An editor’s diary

We had an insightful conversation with Mr Bill Grueskin, the Dean of Academic Affairs at the Columbia Journalism School, New York.



Bill Grueskin, the former deputy managing editor at Wall Street Journal, Editor in Chief at WSJ.COM, Executive Editor, Bloomberg, and currently, Dean of Academic Affairs at the Columbia Journalism School, New York spoke to students of NSoJ in an exclusive interaction hosted by Mr. Timothy Franklyn, founder, National School of Journalism and Public Discourse.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Grueskin shared several anecdotes from his work experience. Starting from when he worked as the Founding Editor for Dakota Sun, where he came across various aspects of small towns in a predominantly agrarian state like Dakota with issues of nutrition, alcoholism, and spousal abuse. Mr. Grueskin shared how he felt the importance of journalism and why people need journalists to tell their stories in small-town America in the 1970s.

He emphasized that people must be aware of their surroundings, and, being informed and keeping people informed is the primary objective of a journalist.

After working as the founding editor for a couple of years, Mr. Grueskin switched to Tampa Tribune right across the country where life is so different like the climate and the people. While working as an assistant State Editor, he was exposed to the editing and managing process of the newspaper. Another experience he vividly shared was when Hurricane Andrew hit Miami when he was the City Editor at Miami Herald. According to him, no matter what the situation is, a journalist has to be optimistic as there will be situations where one will be facing personal trauma while on duty and should be able to balance both personal and professional lives.

Soon he moved to the biggest name in financial journalism, The Wall Street Journal, in the world's financial capital where he felt the importance of having a good story that eventually attracts an audience. According to him, digital media platforms are much more convenient and useful as it is easier to connect with one's target audience with real-time responses.

Answering questions from the students, Mr. Grueskin responded that it was not necessary to have a degree in journalism to be a journalist, but having one would surely be an added advantage. Mr. Grueskin made an interesting observation by saying that the risk of making mistakes in the field of journalism is much higher now, as compared to earlier days because it becomes part of one’s digital fingerprint. The engaging conversation with one of the greatest names in journalism would remain etched in our memory for a long time.

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