The University of South Carolina has named Michelle LaRoche, a journalist with more than two decades of experience at Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal, its first Baldwin Business and Financial Chair in Journalism.
LaRoche will join the School of Journalism and Mass Communications later this month.
“In addition to her business journalism acumen, she has a solid record of mentoring editors and reporters, something that will translate well into higher education,” Tom Reichert, dean of USC’s College of Information and Communications, said in a news release. “We’re excited to see where she takes the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and its students.”
LaRoche received a master’s degree in higher education from Harvard in May after serving as the development editor for The Wall Street Journal. In that role, she created and managed the paper’s internship program and developed a business reporting syllabus.
LaRoche spent 21 years in a variety of leadership roles with Dow Jones Newswires.
“I think it’s imperative for young journalists to understand the business side of anything that they’re covering,” LaRoche said. “Point blank. Period. If you’re going to cover entertainment, if you’re going to cover sports (or) politics, it’s the money behind those things that really influence people’s decision-making. And if you don’t understand that, you’re only telling a part of the story.”
The endowed chair was made possible through a gift from 1949 USC graduate Kenneth W. Baldwin Jr.