Did I Say That?

Jonathan Clements

IF YOU’RE READING the business section, you need to read between the lines. Here are 14 things financial journalists won’t tell you:

  1. That unbelievably telling anecdote at the top of my article? I scoured the country for three weeks to find that schmuck.
  2. The Dow industrials fell 263 points today. Why? By the time deadline arrives, I’ll have cooked up a reason.
  3. What qualifications do I possess? An ability to dial a telephone.
  4. Actually, I always wanted to be a sports reporter.
  5. Today, I had to bang out a long feature story on the mortgage market. My editor is looking to buy a new house.
  6. What qualifications do my sources possess? A willingness to pick up the receiver.
  7. If you saw my portfolio, you’d never ask me for financial advice.
  8. In the story, the company’s PR guy is quoted as saying, “no comment.” But on background, the senior counsel sung like a bird.
  9. The more the market falls, the giddier the newsroom gets.
  10. I don’t understand collateralized mortgage obligations, but I just wrote 1,000 words about them.
  11. My sources aren’t nearly as articulate as I make them sound.
  12. That joking, throwaway comment that the CFO made as we hung up? It’ll be in the second paragraph.
  13. We’ll get the online version up now, and figure out the real story for the print edition.
  14. I want my editors and sources to think I’m smart. What about readers? Yeah, I guess they’re also important.

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