She may have traded one capitol for another, but some things—like engagement with current issues and a respect for the exchange of ideas—remain the same. Washington, D.C.-based journalist Yuki Noguchi, a business correspondent with National Public Radio (NPR), immersed herself in all things Wisconsin School of Business when she visited March 5-9 as part of the School’s Business Writer in Residence Program.
The annual event is an opportunity to connect national business journalists with WSB faculty experts, says Peter Kerwin, public relations manager with WSB’s Integrated Marketing Communications team. The campus time gives journalists a chance to meet one-on-one with faculty, discuss areas of common interest, and learn more about the School, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Wisconsin in general.
“We need to give voice to people in other parts of the country,” Kerwin says. “With many major media outlets located in large metro areas like New York or Washington, D.C., programs like this remind reporters that there’s really important work being done at universities across the nation.”
Noguchi has covered business and economic issues for NPR since 2008, and is currently assigned to the President Trump beat, among others. Prior to NPR, she was a reporter with The Washington Post. She received a degree in history from Yale.
Noguchi interacted with 23 WSB faculty members during her visit, learning about their research and expertise on a wide range of topical issues through roundtable discussions and one-on-one meetings.
“I’m interested in getting a sense of where the research is going, and then, sort of based on that, trying to inform myself about where my coverage might go in each of those areas,” she says.
“It’s important for journalists to have a good grounding in history and the long-term trend lines in various industries, so that when they do daily news coverage, it comes from a deeper understanding of where that fits into context.”
As moderator of several public roundtable forums, Noguchi facilitated discussions around topics ranging from corporate governance and regulation to the Affordable Care Act, to the administration’s use of Twitter to convey policy.
“I think some of the new phenomena have made people sort of look afresh at some of the ways that we’ve traditionally covered politics or how companies have thought about their relationship with politics,” Noguchi observes. “It remains to be seen where that really lands. We’re in a time of flux and so debate is important. It’s been really fun to have that interactive debate around issues—multidisciplinary discussions where we include the questions of professors and students.”
Noguchi shared a breakfast meeting with Wisconsin MBA students, answering questions about her role as a journalist in radio and hearing their perspectives on the current political climate and culture.
“For me that’s invigorating,” Noguchi says. “It’s nice to know that there are younger listeners and listeners who care about issues, wherever they might stand on them.”
Kerwin says one of the main outcomes of the writer in residence program is relationship building, a benefit that lasts beyond when the writers leave campus.
“Meeting WSB faculty gives our business writers in residence a chance to connect with scholars in higher education, creating relationships for down the line when they are considering experts and sources for their stories,” he says.
Shortly after her visit, Noguchi featured Hart Posen, associate professor of management and human resources, in a story on Airbnb and tax implications.
Past WSB Business Writers in Residence have included Jean Chatzky, Jason Zweig, and Jennifer Reingold.