Media Movers: CNN Business’ Paul Glader

Media Movers: CNN Business’ Paul Glader

Paul Glader has joined CNN Business after an amazing run in academia and the startup world.

For years, I thought that once you left daily journalism, you were done. But I’m starting to rethink that. Last week, we chatted with Tony Wilbert, who opened up his own PR shop only to get lured back into the crazy world of editorial deadlines.

Today, we’re hearing from Paul Glader, who recently landed at CNN Business after an amazing run in academia and the startup world. Paul’s resume includes roles at The Wall Street Journal, the Dow Jones News Fund and Columbia University, from where he earned an advanced degree.

As if that isn’t impressive enough, he has raised more than $3 million in grant funding for journalism programs at The King’s College, his last employer. He is also founder and CEO of a company that helps news publishers better manage reader feedback and corrections requests

We chatted with Paul about his new role, what’s next for his company and what he’s introducing his kids to…

Dawn: Congrats on your new job! What will you be doing?

Paul: Thanks! As part of the editing team at CNN Business, I’ll work with a dozen or so reporters and section editors who focus primarily on beats that include tech, retail, food and transit. We also have some general assignment reporters who work on stories that break across a host of corporate sectors. We are hiring a section editor over tech soon.

Dawn: You also left a job at King’s College, leaving you at a crossroads. Why did you return to deadline journalism instead of sticking with academics or nonprofits?

Paul: I had an absolute blast working in academia and the journalism non-profit space for the past 10 years. The journalism program I helped build at King’s was flourishing but had to close when the school hit dire financial straits coming out of the pandemic. The abrupt nature of the King’s spiral gave faculty little time to find new academic jobs. I was skeptical that I would find another teaching job as fulfilling. And I missed the daily newsroom, so I decided it was a good time to return. And I was drawn to the way CNN Business approaches business coverage for a broad audience.

Dawn: Your role at the Dow Jones News Fund involved picking journalists for top internships. What did that role show you about the next generation?

Paul: I directed the business reporting program for DJNF for the past seven years as a contract project. Selecting and training 30-40 top young business journalists coming out of undergrad and graduate schools showed me that the future is in good hands. There are some very bright, hard-working, talented young people eager to join the field. They often want to know why business journalism matters beyond just being a good job. And we had good discussions about how business reporters help foster transparency for companies, industries and markets.

Dawn: What advice would you give to an aspiring journalist?

Paul: Always try to widen the lens to see a broad set of stakeholders rather than just one side or two sides. Try to gain as much context and data as you can — on any person, company, industry or subject you cover — to enable you to tell stories with as much accuracy, fairness, depth and breadth as possible.

Dawn: You co-funded a company called Vett News. What is this company?

Paul: Cx is a software subscription product that helps newsrooms manage reader feedback and correction requests better. It developed out of some writing, research and speaking I was doing related to disinformation, tech ethics and news trust. The Knight Foundation gave me a $75,000 grant to build and test the product in 2019. Now, nearly 30 newsrooms are using the Cx system.

Dawn: What’s next for Vett?

Paul: The product was part of my research as someone who taught entrepreneurship in journalism. My role was to start, build and test VettNews Cx. Now, I’m in talks with other entities to take over VettNews Cx so it can continue to grow. Stay tuned!

Dawn: You have an MBA. How has that helped you in journalism?

Paul: In MBA programs, you read a lot of case studies and think about business strategy in different ways. I think that’s helpful. Taking classes in subjects such as entrepreneurship, negotiation and accounting also perhaps unlocks new knowledge. But I’ve also always thought that being a business journalist is like getting an MBA because you are learning every day through reporting and editing.

Dawn: There is a never-ending argument about whether advanced degrees are needed in journalism. What do you think?

Paul: It really depends on the person. Most journalists don’t need an advanced degree. But some might enjoy pursuing one as part of their life and career journey. I’ve always enjoyed learning and was fortunate to find affordable ways to pursue degrees such as the Knight-Bagehot program at Columbia. Growing up in South Dakota economically underprivileged, higher education was life-changing for me. So, I do encourage others to go for it if they are motivated to do so.

Dawn: You spent time at the WSJ, a dream job for many. Why didn’t you stick with daily newspaper journalism?

Paul: That was my dream job out of college, and I had a wonderful decade at the WSJ. In 2011, I wanted to shift more into digital journalism because I could see the newsprint model was in decline. I also wanted to live abroad for a while. So I accepted a Robert Bosch Fellowship in Germany and found my way overseas for a few years, which also sent me toward digital media, entrepreneurship and academia.

Dawn: What is the best career advice that you ever received?

Paul: “Try to not let circumstances push you around in life,” said Patrick S. Kelley, an editor at The Emporia Gazette in Kansas, where I interned between freshman and sophomore year of college. That was a good line! I shared it with my own students sometimes.

Dawn: Looking back, is there anything you wish that you’d done differently?

Paul: Nope. Only gratitude. No regrets. Well, OK. Maybe fewer all-nighters on the college newspaper would mean fewer gray hairs today!?

Dawn: Finally, everyone’s favorite question: What do you do for fun?

Paul: Total suburban dad stuff like coaching my kids’ rec soccer teams, watching sports with friends and taking road trips or any trip with my family. I like introducing ’80s and ’90s movies and video games to my kids as well, everything from “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” to the original “Super Mario Brothers.”

Dawn Wotapka is a former Wall Street Journal reporter who loves to read and write. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children. She is a slow runner and an avid Peloton user. To submit tips for her Media Movers column, you can connect with Dawn on LinkedIn.

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