SABEW18-Morgenson receives Distinguished Achievement Award

By Charlotte Norsworthy
University of Georgia

With the bull market in stocks in its ninth year, Gretchen Morgenson, a senior special writer in the investigations unit at The Wall Street Journal, said she thinks business journalists should be prepared for when things change.

Morgenson, who won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for her coverage for The New York Times of Wall Street during the dot-com boom and subsequent bust, was this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award at the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing’s Best in Business Awards on April 27.

“I think that when the market turns, if it does, then we’re really going to see that the kind of structure of the market is probably more fragile than anybody realizes,” she said, “and we will realize it when stocks go south.”

After more than a 20-year career, Morgenson covered a variety of business scandals including the collapse of the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund in 1998, the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000, the accounting scandals of Enron in 2001 and WorldCom in 2002 and the 2008 financial crisis that wiped out family income and net worth by 40 percent, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Lisa Gibbs, director of news partnerships at The Associated Press asked Morgenson during the ceremony what business journalists should prioritize when it comes to coverage looking forward.

“I think market structure would be my main thing that I think we should be trying to pay attention to,” Morgenson said, “because we’ve lived through a great bear market and a great bull market.”

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