Why Heidi N. Moore is leaving ‘Marketplace’ for the Guardian

"Marketplace" reporter Heidi N. Moore announced Monday she is leaving the American Public Media show for the Guardian's U.S. operation, where she'll edit finance and economic coverage starting Oct. 22.

A small portion of the more than 160 tweets she's fired off in the past 24 hours are in response to new job congratulations; most involve a nicely curated account of Felix Baumgartner's jump, Moore's stalking Don Cheadle at a film festival and a link to an explanation of Lloyd Shapley and Alvin Roth's Nobel-winning economics work.

"I have a bizarrely small need for sleep," Moore says over the phone when I ask her about her omnipresence on Twitter, a function of her "newshound" metabolism. "I don’t really see it as working."

In fact it was Twitter that helped draw Moore to the Guardian, to which she's been contributing as a columnist. "I noticed that the Guardian was taking over my Twitter feed," she says. "Everyone was retweeting Guardian articles." Among the other draws: Advice from the Guardian's Web staff ("culturally they don’t have silos," Moore notes approvingly); a "huge digital platform"; the comments she got on her Guardian pieces proved that the organization was "taking reader engagement seriously."

Moore's goal for the Guardian's financial coverage is different from her focus when she was a Wall Street Journal reporter, as she puts it, "writing about bankers for bankers." As she did at "Marketplace," she'll approach the role as an explainer, "trying to convince people that they need to be financial citizens in the same way they're political citizens," she says.

Those stories will take multiple forms, to the great relief of fans of Moore's strangely soothing radio voice, which she assures me will not atrophy in this new gig. "No chance," she says. "As anyone will tell you I’m incredibly talkative. My voice will get a good workout." She also plans to continue to contribute to Marketplace's "Weekly Wrap."

The Guardian's catholic approach to storytelling appeals to Moore, who cites the organization's live-GIFfing experiments at the presidential debates as the sort of mold-breaking coverage she loves. Audiences, she says, are "agnostic" about mixing news forms. "The only people who tear themselves up about this are journalists."

"The vice president's expressions tell a story that you can’t tell in text or in the radio," Moore says. "You have to tell it in GIFs."

Moore will work with Dominic Rushe ("an amazing, really talented reporter") to build a business section she hopes will be "considerate of educating the reader as well as having really good analysis and higher thought" about economic news.

"Obviously I’ll continue my coverage of Wall Street and economics, and also the directions those are going," Moore says. "We’re in a really remarkable historical moment where the entire financial system is changing before our eyes. ... There’s a lot more to add in terms of personal finance and small business; we really want to be a business section for everybody."

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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