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ASU Reynolds Center launches innovative email course on covering financials

May 27, 2016

Journalists interested in sharpening their coverage of public companies can sign up for a free in-depth email course through the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University.

The seven-day course, “Introduction to Covering Financials,” teaches reporters how to better cover the financial performance of public companies through detailed lessons on financial statements, accounting, information sources and more. Part of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Reynolds Center has provided training to more than 22,000 journalists since 2003.

The course was developed by Clinical Associate Professor of Accountancy Steven Orpurt, who teaches corporate governance and sustainability and accounting at the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU. It is based on his popular blog series on financials for journalists on the Reynolds Center’s website at

“The purpose of the email course and related website articles is to help journalists become more knowledgeable consumers of financial statement disclosures,” Orpurt said. “Toward that purpose, concepts discussed include conservatism, non-GAAP disclosures, an understanding that the income statement measures wealth created, not cash created, and more.”

Course registration is at

Those enrolled receive a daily email focused on a particular financial reporting topic with access to the Reynolds Center website for more information.

“For reporters covering business, understanding company financials is among the most critical skills needed to unearth and pursue meaningful stories on the business beat,” said Elizabeth Mays, Reynolds Center assistant director. “This email course is a great way for reporters to get introduced to concepts that can help them read and interpret companies’ financial statements better.”

The Reynolds Center’s mission is to help journalists improve business coverage through in-person and online training and its website,

“Introduction to Covering Financials” is one of several initiatives by the Reynolds Center to help journalists better report on money. Other resources include a free, downloadable e-book, “Guide to Business Beat Basics,” a podcast, “How to Cover Money,” and a website with daily tips and resources for business journalists.

The Reynolds Center is funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, it has committed more than $145 million nationwide through its journalism program.

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