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Business journalism legend Sloan: I love explaining what people should know

November 29, 2022

Posted by Chris Roush

Seven-time Gerald Loeb Award winner Allan Sloan became successful because he learned how to write about complicated business topics in a way that the average person could understand.

“I loved being able to explain to people hat’s going on in the world that they should know,” said Sloan, who spoke Tuesday night during a webinar sponsored by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing.

Sloan, who has won more Loeb Awards than anyone else, worked for the Charlotte Observer, the Detroit Free Press, Newsweek, the Washington Post, Fortune and Forbes. His first Loeb was in 1975 for utility rates. His second was in 1985 for Forbes, and his last was in 2008 for Fortune.

“I am what I am,” said Sloan. “I can figure stuff out, and I work well with others despite my Brooklyn characteristics. I just love figuring stuff out and explaining it.”

When he left the Observer to join the Detroit paper, power company Duke Energy wrote a letter to the Michigan utility warning it of his coverage.

Sloan gave praise to longtime Forbes editor Jim Michaels, whom he said would give him edits that he would try to reverse engineer.

“I saw his style. I saw what he accomplished. And figured there was a way to do the same thing…but I would do it with a smile,” said Sloan.

“You can start with nothing journalistically and make something,” he ended. “”It can be done, and that’s the message I would like people to have.”

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