- Ashley Alexander
“It’s important to find a way to make a difference with whatever you’re doing.”
This was a piece of advice I was given by Emily Glazer, one of New Media Alliance’s Rising Stars, at the end of our interview. Emily has definitely found a way to do just that in her role as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, where she covers banking, with a focus on JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
Emily’s passion and dedication surrounding journalism shone through. While speaking we discussed many topics including her history, her current career, the ups and downs of being young in the industry and her favorite parts of the industry (the human-interest aspect). The endless praise her colleagues had for her also made evident the impact she has had on the industry.
She always knew she wanted to be a journalist, but seeing the difference she could make as a reporter is what solidified her career goal. While attending Northwestern University as a part of the Medill School of Journalism, Emily was Editor-In-Chief of the university’s daily newspaper, The Daily Northwestern. Her first year, Emily worked on a piece regarding the university’s female professors’ struggle to receive tenure. Her first realization of her effect on people’s lives as a reporter came soon after. One of the professors who was featured in the article informed Emily that the article had helped influence the university’s decision to reverse the denial of the professor’s tenure.
Additionally, she saw a difference being made while working on the Medill Justice Project, a “national investigative journalism center that examines potentially wrongful convictions, probes systemic criminal justice issues and conducts groundbreaking research.” One of the cases she worked on reached the Supreme Court.
Emily’s reporting on Wells Fargo’s retail banking issues has been cited in Congressional hearings. The reports helped force Wells Fargo to disclose more information and change business processes.
In 2008, Emily began interning at different Dow Jones companies. Two years after graduation, she was offered a full-time position at The Wall Street Journal, where she has been ever since.
“I’ve grown up here,” Emily says in regards to her seven years with The Wall Street Journal and nine years with Dow Jones.
Despite those nine years in the industry, Emily says she still finds people question her credibility because of her young age. At the same time, being only 29 years old gives her the advantage of being comfortable asking for clarification on certain topics. She will admit that working for a highly reputable newspaper like The Wall Street Journal helps with her credibility regardless of her age.
Meanwhile, her colleagues have no hesitation about her credibility: “On a daily basis she sits down with billionaires and bank CEOs – and more than holds her own,” says Megan Douglass, News Editor at The Wall Street Journal.
Emily values being well-versed and would advise those looking to go into news media to take advantage of any training they’re offered. As a student at a liberal arts school she had the opportunity to take a variety of classes that have helped her in the industry, from economics to an entire class about podcasts.
“Reporting and journalism are multi-platform and you never know what will present itself,” Emily says. “The way people consume the news has changed, and we as an industry and as reporters have to adapt to it.”
This proved true during one of Emily’s favorite assignments: covering bank shutdowns in a border town due to money laundering concerns. While Emily was covering the story, she was presented with opportunities to utilize her videography skills and showcase the story through a different type of media.
Emily loves the wide-range of topics she reports on. “Banking touches so many topics – one day I could be covering a million dollar exchange and the next I could be talking to a CEO that helped his Starbucks barista become a banker,” she says.
In Emily’s nomination for the Rising Star Award, Megan Douglass gave a few examples of Emily’s ability to cover all the topics her beat has to offer: “Emily has delivered big stories on multiple high-profile beats: she dived deep into the poor performance of consumer-giant Procter & Gamble Co., producing a classic Wall Street Journal tick-tock of the showdown between hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman and P&G CEO Bob McDonald. While on the bankruptcy beat, she broke the news that the city of Detroit was seeking protection from its creditors.”
While Emily admits she can’t be completely objective on the topic, she believes there will always be a place for journalism and reporters.
She’s confident that “while there have been many advances in technology, there will always be a need for the human-touch of reporters.”