Tech journalism is one of the fastest beats to follow and covering the tech space is no easy feat. On our podcast Coffee with a Journalist, we speak with journalists from various outlets and industries. We sat down with three tech-centered journalists to discuss keeping up with the industry’s fast pace, finding technology stories, and more.
Finding Tech Stories
Journalists are expected to provide their outlets with rich stories their readers want. Finding stories that are original and timely is the name of the game. Traditional media pitching from public relations professionals still serves as a key tool for journalists. For Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored’s Tech and Electronics Editor, pitches can help distill news and information coming his way. In his Coffee with a Journalist episode, Jacob says:
“I do try to rely on pitches a lot because I feel like in my role I try to keep an eye on all things tech, which is a large industry.”
Pitches can also help journalists find stories easily overlooked within this large tech space. Mashable Tech Reporter Brenda Stolyar stated:
“I do rely on pitches a lot, especially for the smaller companies that I normally wouldn’t find just browsing through different other publications or even just social media and stuff.”
Not only does this discovery help spotlight possibly overlooked stories, but pitches also help Brenda clarify why something is important. She continues by saying, “it’s always nice to be able to get pitched something that falls under my category in terms of tech, something I don’t have to squeeze in in a weird way that sort of relates but doesn’t, so I always appreciate the pitches that are like, “Okay, this connects to your phone, this is a tech product.”
Pitches are not the only way tech reporters find their stories. For Natasha Mascarenhas, Startup and Tech Journalist at TechCrunch, traditional coffee meetings have been fruitful in finding stories even she did not intend to stumble upon. She says, “I think coffee meetings have helped a ton.” Natasha elaborates on how asking simple and honest questions can lead to simple and honest answers that spark a story. She says that by “putting the notebook away and being like, “Okay, candidly, what do you feel is being under-reported on? Or what’s one thing you think is missing from the conversation right now?” I think that’s when the gems always came up.”
These conversations have helped Natasha create stories that are tech-related at a cultural level too. She explains, “I did the series for a while where I would talk to people in tech about everything other than tech. And that ended up, weirdly enough, leading itself into stories about loneliness and culture and stuff like that.”
Overall, finding technology stories can come from anywhere, whether it is from a juicy pitch hitting one’s inbox or seed of inspiration from a sincere conversation. It is up to the journalist to turn that story inspiration into something readers will love and won’t be able to put down.
Learn more about technology’s effect on the PR world in our blog “How Technology is Changing Public Relations”. Career Karma CTO Artur Meyster talks about the changes to how PR professionals operate due to technological and cultural shifts in the industry.
Also, follow us on Twitter and be sure to subscribe to the Coffee with a Journalist podcast to hear the full conversations with each of these great tech reporters and stay up to date on the latest episode releases. Each week, we sit down to talk with journalists from the world’s leading publications to gain insight into their storytelling processes, their predictions for the future of journalism, and everything in between!