Category Archives: BizJ

On being lucky and making smart use of your parachute

This post was first published on my Perfect Moment Project blog.

John Dille and me at Cronkite's 2014 graduation ceremony.

John Dille and me at Cronkite’s 2014 graduation ceremony.

For the last three years, six semesters to be precise, I have co-taught a 400-level required journalism course with John Dille, the wise man in the video above.

John and I have made a great team.

We teach a course about the Business & Future of Journalism. John is awesome talking about ‘Big B’ Business. And I share lots of information about what newsrooms are doing these days to attempt to guarantee that they’ll be around in the Future.

John had taught the class on his own for two semesters before I signed on. It didn’t take long for us to get in step with each other, using some of what John had taught before and adding new wrinkles to the class syllabus. The topic is a moving target and we are constantly updating our class content. But even so, after six semesters together, we’ve gotten into a pretty smooth routine.

We were lucky to have each other.

I was very lucky to teach with such a caring, passionate educator and journalist. And I think the best students leave our class understanding that too.

In the final minutes of the final day of each semester, we offer some last words of advice to our students. I tell tell them not to be afraid to change directions along the way and to remember that they are snowballs – always accumulating knowledge, experience, skills that will serve them well no matter what they do.

John tells them the story caught on video below.

Because Spring 2014 at the Cronkite School of Journalism has been our final semester (we’re going to take a little break), I was moved to record the tale that John always shares during these last minutes that we still have the students’ attention. It’s a winner. Even graduating seniors stop and take note. You should watch it.

Newsroom Training, #ASNEchat, Nov. 8, 2011

#ASNEchat on the best free or inexpensive online training.

I was asked to join a panel of newsroom trainers to talk about journalism training and answer questions about what journalists want, need and can find inexpensively, primarily on the web.

Panelists: Charles Apple, freelance journalist and blogger; Matt DeRienzo, Journal Register Co.; Howard Finberg, Poynter; Deborah Gump, Middle Tennessee State University; Evelyn Hsu, Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and Robin Phillips, Reynolds Center for Business Journalism.

#ASNEchat tweet from @RobinJPIt was a lot of fun and very informative. Here’s a Storify including the chat’s highlights. Lots of good tips here:

Newsroom Training, #ASNEchat, Nov. 8, 2011

Here’s the full collection of #ASNEchat Storify archives.

And Steve Buttry has pulled together an extensive list of Resources for Training Journalists.

My 4 minutes, 38 seconds in the spotlight – TV lessons for a print journalist

PHOENIX – While it might seem like the News of the World phone-hacking scandal is limited to Europe, it could be just a matter of time before we start seeing effects of it here in the U.S.
Robin Phillips, the Web managing editor for the Reynolds Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University, sat down to discuss the issue with Tara Hitchcock. | Full story: Local expert breaks down News of the World scandal and its effects in the U.S.

Robin J Phillips

I enjoyed the process of getting ready for this interview and felt good going through it — not always an easy thing for we print journalists. We’re not used to being in the spotlight, or coming across as “experts.”

After talking with a few others today about how being on TV can be unnerving, I wrote this blog post to share what I learned: Print to TV: Lessons from the set of Good Morning Arizona

Social Media 101, 202, 303 for journalists

You're a great presenter

It was a good week. Thanks, Jason.

I taught six webinars this week, two each: Social Media 01 (the basics), Social Media 202 (tips for journalists using social media as a research tool), and Social Media 303 (cutting through the clutter).

The sessions were very popular and well received. And it looks like Jason, put it to work immediately.

Want to watch recordings of the three webinars? Check them out here at the website of my day job. Social Media 101, 202, 303: Self-guided training

It’s been fun to be on NPR

Thanks, Sue,
Sue commentary on NPR
Sue’s opinion piece on has caused a lot of chatter this week. I love it, of course, because it says so much about her love. Her love of me and her parents.

Fighting For The Right To Marry, A Family Tradition

But I also love that she has helped tell the story of marriage in a way that makes it clear that same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue.

Well done, Suzie.

Happy about business journalists’ confidence

U.S. business journalists express confidence in journalism’s future

We got some great buzz on the release of our research into the confidence of U.S. business editors and reporters.

Almost two-thirds of business journalists report that the amount of business coverage at their organization has stayed the same or increased in the past five years, according to a new survey commissioned by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.

The results were far more optimistic than we anticipated. And they suggested that newsrooms, at least the business desks, are not as gloomy as journalists have been suggesting.

Romenesko on BizJ
Romenesko column

Among the findings:

• Six out of 10 are doing more or about the same level of investigative journalism.
• Nine out of 10 have learned new skills.
• Three-fourths say their workload has increased and they use social media.
• About half blog, file first for the Web and cover more beats.

asu logo asu news Business journalists optimistic about journalism’s future

Fishbowl NY Survey: Business Journalists Are .. Optimistic?

It was a lot of fun to put together this package. The report, five quick questions answered by Reynolds President Andrew Leckey, a slideshow of the Q&As, and an analysis from journalism professor Tim McGuire.

Take a look. Enjoy.

PRNewswire:  U.S. Business Journalists Express Confidence in Journalism’s Future

Covering the Green Economy

Cronkite school announces two programs

By Victoria Pelham, The Downtown Devil, March 3, 2010

….   Robin Phillips, Web managing editor for the Reynolds Center, said the seminar will provide journalists with tools to understand issues in Covering the Green Economycovering business environmentalism, track money being used for environmental pursuits, learn about green legislation and recognize “greenwashing,” which is when companies promote themselves as “green” companies to a higher degree than their actual practice of environmentalism.

“We’ll attract some attention because nobody else is doing something quite like this,” she said. “Also, ASU is recognized as a leader … in green economy and sustainability, so it kind of reinforces what ASU stands for overall.” …