What Gretchen Morgenson learned at Forbes
Here is an excerpt:
MP: A few years later, you went to Forbes. What’s the biggest thing you learned from Jim Michaels, the longtime editor there?
GM: Jim Michaels was a very tough customer. He was a newspaperman. He had broken the story of Gandhi being assassinated in India. He taught me two important lessons. One was the reporting you had to do, in a company story, to make your argument about whether to buy or sell the company’s stock. That meant reading balance sheets and income statements, but also going out to do shoe-leather reporting. The second thing he taught me was to be direct and not waste a reader’s time. He often used the phrase, “pity the poor reader,” when he complained about something you had written that was too long-winded.
MP: One of his colleagues once joked that Michaels could sum up the Lord’s Prayer in six words and nobody would know the difference.
GP: He was brilliant. He was irascible. But what an education.
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