SABEW developing biz journalism history site
by Chris Roush
The Society of American Business Editors and Writers is developing an online history of business journalism in connection with its 50th anniversary.
The group was founded in 1963 and will formally celebrate turning 50 at its annual meeting in Washington from April 4-7.
The project, known as the American History of Business Journalism, will include several components:
- In-depth looks at significant issues and trends shaping the profession during the past 50 years.
- Biographies of leading business journalists who have passed away.
- First-person pieces from current leaders in the profession about various aspects of their career and craft.
- An extensive inventory of award-winning business journalism over the years.
- A history of SABEW itself plus an archive of the group’s activities and membership since 1963.
- An interactive timeline of business journalism events, people, and significant stories.
“The history is a long-overdue effort to centralize and more formally recognize the work and contributions of business journalists as well as SABEW,” says AHBJ editor Phil Moeller, who headed SABEW in 1988 and now writes for U.S. News & World Report. “We started with a modest goal of slapping together a few nice stories. But nearly everyone contacted for the project stepped forward and volunteered to write or research or scan old SABEW files. It just mushroomed, and now we just hope we can build a scalable web site to contain everything.”
“Throughout the many ups, downs and uncertainties of its 50 years, the society has done much to give business journalism an institutional memory by remaining true to the mission of its founders,” says Dave Beal, another former SABEW president who has written an authoritative history of the group for the history project.
“It has embraced initiatives in education and training to raise the quality of business journalism, adhered to high ethical and professional standards, celebrated the best work in its field and, probably most importantly, built and sustained a robust network where peers can learn from one another and forge lasting friendships.”
“We hope the project’s launch will be only the beginning of building a valuable historic record that can be used by journalists, researchers, and, especially by students,” Moeller added. “With our industry and craft so fundamentally changed by technology, it’s more important than ever to have centralized places to provide information and share the marvelous work that generations of business journalists have done.”
Another history of business journalism site can be found at www.bizjournalismhistory.org.