Journalist Small Business Advocate Featured

9:42am EDT July 22, 2002
Betsy Benson joined the Pittsburgh Business Times in 1986 as an intern, with thoughts of getting reporting and writing experience.

She never imagined staying long enough to become not only the editor of the newspaper, but ultimately, a media fixture in Pittsburgh’s business community, as well.

Benson, a lifelong Pittsburgh-area resident, has been documenting life in the region’s business community for 14 years, from the demise of the steel industry to the emergence of Pittsburgh’s New Economy. She went from being an intern to a researcher to a reporter, and then to editor of a monthly magazine supplement, special reports editor, managing editor and, finally, editor. Through all those transitions, she says, she has never tired of the constant change in the business community here.

“The business community in this region is endlessly fascinating,” she says enthusiastically. “There are so many layers that people don’t even hear about. I find it gratifying to be able to illuminate people about it.”

Benson, 36, says she particularly enjoys following the technology trends in the region, “and not just in the emergence of the technology company contingency, but in all manner of companies.”

She says her major goals for the weekly business news publication, whose readers primarily are owners and executives of small companies, are to be essential, insightful and trustworthy. Therefore, she adds, she sees herself as far more than simply a documenter of trends and transactions.

“I need to be focused on how we can meet our readers’ needs,” Benson says. “Their needs are to improve their businesses and make more money. I think of myself as an advocate for readers.”

Daniel Bates