The need for people with real-life experience in biz journalism

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Alister & Paine, an online magazine, profiled Fox Business Network anchor Sandra Smith about her career, which went from working on Wall Street to behind the camera.

Here is an excerpt:

Alister & Paine: How did you move from the trading floor to television?

Sandra Smith: Right out of college I started with a couple hedge funds in NY. The managers there quickly realized this wasn’t altogether new to me. So this old Virginia cigar smoking man helped and inspired me to take my test to become a registered stock broker. A few years later my firm asked if I could go on TV from the trading floor, they wanted me to just talk about our customer order flow, what I was seeing over the desk, just get the company’s name up on the screen. Little did they know, a month later the television stations were calling wanting to talk to me.

I was nervous. It really happened organically. I always knew that I wasn’t shy and didn’t mind cameras, doesn’t bother me a lick. When I hopped on there it was so natural to me.

Alister & Paine: Why do you think you were so popular with Bloomberg and now at Fox?

Sandra Smith: There was definitely a need in financial journalism for people with real life experience and knowledge. Every day I draw on my experiences from that. You can never replace real life experience.

At Fox, you could be going on Fox News, Fox Business, or an affiliate like Fox 5 in New York. You need to just know how to change your language. Mom and Pop investor need to be talked to differently than the hedge fund manager, the institutional multi-million dollar investor. You have to be able to accommodate your conversation for different types of investors.

Read more here.