The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Financial Times, Forbes. There are scores of business and economics publications, many of them international. They range from consumer/small investor advice publications like the Kiplinger Report to dense analysis of government-produced documents. This course will focus largely on consumer-oriented elements of business and economics journalism, but will begin with the basics of macroeconomics, such as how economic systems work and what are key economic indicators. The class will also explore the interaction between media and business, as well as the rules that influence engagement, such as, in the United States, insider trading. On a more micro level, this voyage gives students a unique opportunity to witness “street economics” and small enterprise, which should generate discussion, as well as journalism, about the entrepreneurial energy in the countries visited. Students will also be asked to find evidence of international influences in the way that businesses have evolved — or failed to — to compete or to meet national and social goals, such as full-employment. Students will develop a multi-country paper or series of articles based on their reportage and research.
Field WorkCountry: South Africa
Date: October 12, 2017
Stellenbosch is in South Africa’s wine country. It is a lovely old town that exhibits the vestiges of European influence in SA. It is a town that illustrates how the business fortunes of regions change over time. The class will visit the region of SA known for its vineyards. Like Napa or Calistoga in northern California, in this region of South Africa there are acres of vineyards and associated enterprises, like restaurants and chocolate shops that encourage visitors to linger. This region of South Africa is expansive, green and rural. To get there, one sees the edges of Cape Town, crowded housing areas – segregated by ethnicity – that are bisected by the highways connecting the tourist sections of Cape Town to the open countryside under wine cultivation. The contrasts are important. Where do the workers at the winery come from? The purpose of this exercise is to explore the wine business and its viability. Is it an international or a domestic business? What contributes to South Africa’s wine image? What is that image and how is it accomplished? Is the business growing? What is the market for wine? How competitive are South African wines?
1. A basic understanding of international marketing and Industry competition.
2. A grasp of business and industry structure and goals.
3. An opportunity to engage directly with a wine producer and gain journalist experience.