Photo by Danny Rosenthal
Writing About Business: The New Columbia Knight-Bagehot Guide to Economics and Business Journalism written by alumni of the Knight-Bagehot Program and edited by Terri Thompson is now available from Barnes and Noble.
· Director, The Reuters Forum
· Business journalist
· Book author and editor
· Amateur photographer and musician
Born in California and raised in a small town in Iowa, Terri Thompson kept moving east and never looked back. God probably intended for her to become a gospel singer; instead she became a business journalist.
She started her so-called career at the Coralville (Iowa) Courier, a weekly newspaper in suburban Iowa City whose banner read, “If it didn’t happen by Wednesday, it didn’t happen this week.” She moved to Boston in 1974 where she was hired to be secretary for the publisher of Purchasing Magazine, a bi-weekly trade magazine published by Cahners Publishing. It didn’t take long for her boss to realize that Terri was not cut out to be a secretary, so she was demoted to Assistant News Editor and wrote about labor and economics – topics about which she knew relatively nothing.
Terri got her lucky break in 1980 when Columbia Graduate School of Journalism awarded her a Walter F. Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism. As a Bagehot Fellow, she took graduate level courses at Columbia Business School and learned all she needed to know about labor and economics, as well as accounting, corporate finance, the money markets and where to get a good hamburger on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Armed with a decent education, she was hired out of Columbia to work for Business Week, where she covered everything from corporate finance, real estate and personal finance to energy. During her 20 years as a business journalist, she also has written or edited for Institutional Investor, U.S. News & World Report, Lear’s, Working Woman, Adweek, Corporate Finance and Treasury & Risk Management.
While on maternity leave from U.S. News, Terri was approached by Columbia J-School and invited to direct the very program that had changed her life. Renamed the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship, it is still the most prestigious mid-career program for business journalists and Terri is driven to keep it financially sound and academically rigorous. She says it’s more fun to be the Director of the program than one of its Fellows because she doesn’t have to take all those exams, yet she gets to hang out with some of the finest journalists in the country.
Over the years, Terri has won a bunch of journalism awards and has belonged to numerous professional organizations, including the New York Financial Writers’ Association which she served as President in 1995-1996. She is the author of Biz Kids’ Guide to Success: Money-Making Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs (Barron’s Educational Series, 1992) and the editor of Writing About Business: The New Columbia Knight-Bagehot Guide to Economics and Business Journalism (Columbia University Press, 2000) which can be bought from any online bookstore, such as Barnes and Noble or Amazon.
Terri's husband, Peter Rosenthal, died after a long illness in September, 2001. Mother to Daniel Rosenthal, Terri now spends much of her time caring for her son, making music, taking pictures and trying to be a good citizen. She thanks God for bringing her where she is and for taking her where she’s going.
Updated on August 14, 2003