An avid consumer of newspapers and current affairs from a young age, Mark Pownall is now leading the charge in online business news.
The Curtin alumnus and former business journalist for The West Australian and Money Marketing (UK) is employed as Head of Content at Business News, a platform that delivers daily articles and data on financial trends.
Multi-tasking and multifarious of nature, Mark is embracing the change from the printed word to online technology.
“The new world of media is very daunting,” Mark says. “We [Business News] have to run virtually two separate and distinct platforms – online and print – with the same resources we previously had to run just one. But we are at the coalface of this change.”
The Business News website was at the forefront for introducing fully paid online subscriptions. Producing what Pownall describes as, “business news with integrity”, the company enjoys a loyal customer base willing to pay for high-quality content.
Mark says the website’s veracious approach to online news evolved from his early experiences as a business journalist.
“The business leaders I engaged with were resentful of mainstream newspapers and the way they always highlighted mistakes and errors, and never focused on good results,” he explains.
“At Business News, we aimed to bring some balance to local business reporting by looking for success stories as much as anything else.
“Importantly, our data is indisputable: a poor performance is there for all to see in the numbers and the rankings we publish. I think this objective approach makes people feel the coverage is fair.”
Mark has been an exponent of honest reporting throughout his twenty-year career in media and his studies at Curtin went some way to ensuring these ethical roots took hold.
“I think one part of the Curtin course that offered something special was the ethics component,” he says.
“There are a lot of ethical challenges in journalism, and I was grateful for that background.”
Mark’s journalistic interest in ethics and equality is evenly reflected in his dedication to covering charities and not-for-profit organisations.
“I had some brief stints on the boards of Craftwest (now FORM) and the WA Women’s Hockey Association, and realised that this was an area that required more serious ‘reporting attention’,” he says.
“I think Business News is responsible for a lot of the focus that is put on ‘not-for-profits’ and charities these days – and I think that is a good thing.”
Mark says he is proud of the business for carving out its own space in the online news market, but he isn’t remaining idle.
“I am focused on developing a new-look team, which will be better equipped to handle the [future] changes in media,” he explains.
“We are at the leading edge of the market globally and it is very exciting to be part of that and to try to make it work commercially.”
Name: Mark Pownall
Studied: Graduate Diploma in English
Area of study: Humanities