Meet the Journalist Taking on Big Business in New York
Restaurant jobs in New York City had started to come back, but are they about to disappear again? How bad are real estate vacancies in Manhattan? Which borough has unemployment rates that rival the joblessness of the Great Depression? What does it take to keep manufacturing jobs in the city? Can New York count on federal aid to survive the looming fiscal crisis?
Jere Hester, editor of The City, said David’s stories “ring with the clarity and authority that come with both experience and the fresh sense of urgency he brings to his reporting.” With New York City facing its biggest economic crisis since the 1970s, Hester added, “there’s no local journalist in a better position (than David) to keep a sharp eye on the decision-makers as well as on the impact of this unprecedented pandemic recession on a wide swath of New Yorkers.”
David, who previously worked for Crain’s New York Business, has covered three major economic and fiscal crises since 1985. He also wrote about the fiscal crisis that took New York to the brink of bankruptcy in the 1970s in his book Modern New York. That recession, David says, was the one most like the “existential economic crisis” that the city now faces.
David directs the business economic reporting program at the Newmark Journalism School, co-teaching classes on covering the economy, markets, and companies. He also teaches in the school’s fiscal reporting program, which brings students together with investigative journalists and reporters who cover government.
While business news is one of the most important beats in journalism, it’s not quite as thrilling or sexy as breaking news, sports, or entertainment. As a result, David admits, “I have to sell students on the business program.” Fortunately, there are many pluses to a career in business news: interesting work, better pay than many other areas of journalism, and available jobs despite the decline in newsroom employment overall.
The City is part of a nationwide network of nonprofit, nonpartisan digital newsrooms created to bolster local reporting in the face of newspaper closings and cutbacks. Hester is the former director of the Newmark Journalism School’s news service.