By now thousands have read about how the publisher of Millennium magazine doesn’t let his executive duties stand in the way of writing investigative reporting pieces that uncover corporate trickery for his readers.
His biggest complaint about the business press is the cozy relationship between journalists and the executives they cover.
But despite his well-known accomplishments, he isn’t a candidate for ASBPE’s Lifetime Achievement Award (too young) or Journalism That Matters honors.
Who is this amazing business journalist in our ranks? It’s Mikael Blomkvist, the main character in this summer’s blockbuster detective trilogy, which begins with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Fortunately for his readers, the misdeeds Blomkvist uncovers go well beyond corporate governance issues.
But like any serious journalist, Blomkvist is sometimes confronted with serious ethical issues. Following a well-publicized crisis that cast doubt on the integrity of his magazine, both advertising and circulation are declining.
Blomkvist must decide whether to accept financial assistance from the former CEO of a dysfunctional corporate dynasty.
Later on in the story, as he begins to piece together the lurid details of a ghastly series of crimes, he must grapple with other ethical conundrums, such as whether it’s okay to obtain information by hacking into someone’s computer.
When he breaks his big story, he must weigh the merits of publishing a book along with his feature article.
But these are just some of the things that Blomkvist faces in the first book. He must overcome an array of other knotty problems in the second and third novels.
At a time when many in the business-to-business press are faced with furloughs and layoffs, it’s refreshing to read about the exploits of Blomkvist. While both he and his exploits are pure fiction, he’s a reminder of just how talented and resourceful business journalists can be.
Steve Roll is the immediate past president of ASBPE.