Steve Lohr began reporting professionally 40 years ago. Since 1979 he's been at it for the New York Times. A guy like this is beyond PR persuasion. Best to stand back and listen to the man. "On the PR side you really don't want to hear this, but what you want is tension. We shouldn't be writing 'victory lap' stories about companies. This is a journalism by-product of the boom -- writing hero stories. We're starting to see it come back..."
What is it like to be a reporter at Business Insider? "Everyone is kind of their own CEO," says west coast bureau chief Matt Rosoff. There's no daily copy quota, as there is at Pando Daily and was at Gigaom. Every reporter is free to chase a big story that takes weeks to report if the story is big enough. However, Matt adds, "there's an expectation that we're not going to be missing any news."
Fortune has transcended last year's chaos in which parent Time Inc. finally split from Time Warner and top editors Andrew Serwer and Stephanie Mehta suddenly left. Under first-year editor Alan Murray, Fortune is now, among other things, a high-velocity tech news shop. In March it published more than 500 tech stories; April's totals easily topped that.
If you're a PR pro under 30, know that Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols was writing about technology before you were born. That doesn't make Steven unpitchable -- but it does make him impervious to clerk-y PR razzle-dazzle. We'll spare you the full measure of his PR laments, except that "it's kind of frightening" to him that "even the big PR firms... throw the "recent [college] graduates" into the deep end, pitching stories they don't fully understand.
"OMG, I'm a millennial," TweetedChristina Bonnington this week, when she couldn't remember what a "keyboard typing machine" was called. The former Wired Gadget Lab writer, now the newly hired technology editor for Refinery29, doesn't really need to remember the word "typewriter" anyway. She's got an important new job these days, focusing on cool, useful technology that will fascinate Refinery29's 22 million monthly readers.
(Editor's note: Moments after we posted this profile, Evelyn announced her next move...) Evelyn Rusli is the kind of reporter even senior PR pros will admire from afar. Imagine being on camera at Fox News and TechCrunch and working for Forbes, twice for the New York Times and now for the Wall Street Journal -- all before you're 30. Before any of this, college-age, freelancer Evelyn, home for the holidays, helped the NYT cover a 9.1 magnitude earthquake -- yes, a 9.1 -- in her native Indonesia.
Just as the Andreessen Horowitz SxSW party was winding down, Carmel DeAmicis walked into the room, spotted Re/code co-founder Kara Swisher, walked up to her and introduced herself. Kara pounced. "I know who you are," she said. "I can't talk now... but have you ever considered Re/code?" Recalls Carmel: "I was in final negotiations with Business Insider... but Kara stole me away at the last minute with her Kara power."
Eight-year-old Farhad Manjoo left South Africa with his sister and parents in 1987, bound for a new life in southern California. He spent his college years among the gorges of New York's Finger Lakes, studying economics and editing Cornell's student newspaper. Upon graduation, Wired gave him his first tech edit job just as the (first) tech bubble burst. Farhad rode it out, eventually freelancing for top-tier titles and authoring a book about truth.
Interested in visual storytelling? Take a trip inside the mind of CNET senior news producer Mariel Myers. Mariel represents the kind of influencer you'll encounter more and more. More than that, it's the way she thinks. "I can use words, sounds and pictures to tell a story, which is a really powerful thing," Mariel says. "I work to make stories visual. First, is the story worth telling? Then, it's how do you tell it visually?"
Staff writer Issie Lapowsky carries a big load at Wired; she typically writes more than once a day and when a big Facebook or Google story breaks, it's often Issie who has to chase it. That said, she's always on the hunt for constructive stories to tell. Her work often gravitates to doing-well-by-doing-good stories. She also writes quite about education, as she did at Inc.
Forbes staff writer Aaron Tilley, whose beat is hardware and chipmakers, is one of those reporters that PR is lucky to pitch: smart, sincere and hungry to learn. It's a shame, so far, that much of PR mishandles him. "It becomes a little exhausting being pitched all the time," Aaron says, "when in fact you just want to have a conversation with another human being."
More than a few PR pros complain that Business Insider enterprise editor Julie Bort is tough to pitch. A veteran of LAN Times, VARBusiness and Network World, Julie has been around the track. Early in her career she also worked for PR Newswire -- so she knows all about your key messages.
Journalists are leaving media brands every week. Read the fruits of 16 confidential interviews with journalists now working at tech brands or PR agencies, and five interviews with the executives who hired these journalists.