This column was designed, in part, to give readers a behind-the-scenes look at journalism in general and Pensions & Investments in particular.
Coincidentally, P&I's editorial staff has compiled an annual quote book for more than a decade. Each contains a year's worth of notable comments, most of them from staffers, and probably all taken out of context. I can think of no better way, dear reader, to give you an inside glimpse of life at P&I than to share some of those comments. Identities have been withheld to protect the guilty.
•You can lead reporters to information, but you can't make them think.
•I am finding that paranoia is a useful skill in this job.
•I'm a reporter. Cruelty is my calling card.
•E-mail to a public relations person: I would take your request to go through you ... to heart more if you came back to me sooner on interview requests. How many days has it been since I asked for that interview? I'm working on a newspaper, not a Ph.D. thesis.
•Editor 1: Check the dictionary.
Editor 2: Oh, yeah, guess I should have one of those.
•If you read the (S&P 500) index numbers, do they translate to, "Paul is dead.'?
•Pensions & Investments: We cover the world's second-oldest profession.
•Let's edit this sucker for ourselves. We've done enough for the reader this year.
•Said of our sources: These are really happy people until we meet them.
•The only way I could be slower at this story is if I typed with my elbows.
•Reporter to pension fund official: Will you be conducting any searches or studies in the next few months? PF official: Well, I don't know. Do you think that would be a good idea?
•I'm going to write my story now, and God help any money manager who tries to get in my way.