Twenty-three years ago, when I was a general assignment reporter at a soon-to-be defunct paper, the El Paso Herald-Post, I got a fabulous job offer. BusinessWeek asked me to open a bureau in Mexico City. If you had asked me at that juncture what a board of directors was for, or to distinguish between revenue and earnings, I would have been stumped. I had never covered business before (unless you count oil in Venezuela), and I didn’t know much about it. But BusinessWeek, I soon learned, was chock full of knowledgeable, friendly and forgiving folks who helped people like me learn on the job.
My career at BusinessWeek, which wraps up tomorrow, was an education. I’d start ignorant, and then learn on the job from sources and colleagues. That’s the great privilege of journalism, and BusinessWeek was the best place imaginable for it. When I was sent from Pittsburgh to Paris to cover technology in 1998, I knew far more about blast furnaces than semiconductors. When I came back to New York four years later as acting technology editor, I’d never worked as an editor or covered technology in the United States. People helped, and picked me up.
Many of those people are already scattered, and dozens more are leaving with me. I’d say I’ll miss them, but I plan to stay with them on the networks. Why would I ever venture out alone when I have the greatest colleagues? They’re the treasure of my career, and to forgo them at this point would be insane.
And so I move on. This is my last post at Blogspotting.net. A big thanks to Heather for the great company on this ride, and to all of you for your intelligence, feedback and friendship. We’ll stay in touch, I hope, at TheNumerati.net, and on your blogs and Twitter feeds. (I’m @stevebaker.)
I still haven’t figured out how to store the archives of Blogspotting. But I plan to write an email to the incoming editor in chief of BW, Josh Tyrangiel, asking him please not to pull the plug.