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Gillian Tett: From tea-girl to business journalism superstar

An indication of the extent to which the credit crunch has elevated financial journalism to the mainstream comes in the The Guardian today - which has a profile of the FT's Gillian Tett in its main features section.

Tett was Press Gazette British Press Awards business and finance journalist of the year last year.

The Guardian credits the FT assistant editor as being one of the few people to have predicted the current economic meltdown two years ago. And it reveals that the FT journalist has PhD in social anthropology from Cambridge.

Explaining her interest in finance Tett says:

"People who come from a background of arts and humanities and social studies tend to think that money and the City is boring and somehow dirty.

"But if you don't look at how money goes round the world you don't actually understand the world at all. When you try and join up the dots about how money can be linked to politics, can be linked to culture, then it's electrifying."

She said she had her big break whilst on work experience at the FT at the time of the break-up of the Soviet Union:

"They came around and said, 'Does anyone speak Russian?' I put my hand up, and I basically went from making the tea to writing pieces. Total Hollywood moment. Then the foreign editor comes round and says, 'There's going to be a revolution in Lithuania, does anyone want to go?' And I went, 'Yes! Me!"

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