information about the online course, contact Weber at email@example.com
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