Reflections of a career in business journalism
by Chris Roush
Tom Shean is a business writer at The Virginian-Pilot who is retiring Friday, Nov. 11 after 32 years with the paper. He talked about his career with Pilot writer Amy Jeter.
Here is an excerpt:
When I was in graduate school, I’d planned to report on city matters. I was really interested in municipal issues, and then started reading The Wall Street Journal for the front-page stories that they had on nonbusiness issues – foreign affairs, national politics, sometimes consumer issues. The stories were so well-put-together that I just read more and more of the Journal.
Aside from the Journal, business wasn’t as well-covered by newspapers in the 1970s. I decided to look for openings in business reporting in the Southeast. I dropped off a resume here.
Looking back, it’s startling to think about how many people smoked at the time. It was the era of typewriters. I was astounded at how people composed stories in their head and just sat down to a typewriter and just fired them off.
I took some courses in accounting, economics and statistics at Old Dominion, but an awful lot of what I learned was on the job. The business editor at the time was very helpful, but learning the details of a bank balance sheet were things that I picked up from talking with people in the financial community.
Read more here.