Occasionally, a firm will appear in the business media specifically for successes or failures in certain areas. Smuckers, for example, received an extensive write-up about their human resources practices and the ways in which they develop competitive advantages through human resources in Fortune Magazine when they were named the #1 company to work for in America in 2004. These sources can contain excellent information not normally available to members of the public. There is less bias in a source like this in part because it is a media outlet and in part because they used objective methodology — if they praise, it is praise that has been earned.
No author. (2004). 100 best companies to work for. Fortune Magazine. Retrieved March 20, 2010 from http://www.pbs.org/wsw/news/100best/smuckers.html
For many publicly traded firms, there are research reports produced by various analytical agencies. These reports are an excellent compilation of publicly available information about the company. They are generally free from bias, and may be the strongest source of information available about the company because they synthesize their data from a wide range of other sources.
The main drawback is that the reports are not available for free, and can be quite expensive.
Kunar, R. (2006). J.M. Smucker: Corporate analysis. Daedal Research. Retrieved March 19, 2010 from http://www.researchconnect.com/downloadreport.asp?RepID=14777
Lastly, the business media is a valuable source of information. An individual story may only be about one aspect of the organization, and may yield only a limited amount of information, but often good knowledge can be inferred because the reporter writing the piece knows a lot about the company. Some business media also base stories around press releases that the company releases. These stories have a greater degree of bias but again can contain some valuable insights since they are coming from the company itself.
No author. (2008). The J.M. Smucker Company announces leadership team promotions. PR Newswire. Retrieved March 19, 2010 from http://www2.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=ORSENRCN.story&STORY=/www/story/08-21-2008/0004871093&EDATE=THU+Aug+21+2008,+07:00+AM.