Media Moves

Brooks, former UPI biz editor, has died

June 12, 2014

Posted by Chris Roush

Dorothea Brooks, who was financial editor for United Press International from 1969 to 1987 and the first woman to hold a top spot in business news, has died, according to an announcement on the New York Financial Writers’ Association website.

She was 90.

Said longtime NYFWA member Myron Kandel upon learning about Dottie’s death: “Dottie Brooks was one of the great ladies of New York financial journalism and contributed greatly to the growth of the New York Financial Writers’ Association. She was the strong right arm of a number of United Press International financial editors until she finally moved into the top job herself. In 1986 she became the 11th recipient of the NYFWA’s Elliott V. Bell Award for having made ‘a significant long-term contribution to the profession of financial journalism.’ She helped nurture several generations of young journalists and she was beloved for having a heart as large as her ample frame. In addition to her journalistic skills, she was a wonderful colleague and friend to many, many of us.”

Brooks was interviewed by UNC-Chapel Hill student Margarita Phannavong in 2013. Phannavong wrote:

Though Brooks may have been UPI’s first business editor, she doesn’t see herself as being anything else other than a dedicated worker that was able to share the love for her work with like-minded people. She remembers staying at work overnight when things “just weren’t going right.” UPI was the first to computerize stock operations and editorial news, and Brooks would stay late at work to get acquainted with the new technology.

“I worked my tail off! I just liked it! As I look back on my life, it’s the people that I remember and the things that I made possible in strange ways,” Brooks said. “I had a way of doing certain things. I like what I did…I liked the people, particularly. Watching [staff] commit, watching them grow and even watching them leave and go onto bigger and better things.”

One person in particular caught her eye.

“One of the departments were broken up, and they decided that Roz would be moved,” said Brooks. “She was not about to stand for that and said that she would show them. So they placed her in the financial department in theory hoping that she would hate it and quit. Well, she turned out to be the best we’ve ever had!”

Roz Liston, who succeeded Brooks as the UPI business editor, appreciated the support.

“She very much was an advocate for me,” said Liston. “For the first women breaking the barriers in the industry, for her to be as much as an advocate as she was for me and several of the other women I think that is extremely important and one of her best contributions along with her many great ideas. She had very good ground work for me!”

Brooks’ had many innovative ideas such as feature packages also known as personal business news. This was a way of getting reporters interested in stories.

Read more here.

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