Test OPEN Topics 2018 Andy Sobel

Andy Sobel, OPEN Topics Master of Words.

Thirty words. That’s all I get to grab a reader. But once I do, I never let them go, using sharp word choices and sound arguments throughout the delivery.

— Andy Sobel

All Photography by  Chloe Sobel

All Photography by Chloe Sobel


This is not a Byline


—  Which topic are you most excited about in 2018, Andy?
The continuing and escalating battle between objectivity and subjectivity. The more we apply Big Data and eventually AI in our societal and commercial interactions, the less we rely on nuance, feel, and all the other intangibles that make us human. Where exactly is this going? For example, can you guarantee before the games are even played that a baseball team you forged in a sabermetric lab will win the World Series? And where are we without the element of surprise?

—  What’s your favorite facet of being an editor?
Editors don’t get bylines, but they wouldn’t be editors if that mattered all that much to them. So the joy comes from connecting writers and readers in such a way that readers become better informed, and writers feel they’ve done their best to provide a public service, through either objective or brand journalism.

—  If you could interview anyone, living or dead: Who would it be and why?
Daniel Boone toward the end of his life. (And no, not the Fess Parker version.) I want to know what motivated him to risk not just his life, but that of his family (one son killed on an expedition, one daughter kidnapped, another son dying in battle during the waning days of the Revolutionary War). None of that had to happen. It wasn’t fate as much as collateral damage to his ambition. The choices he made along the way are almost incomprehensible today, but were much more natural in those times. Did he have regrets? I will not judge him, but if you are looking to judge how far we have come, Daniel Boone is a good place to start. 


—  Andy Sobel is a freelance writer and editor. He has held senior editing positions at The Wall Street Journal, in both the New York and Brussels newsrooms, and most recently, was in charge of content at the newspaper’s custom-publishing arm, WSJ Custom Studios. He has been managing editor of commercial-banking bellwether American Banker, and prior to that, was Head of Editorial Services at Ruder Finn, one of the country’s most prestigious public relations firms, where he edited an award-winning magazine on behalf of Novartis Pharmaceuticals. He was also a reporter for nearly 10 years, covering local governments in Connecticut; the U.S. Treasury and economy in Washington, D.C.; and a wide variety of financial markets out of London. Andy has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and a bachelor’s degree from Union College.


— Andy Sobel


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