5 Questions with Eric Best, MSPC Deputy Editor

By Molly Bennett  |  January 13, 2020

Man smiling at camera with magazine covers in the background

As deputy editor of the MSPC published Independent Banker magazine, Eric Best pulls from considerable research into community banking and years of storytelling experience to produce an award-winning magazine.

Prior to joining MSPC, Eric worked as a reporter and editor covering Minneapolis business, development and lifestyle/features for several area newspapers. His curiosities have led him to write about drag queens, neon signs and circus performers. As an alumnus of the University of Minnesota’s Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Eric got his start in publishing while editing the Minnesota Daily and The Tower.

In today’s edition of 5 Questions we get to learn more about Eric:

Tell us about your role in one sentence.

I do everything I can to deliver each month’s Independent Banker on schedule, meaning that I brainstorm, write, interview, edit, fact check, proofread and any other task that putting together a community banking magazine entails.

Who/what inspires you and your work?

I’m really inspired by stories that hit hard and deeply. For me, that’s been podcasts (I bet I listen to 15–20 hours a week), which seem to have skyrocketed in both number and quality in recent years. I’d recommend APM Reports’ In the Dark, Gimlet Media’s Reply All or The Habitat, Radiotopia’s The Truth, or iHeartRadio’s The Bechdel Cast. A variety is key to expanding your information diet. I’ll listen to a podcast explaining that the feral hog meme is actually a window into a huge disaster one day and a feminist breakdown of 2000’s Charlie’s Angels the next.

What has been your favorite MSPC project and why?

The inaugural 40 Under 40 section of Independent Banker in 2019 was probably my favorite single story we’ve done because of the impact it will have on our client’s industry and the participating community banks. Putting it together is a huge team effort, requiring planning over several months, but the end result is worth it.

How did you end up here?

I’ve been an avid reader of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business for years and years. As a reporter in town, I followed their editors and their writing closely. So when I got a message out of the blue about the deputy editor position from my former University of Minnesota editing teacher Michael Tortorello, now executive editor of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, I jumped at the chance and applied. I’m quite grateful for the opportunity.

What’s a cause that you are passionate about and why?

I’m passionate about the role of journalism and public discourse in our democracy. For most of my career, I’ve been involved with reporting information for voters and putting together endorsements for local political or collegiate offices. Content creators play a vital role in how people stay informed and form their views of their world.

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