Attending the annual meeting of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers

By Jason Riggs

As a business journalism student, attending the annual meeting of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in Dallas was a great opportunity, with some excellent speakers and breakout sessions.

My favorite sessions during the April 7-9 conference were “Google for Journalists,” with a Google staff member offering guidance on better searches, and a session about how to get people to agree to interviews, given by Walt Bogdanich, who has won three Pulitzer Prizes, one with The Wall Street Journal and more recently two with The New York Times.

It was particularly interesting to hear Bogdanich explain how he discovered big stories simply through everyday observation and curiosity.

Among the speakers were Mary Schapiro, chairwoman of the Securities and Exchnage Commission; Elizabeth Warren, who is running the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a special assistant to President Obama; Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; William Tindell, C.E.O. of the Container Store, and Walter Robb, C.E.O. of Whole Foods.

The Q&A sessions after each speech gave me the experience of being in a news conference setting.

The meeting also offered opportunities for me to meet journalists, who shared with me their insights on their profession and the industry; business editors, whom I intend to contact about internships, and journalism students from colleges around the country, who shared their internship experiences.

I learned a lot about career possibilities and salaries, finding sources and stories, and more. I’m grateful to the journalism department for sending me to this meeting, and to SABEW for providing a scholarship.


The City University of New York