Katherine Rosman was born in Detroit and raised in the city’s suburbs. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1994. After college, she moved briefly to Washington, D.C. where she did an undistinguished turn as a receptionist at a law firm. From there she headed to New York City and got a job as a glorified Girl Friday at Elle magazine. No one fetched low-fat grande lattes with more aplomb.
After more than two years spent making sure “chic” and “from day to night” didn’t excessively appear in the magazine’s table of contents, she was hired to report for a start-up magazine whose mission was to go behind-the-scenes in the world of media. She wrote a few noteworthy pieces (well, she at least considers them worthy of note) for Brill’s Content but none of those pieces can be found online, so let’s move on.
As a freelance magazine and newspaper reporter in the first half of the first decade of this century, Katie (as most people call her) reported on precocious politically active kids, fraternity and sorority alum who troll eBay in an effort to keep their organizations’ pins out of the hands of non-members, the spiritual crisis a Mormon couple faced when its teenage son announced he was gay, post-dotcom laid-off investment bankers living well on unemployment, the disenfranchised process of grieving faced by the girlfriends, boyfriends and fiancés of those killed on Sept. 11 and the knives Manhattan socialites aimed at a pretty newcomer*.
Katie was hired by the Wall Street Journal in late 2004. Some of her favorite articles** that have appeared in the paper: Book clubs that are hard to get into, the culture of leaking secrets to media, television producer Chuck Lorre’s so-called “vanity cards,” kids who hate their parents’ BlackBerrys, compulsive list-making, a battle to monopolize the business of the “step-and-repeat“, mom-and-pop birthday party costume makers who face intellectual property lawsuits due to their homemade Dora and Barney costumes, the demise of a literary institution known as “the slush pile” and a men’s group that has been meeting for over 50 years. ***
Katie is married and has two kids. She’s exhausted.
*Katie reported and wrote this piece when she was 29. If she had to do it again, she would include fewer anonymous quotes. She regrets many of the anonymous barbs she allowed into this piece. Katie was just trying to show the level of venom this woman inspired.
**Katie thinks non-subscribers can access most of these links to Wall Street Journal pieces. She’s sorry if they can’t.
***This list is not comprehensive. Picking her favorite stories is difficult. Most are special to her. Notably, she has not included two pieces that ran in the WSJ and were expanded into chapters of “If You Knew Suzy.”