I am a federal tax and data reporter at Tax Notes Today (Tax Analysts).

Before this, I was a multimedia business journalist for Capital News Service, a nonprofit run by the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. In fall 2015, I was a reporter in the data visualization bureau covering business, the economy and general assignment. Starting in late-January 2016, I worked on a small business reporting team investigating nursing homes. Our series, Discharging Trouble,” was picked up by the Associated Press and then more than 40 newspaper websites nationwide, including The Washington Post. Our series was a finalist for an IRE award and winner of two first place MDDC awards (in the investigative reporting and public service categories). Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh filed a lawsuit against the company we profiled in our series.

In summer 2015, I was an American City Business Journals / Dow Jones News Fund intern at the Washington Business Journal.

In December 2015 and May 2016, respectively, I completed my bachelor’s degrees in business and journalism. My goal in my business studies was to develop a strong understanding of business concepts and a familiarity with the language of business in order to be a particularly effective reporter. I also learned how business leaders think and worked on projects alongside the next generation of business leaders.

I have considered myself a storyteller since I was very young. And when I was 8, I started writing and performing my adaptations of folktales at local libraries and folk festivals. I am a performing member of Voices in the Glen, a D.C.-area storytelling guild. I also volunteer as a Certified Facilitator of TimeSlips, a storytelling activity for people with cognitive disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. My life revolves around stories.

I’d like to tell you the story of how I realized I wanted to be a business journalist.

I have been interested in money and business since I was a child. “Buy low and sell high!” is what my father trained me to say as soon as I could talk. Then he taught me, “Buy high and sell higher,” and, “Sell high and then buy low.” I have been fascinated by the markets, the law of supply and demand, the theory of behavioral finance, the economy and money management all my life. Growing up, a day felt incomplete if I did not hear and discuss the day’s business news.

So I jumped at the opportunity to attend the Money Show on Nov. 6, 2008. That was a particularly exciting time: Bear Stearns was bailed out eight months before, Lehman Brothers collapsed less than two months before, Warren Buffett had just written an op-ed piece three weeks before saying stock prices were low enough that he was buying, the stock market hit a five year low a week and a half before and Barack Obama was elected president two days before.

Charles Githler, Zoe Sagalow, and Paul Kangas - November 2008

Charles Githler, Zoe Sagalow and Paul Kangas – Nov. 6, 2008

As I walked into the meeting room, I remember seeing Paul Kangas sitting at the front, almost like when he was at the anchor desk on “Nightly Business Report.” I walked all the way to the front and took a seat directly in front of the podium. I was a little star struck, but I went up to Kangas and told him that I had watched his show almost every night of my life, and I showed him the notebook where I took extensive notes on the stock quotes and the news.

Then I met Charles Githler, founder of the Money Show, who later pointed me out in his opening speech as the youngest attendee ever.

I listened from the edge of my seat, completely captivated by the discussion of the current economy. Knight Kiplinger explained, “‘Worst since’ [the Great Depression] does not mean ‘as bad as’.” Steve Forbes said, “Even the price of mud went up.” Tony Blankley predicted, “We will experience a period of confusion.” Forbes warned, “They didn’t even know they had this stuff. You might go home and find a subprime mortgage under your bed!” Afterward, I introduced myself to Forbes, and he encouraged my interest in business.

I left the Money Show aspiring to be a journalist covering business and the economy.


Steve Forbes and Zoe Sagalow – Nov. 6, 2008









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— copyright 2016 by Zoe Lenore Sagalow