OLD Media Moves

Toronto Star columnist celebrates 10th anniversary

August 5, 2006

Bill Carrigan, a journalist who writes the Getting Technical investing column for the Toronto Star, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the column. He tells his readers how the column got started.

Bill CarriganCarrigan wrote, “The Toronto Star basically took a gamble on a format based on technical analysis written by a guy with no formal writing experience. The business editor of the time asked me to write a short piece about a stock as filler while he sought to find a professional business writer to take my place. That hasn’t happened, yet.

“I explained to the editor that while I understood technical analysis, I could not express myself in print.

“‘No problem,’ he replied, ‘just write the way you talk.’

“I did and it was a disaster. I did a boring piece in the fall of 1996 on Bethlehem Steel Corp., a struggling company at the time if there ever was one.

“The company had been just kicked off the Dow, steel was a dirty word — and remained so through 2002. Bethlehem was latter acquired by International Steel Group of Cleveland, which latter merged with the world’s biggest steel maker, Mittal Steel Co.

“I had predicted the great steel bull market. Too bad for the readers that it I was a few years too early.”

“Nevertheless, I quickly learned there are certain givens in the financial-writing business.”

Read more here.

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