Luck aids success, Bloomberg editor told Hampton U. students

By Joseph Gaither

Matthew Winkler, former editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, addressed a packed auditorium of Hampton University students Wednesday night. As engaged Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications majors took notes on smart phones or paper notebooks, Winkler sat with Dean Brett Pulley, who asked his former boss questions throughout the 90-minute meeting.

Winkler said that many people in Bloomberg LP who worked in analysis, data collection, and sales knew what they were doing. Bloomberg in the 1980s and 1990s had "horsepower" because of the data that they possessed. Winkler placed much emphasis on the word "data" throughout the Q&A. He wanted the students to understand that Bloomberg was like the Internet before digital media went mainstream in the mid-1990s.

When the floor was opened to student questions, sophomore Mike Rogers asked, "How does social media impact the way business news is discovered?" Winkler answered that much of what is tweeted is not news because it is not true. Their job as journalists, said the editor, was to show what is news and what is not.

Sophomore Tyler Dixon asked what was the single most important thing he [Winkler] had done to get to where he is now and what advice he had for students who wanted to be successful? Winker answered, "Be prepared more than anything else. Luck begins with preparation and leads to opportunity." He also said that he had to "trust his instincts."

"The more prepared you are, the luckier you are."

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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