Welcome back to ‘On The Record’ with YAP Global. A series where we speak to the journalists and leading figures in the digital asset, fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.
For this edition, we had the pleasure of speaking with Joanna Ossinger, Cross Asset Markets Editor at Bloomberg.
Prior to Bloomberg, Joanna worked at the Wall Street Journal as an editor and markets columnist, at TheStreet as Managing Editor of Life and Money, and as a Senior Editor at Fox Business Network.
With many years as a journalist under her belt at leading financial publications, Joanna shares great advice to aspiring journalists as well useful tips to PR agencies with ways to get your pitch over the line.
Read on to learn more about Joanna.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career with the hopes of becoming a Bloomberg journalist?
“If you are still in college, I would recommend a double major in journalism and something else. (I did chemistry and classical civilizations, but my path into journalism was a bit circuitous.) If you want to get into a place like Bloomberg, become familiar with the work we do, read publications like the Wall Street Journal and the Economist, and the business coverage at places like the New York Times, Reuters and Associated Press. The more you know, the better. Stay on top of internship application times. And if you’re already past internship times, the best thing to do is write good stories and watch our careers website for jobs that might be a good fit for you. Getting to know people at Bloomberg doesn’t hurt either!”
How do you keep up with developments in all the assets for cross-asset markets journalism?
“I read a lot, both news coverage and reports from market strategists, and just do my best. There is a lot of news out there. But at Bloomberg we really pick our shots on the cryptocurrency and blockchain front. We’re not covering every product launch or back-and-forth reporting on a given situation — we tend to cover things that will have broad impact and interest. And I’ll talk with my super-smart colleagues on the beat — Olga Kharif, Eric Lam, Dave Liedtka and Todd White, for instance — about what’s best.”
What is the best part about your job?
“I get to talk to a lot of interesting, intelligent people, and figure out what is the most compelling thing to write about that day. Since I have a broad remit I get to work on lots of different stuff and it doesn’t often get boring.”
What types of stories do you enjoy writing about the most?
“I love anything where I can give people an explanation for what’s happening in the markets that they may not know. I love the volatility of this space in particular because a lot of it signals things are a bit hidden. Everyone’s looking at stock prices, but fewer people are watching the relative price of options or how the VIX is moving. And I write a bit of lifestyle coverage, which is fun too.”
In your opinion what is the most exciting thing happening in the blockchain space this year?
“DeFi is a good candidate, but I would actually say central bank digital currency developments — particularly from China — could end up having the most impact on the future of blockchain.”
What’s the one thing you wish PRs or companies would know when pitching you a story?
“I wish they would do just a bit of research into what Bloomberg is and what I cover. Sometimes it’s clear they don’t know what Bloomberg is. And I recently had a PR person explain to me at length and in very simple terms an asset I’ve been reporting on for more than a decade.”
What’s the worst or best pitch you’ve received?
“The best pitches are timely (read: day of) commentary on news events that tell me something new or value-added. Big names and strong experience in the industry don’t hurt, either. My major PR pet peeves: 1) too much jargon 2) clearly not knowing what Bloomberg is or what we’d look for 3) assumptions that we will simply publish your press release.”
How has COVID19 impacted the way you work ?
“I am working from home, so I don’t have my big multiscreen setup like I used to, which slows me down a lot. Also, I miss interacting with colleagues. The reporter who sits next to me knows me so well. I’d do some sort of loud, nonverbal exclamation and she would say, “Oh, what did Bitcoin just do?” And we’d all laugh about it.”
How can more women get into financial journalism?
“They just need to have confidence! Actually, these days I am seeing a lot of young women go into financial journalism, which is great. Many of our recent internship cohorts have been half women or more. And we also need to make sure we have employees with a wide range of experiences and cultural diversity.”
What are you reading/ listening to these days?
“My reading is almost entirely news, which probably sounds boring, and stuff like Goodnight Moon and the Spot the Dog series, since I have little kids. But two recent books I liked were Professor at Large by John Cleese and for a lesson in Singaporean government, Tall Order: The Goh Chok Tong Story by Peh Shing Huei.”
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