Business News at the Library of Congress

Business news is a type of journalism that focuses on the economic and corporate sectors of society. In the United States, the term is most commonly used to refer to the Wall Street Journal and other major financial publications. However, the concept of business news is much more widespread and includes coverage of all types of businesses, from retail to manufacturing to service industries. This type of journalism has been around for centuries, with famous muckraking journalists like Ida Tarbell contributing to its early growth.

The word business comes from the Old English bisignes, meaning “to trade or exchange.” Its suffix is similar to busyness, which also has a root in trading or exchanging. In its earliest forms, the word was used in phrases such as “get down to business” and “business is business,” which suggest that it has always been an important part of our lives.

A business is an activity or enterprise entered into for profit, and that is what defines it. A business can be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or an organization. It can be in the form of an industry such as real estate or marketing, or it could be a specific product or service such as Apple or mattresses. A business may be successful or not, but it must always seek profit to be considered a business.

In addition to a focus on profits, businesses are often characterized by the level of responsibility they take for their activities. They can be held accountable for their actions by various government agencies and shareholders. This can lead to conflict, especially in publicly-traded companies where the interests of multiple stakeholders are competing for resources.

While personal greed or insensitivity to others may be accusations against some business leaders, most are not guilty of deliberate fraud or wickedness. However, many are still accused of mismanaging their companies’ affairs for the sake of short-term gain.

The Library of Congress has a number of resources available to researchers who are interested in business news. This guide includes links to print and microform sources, as well as tips on how to find regional business news in the United States. You can also contact the Business Reference team at the Library of Congress to ask a question and get advice on research techniques. This guide is updated regularly to include new sources and to correct errors. For further information on accessing business news in the Library of Congress, please see this FAQ page.