College students urged to consider business journalism
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
College students looking for jobs in journalism should consider business reporter, said one of the top business journalists in the country on Thursday.
“Business journalism is really fun,” said Fortune senior editor at large Allan Sloan. “I’m living proof that you can start out knowing absolutely nothing about business.”
Sloan was speaking at the “Getting Started in Business News” conference, held Thursday through Saturday at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Nearly 60 college students from 15 different universities are in attendance.
Sloan noted the demand for business journalists in media today, and pointed out that the Fortune reporter who helped him write an article in the latest issue is 29.
Knowing how to write about business and the economy “makes you eminently employable,” said Sloan. “It’s a skill that’s in demand.”
Sloan has won seven Loeb Awards, considered the Pulitzer Prize of business journalism. He continues to pile up awards for his analysis and reporting of business and economic issues. His writing is concise and can be clearly understood by anyone.
Sloan joined Fortune in July 2007. He was previously Newsweek’s Wall Street editor for 12 years. The same year, writing for Newsweek, he warned about how Wall Street thought it had eliminated risk from investing.
In the past year, Sloan was featured in the “Inside Job” movie as one of the few journalists who wrote critically about Wall Street excesses that led to the current economic crisis.
Sloan failed in a tryout as an education reporter for Newsday in the 1960s, and then worked as a sports reporter for the Charlotte Observer before joining its business desk with no training. He learned to write about business by asking people questions and looking for documents that could help tell a story.
“I turned out to like it,” said Sloan. “I learned all about banking. I learned all about real estate. I turned out to be endlessly fun and endlessly useful.”