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Senior addresses national journalism conference

by Josh Dawsey

Dave Morrow had asked Donald Trump the serious financial questions and had one lingering query.

Morrow — a former editor of TheStreet.com and an alumnus of the University of South Carolina — wanted to know if Trump’s famous matted hair was real. The real estate mogul said yes and jokingly prodded Morrow to test it himself, so Morrow grabbed a lock and dutifully noted the hair as genuine.

Morrow’s encounter with Donald Trump was among dozens of anecdotes regaled by his former colleagues during the Society of Business Editors and Writers annual conference in Indianapolis March 15-18.

Morrow was a renowned business journalist who died in 2010 after a bout with cancer. He was only 49 but had created an enviable resume, writing for Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, among others. Morrow served on SABEW’s board and counted many of the organization’s members as close friends.

His family and friends were on hand to commemorate the David J. Morrow Scholarship for Business Journalism, a new partnership between the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina and SABEW. I was honored to be the inaugural recipient of this award and attend the conference.

I spoke before the president of Dow Jones Newswires, the business editor of The New York Times and top editors at Reuters and Bloomberg. But it was doubly special to meet Morrow’s family, who flew in to attend the conference’s final soiree.


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Over the conference's three days, we heard from Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Securities and Exchange Commissioner Mary Schapiro, top executives from major corporations and The New York Times business editor Larry Ingrassia.

Topics dissected included the intersection of business and politics to the lingering effects of the Great Recession to the rising big money business of college sports. More specialized sessions focused on how journalists can use public records and online resources to find tucked away but important stories. On the plane ride back to Columbia, I scribbled dozens of story ideas onto a tiny notepad.

The SABEW conference provided ample time for networking, as well. There were receptions each evening, when the world's top financial journalists converged for renewed friendships and stories of lore. That is, when they weren’t crowding the open bar and reminding me that Morrow, too, loved an open bar.

But his mom, Emily, who greeted many of Morrow's friends with generous wit and memories of her beloved son, shared a heartfelt story with me that serves as a fitting end to this remembrance.

Morrow wanted to eventually move back to his beloved Palmetto State and retire on Lake Bowen, a scenic oasis near Spartanburg. He built a house and told her to move in until he could eventually take over. Unfortunately, his retirement dream never came true.  

We can only hope the scholarship will serve as an indelible mark to the state he loved.

Josh Dawsey Bio

 
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