Trade and industry news: an introduction

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Trade and industry news (or Business journalism or “business news”) is common in the mainstream media. Typically the stories produced will report on recent events, and offer analysis from a business, economic or financial view point. Some stories will focus on a specific company, while others might focus more on a particular sector or industry. This can be a very valuable research tool if you are looking to find out more about a particular company, sector or industry.

Famous publications such as the Financial Times, or the New York Times, have a well established reputation for providing cutting edge assessments. However, there are many other smaller publications, which offer a more specific focus on particular sectors or industries. Some good examples of these would be the Grocer (focused on supermarket retail), or Campaign (which focuses specifically on Marketing campaigns).

The main advantage from a research point of view is the currency that these sources provide. They will allow you to monitor events as they happen, gaining insight into company and industry related events.

The analysis provided will often focus on the key political, economic and market trends, and this can help your research to remain relevant and vibrant.

Business news offers the potential to consider the impact of current developments in detail alongside your ongoing research. However, the fast paced nature of it’s production means that caution should always be exercised when using these sources.

This post will look at some of the databases which provide business news and are available through University of Manchester Library.

Finding Business news can seem very straightforward! Simply turn on your TV, radio or the internet, and it won’t be long before you will encounter some form of “business” related news!

Richard Quest CNN International Business Correspondent holds $1.25 in his hand, the amount the extremely poor live on each day — https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldbank/10172233063

Top 10 lists of news sites are commonplace on the internet. However, it’s well worth remembering that even the most “reputable” of publications have been known to get things wrong on occasion, and have been accused of bias or being written to support a specific agenda. So it is important to exercise some caution when using these sources!

There’s no detailed peer-review process for business news (unlike for example the Journal of Finance), however the up-to-date nature of the sources means that they are still well worth consulting.

Our My Learning Essentials skills training programme offers a range of workshops and online resources that can provide you with further guidance on using and evaluating these different types of information sources, and are well worth checking out.

If you begin to seriously consider using business news as a research tool it won’t be long before you begin to encounter the dreaded ‘paywall problem’!

Let’s not forget that all these journalists have to eat! The ways you will be asked to contribute do vary, so lets have a closer look at Forbes magazine’s top business news sources

  • Forbes magazine: A reasonable amount of Forbes content is “freely” available online. How “free” this actually is will be a decision only you can decide. However, you will need to agree to certain browser conditions in order to access the content!
  • Fortune magazine: A similar model to Forbes, though with a greater amount of content blocked unless you take out a subscription.
Fortune magazine cookie settings
  • Bloomberg Business Week magazine: Subscription required
  • The Financial Times newspaper: Subscription required
Financial times subscription page

The short answer (if you are a staff or student of the University of Manchester) is No!

You will be able to access these publications for free using the University of Manchester Library. The library subscribes to databases such as Business Source Premier and Factiva, which gather content from all of these top news sources for you.

You will just need to know how to find it and use the various databases. It can be a bit complicated (and frustrating!) at times, but it won’t cost you a penny.

The remainder of this post will show you how to do this.

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Finally you can of course use general web search tools to identify useful websites. Trade associations such as the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders or the British Retail Consortium will offer up to date news and analysis from the relevant sector. You may have to pay to get access to some of the information, but analysis of the latest news stories will usually be available on the public facing web-pages.

You should easily able to find a list of a countries trading associations (such as this one for the United Kingdom) using a search engine such as Google.

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Further posts and podcasts on this topic

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