WSJ reporter Silverman leaves paper
Wall Street Journal reporter Rachel Silverman sent out the following goodbye message to her colleagues after accepting the paper’s buyout offer:
When I started at the WSJ more than 18 years ago, my first assignment was to create a fake page one from the year 1,000 for a special edition to celebrate the turn of the new millennium. During the height of the first dot-com boom, I wrote stories about ducats instead of dollars, and vikings, not venture capitalists. As a newly-minted liberal-arts graduate I couldn’t believe I was getting paid (albeit meagerly) to have so much fun.
Since then, I’ve been lucky to write about office robots, stand-up meetings, bossless companies, powerful bald men, Jack Welch’s messy divorce, the tiny church that was destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, airport tango dancers, a mysterious card-sharp, and a solution to a secret code sent to Thomas Jefferson that had vexed cryptographers for years.
There have been plenty of serious pieces too, some of which have helped change laws and minds. Stories have led to legislation preventing bosses from accessing worker birth-control data, as well as laws limiting tax shelters for rich art collectors, patents on tax strategies and insurance schemes targeted to wealthy seniors. Our stories have an impact and it is a privilege to wield this power.
I’m also grateful that the WSJ has allowed me to craft the type of job setup that works with the rest of my life. Many businesses use “flexibility” as a buzzword, but the WSJ has let me work part time and remotely from central Texas and granted me a sabbatical year for a journalism fellowship. Those setups don’t work for everybody, but I encourage employees and managers to be open to different types of job arrangements. You never know unless you try.
Above all, it has been a joy to work with colleagues who are smart, generous, fair and diligent. WSJ staffers are sticklers for getting facts right and care deeply about fairness to sources and readers. So many of you have taught me how to do my job better over the years and I am thankful to all of you.
It is bittersweet to leave such a storied place, where I’ve spent most of my adult life. But I am also excited to see what else the world has to offer.