OLD Media Moves

The queen of oil reporters

August 24, 2008

Erik Spencer reviews in the Hickory Daily Record in North Carolina the new book about legendary oil industry reporter Wanda Jablonski, who worked for the Journal of Commerce before starting Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, calling it “thoroughly enjoyable.”

Queen of the Oil ClubThe book is called  “Queen of the Oil Club: The Intrepid Wanda Jablonski and the Power of Information,” and it’s written by Anna Rubino, one of Jablonski’s former reporters.

Spencer writes, “Rubino’s book is a portrait of Wanda Jablonski, who reported on the oil industry from the 1940s to the 1980s. In her book, Rubino explains how Jablonski started out as a reporter in the 1940s, at a time when business reporting was still in its infancy and women reporters were not accepted. For this reason, Jablonski disguised her name with the byline of ‘W.M. Jablonski,’ so she would not reveal her gender.

“Within a decade, Jablonski solidified her reputation as the best reporter on the oil industry. Jablonski went to the oil epicenters of the world, digging for good stories and interviews, often scooping other reporters, including reporters with The New York Times, a paper she desperately wanted to be a part of. Jablonski’s travels took her to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Kuwait, where she was the unlikely champion of downtrodden governments struggling to control their oil resources.

“Rubino writes that Jablonksi founded the Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, which became the leading industry newsletter on oil. When the newsletter came out in 1961, it carried the hefty subscription rate of $1 a day, or $365 a year. Jablonksi jokingly said, if my information is good people will pay the price, and if it is bad, then no one will take it at any price.”

Read more here.

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