I received in the mail today a monograph from a professor in Spain with whom I have been corresponding with in the past several months. The title of the monograph is “Economic and Financial Press: From the Beginnings to the First Oil Crisis,” and it is written by Angel Arrese, a professor at the University of Navarra. It is a short history from the 16th century up to the 1970s. He writes in the introduction: “This monograph aims to be a starting point for gleaning greater knowledge of the economic press from a journalistic point of view as well as from the perspective of the spread of economic ideas in western societies.”
Angel and I have been thinking along the same lines recently, and that is that one of the best ways for the field that we call business journalism to understand itself better so that it can continue to grow and develop is to comprehend the past in the field. In other words, we need to know business journalism history. Angel has written short histories in recent years about The Economist, Forbes, BusinessWeek and Fortune for Spanish-language magazines. I have copies of them, but my Spanish is not so good. If you’d like copies of them, drop me a line.
Angel and I got together after he ran across my History of Business Journalism web site. I am now working on finishing a history of business journalism, primarily from an American perspective, that I hope will begin to offer some of the same insights into who we are and where we came from as a field that Angel has provided to his European audience.