This week’s newest guest on Coffee with a Journalist is none other than Mike Murphy from Quartz. You might recognize Mike for his signature thick-rimmed glasses Twitter photo, but we’re here to share MUCH more. Today, Mike and Beck speak 1:1 about his upbringing across the pond, his love of tech, and how often he receives pitches that may or may not be relevant to his beat at Quartz.

Mike Murphy is a deputy editor at Quartz, covering technology. He focuses on machines with brains and consumer electronics. He likes to write about the future and the products that will get us there.

He graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern and the University of Pennsylvania. He is not a very good banjo player.

Click below to listen to this week’s episode of Coffee with a Journalist featuring Twitter’s unofficial celebrity, Mike Murphy, from Quartz!

Jered: Welcome to this week's episode of Coffee With A Journalist and it's a podcast that's just that. We got coffee. We got journalists. We got lots of good conversation. I'm Jered Martin. I'm the Co-founder and COO at OnePitch.

Beck: And I'm Beck Bamberger. I'm also the Co-founder of OnePitch, the CEO of BAM Communications and the host for today's podcast. Today, we have Mike Murphy from Quartz. He was raised in Britain, but he has a Brooklyn accent. It's a little confusing. He also has an MS, a masters of science in journalism, so we're going to talk about that today and also how he deals with all the machines with brains as he says that he covers. Let's take a listen.

Beck: Mike Murphy, welcome to Coffee with A Journalist.

Mike: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Beck: You're not drinking coffee, but that's okay.

Mike: It's true. I opted for water.

Beck: You opted for water. Also, you just had a bunch of coffee, so you're pretty, you're good. You're jittery.

Mike: I'm feeling it. Yeah.

Beck: Okay, well let's dive in here. Mike Murphy is a Deputy Editor over at Quartz. A great friend that we've known for a long time. We just had Carrie on too, your girlfriend as it is. Can we mention that? Is that okay?

Mike: Yeah, yeah. We've been dating for a while.

Beck: Okay, good. She's a lot of fun. So we're happy to have you now here to talk about all things journalism, PR, how you got started, what you think the future of journalism is and all of these great topics. And just so you know, and as I mentioned before, we have a lot of publicists who listen, so we want to give any input into how they can better work with you and not be a pain in your butt basically. So let's hit it. First off, as we mentioned Deputy Editor of Quartz and you started out with considering and actually you've got an MS in journalism. So let's start from there. Why did you even go into it to begin with?

Mike: Um, so I've always been passionate about writing and journalism in particular. I took the only journalism class that my undergrad offered and um, you know, it was just my whole life. I wanted to write and when I got to college, I, you know, I was an English major and I kind of realized that journalism might be a way to actually make some money. And I know it's like not, you know, not the greatest of industries these days in terms of, uh, you know, career longevity, but a lot better than a creative writer for the most part. Um, so, you know, I, I kind of dabbled with a bunch of stuff when I, when I graduated, I went into, worked at a startup and, you know, did copywriting and you know, it wasn't what I wanted to do, but there weren't a lot of prospects. I went to college in Philly, so there's, there's one paper there and if you don't get through all there, there's, there's not much else you can do. Um, and eventually I kind-of decided while I was there, “All right, I'm going to do it. I'm going to go to J-School because I can't figure out in this little town that I'm in unfair to Philly.” It's a nice place, but there isn't a lot of journalism stuff there. I just didn't know a lot of people, so it seemed like the easiest way to kind-of get my foot in the door. Um, so I got in and then basically I had this like weird three month period where I was, my lease was up in Philly and I was supposed to start in Chicago. I went to Northwestern and, um, my parents were well, “Come home, you know, come and stay at home for three months and then, you know, go.” And so I did that and about a week into to being there, they were like, you need to get a job or something, you know, for while I was there. I was like eh, that's fair. Yeah, it made sense. So I wouldn't sit around for three months, though I would have loved to do that. Um, so I got an internship at an ad agency. Um, and you know, I graduated basically during the recession, so a couple of weeks into the internship they offered me a job and graduating during the recession-

Beck: You take it.

Mike: Exactly. Somebody offers you a job and I, you know, I took it and I- I put it off. I deferred as, as long as I could on J-school until eventually, they said, “You can't keep doing that.” Um, so I worked for three years and I got to a point in my career there where I felt like if I stayed any longer, this is what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I knew it wasn't totally what I was passionate about.

Beck: Was that at Ogilvy?

Mike: It was, yes. Yeah. Well, yeah, I worked at Ogilvy, OgilvyOne, which is the digital arm globally and made it there in London. Um, and you know, it's great. It was a great agency and the reason I stayed so long, even though it wasn't necessarily something I wanted to do for a living, the people were fantastic. I loved everyone on my team. I'm still close with a couple of the people there, but I just decided and I reapplied to J-School and I got in again. And so I went and it was, it ended up being a fantastic decision, but it was just, it was a big risk. And moving to Chicago, putting my savings into going to J-School, changing careers in my mid-twenties, being one of the oldest people in my class, uh-

Beck: Really? Because how old were you? 25? 26?

Mike: I was 25, 26. Yeah.

Beck: And you were the oldest?

Mike: Yeah, and it was supposed to be the Northwestern program versus like Columbia's or some of the other ones are supposed to be kids who are kind-of just out of school. Uh, they have a different program for people that are practicing journalists who want to further their careers or things like that. So yeah, most people were still like wearing their undergrad college sweatshirts and like playing beer pong, which was like fun. I felt like I was, you know, 19 again. But yeah, I was- I was one of the older kids there and I was the one who like knew how to be on time for things, you know, like manage my time, act in meetings, and things like that. So I kinda felt like an old person. But uh, yeah, it was- it was challenging but it ended up working out okay.

Beck: And was it. Was it challenging because of the students you had to deal with and such or was it more challenging becuase the workload, the demands, etc.?

Mike: Honestly, it was a bit of a culture shock. Um, the Midwest was, I- I didn't really know what to expect and everyone was super nice, but you know, sometimes things were just- it felt very different to me in a very different time than today. Like I wear skinny jeans and I was with this other kid once, we were like doing a joint byline piece. And the guy we were interviewing, he also, the guy who was with me had skinny jeans on, he assumed we were just a couple. I'm like, what? It was like, what? It's 2018, I could, but I don't know. Very strange. Yeah. It completely changed the way we like interview, you know, like I'd be like, “I don't know what to do now. Like this is a weird conversation.” So there were a lot of things like that and like, you know, and we were reporting out in the middle of nowhere, like Illinois as well, not like downtown Chicago. Yeah. So it was a bit of a culture shock in some aspects. But yeah, the work was honestly fine. The first, uh, the first quarter was the hardest one because that's when they do the stuff that's like the fundamentals of journalism and like getting good news sense editing and like kicking you out onto the street to uh, interview people, which I still don't like doing. Um, you know, even-even, I've been doing this for like five years now and like, you know, it's still not fun to just like accost strangers and be like, “Hey, what do you think about this random thing?” You know? But some-sometimes it works. Um, but especially the like, you know, broadcast journalism style of being like, man on the street, “Like what do you think about the school closing or something? And you're just like yelling at parents trying to pick up their kids and like, I don't like doing that especially then.

Beck: It's aggressive. It's aggressive.

Mike: Yeah. But that was so, it got easier from then because I was doing, I was trying to do a degree that was basically journalism and technology, which is kind of how I-I-I'd always been interested in technology. It was always a sort of thing I wanted to cover, but like that helped crystallize it. And while I was there, I tried to like jump on every tech story I could, even though I was reporting on like Northwest Illinois.

Beck: Wow, what a scene.

Mike: Yeah.

Beck: Let's just clarify something quickly here ‘cause you're talking about how different it is. You were, you grew up in Britain.

Mike: I did.

Beck: But no accent? What happened? What happened?

Mike: It was, I don't know, it was like a conscious choice when I was young. I, you know, my- my dad's from Brooklyn and my mom's from Jersey and they're strong accents and that was what was at home. Um, and when I was young, I kind of just decided, I went to British schools and I just like didn't feel British. I felt very different there. You know, young kids are like, as well, they are, they always make fun of people who are even slightly different. So, yeah, I-I just was like, I don't feel like I'm like you guys, so I want to feel more like-

Beck: I'm the American here.

Mike: Yeah. You know, I feel like more like my parents and my family back home in America and I liked things like baseball and-and I liked, I don't know, I mean I still- still think I made the right choice. Like I, when I turned 18 was like “I'm going to go to school in the U.S.” I didn't even fill out an application for any British schools. But yeah, I mean, it's not like I resent my time there or anything, but like when I moved back to work, which I didn't expect to do, I was like, “Oh man, I'm back. And I'm like, I need to get out again.” Which is why I still have not been back to work.

Beck: Back to work where?

Mike: In the UK. Yeah. You know, I go every so often for Quartz. They have an office in London and it's nice to be able to, and my parents up until this year had still had our house in London, so it was nice to go there, but I just like, yeah, I just never felt British. Um, then at the same time, I don't always feel very American. I like watching soccer. I say things like brilliant and lovely and I dunno.

Beck: You wear skinny jeans.

Mike: I do, yeah, exactly.

Beck: So it's a wide space here. Okay. So, now you graduate and you land your first job, is that when you get to Quartz like you got the internship?

Mike: Yeah, pretty much. Um-

Beck: Then you went from there?

Mike: I, so I graduated in like August of that year and I applied for a bunch of random stuff. And you know, even with good, I thought pretty good clips from-from J-School, you know, it's tough to, it's a tough industry to just break into. And I was staying at the, my, I moved back in with my parents again because it's like I don't have a job again. Um, yeah. But this time they moved to Massachusetts. I was there planning stuff in Boston and I randomly was talking to a friend one day about like places I'd love to work, like places that were like a dream maybe one day. And I rolled off like, you know, I'm like, “Oh, I read, you know, the big places like The Times and The Journal, that's cool. But like I'm really interested in like what the new web-based sites that are out there doing.” And I said Quartz and he was like, “Oh, I know someone who works at Quartz.” I'm like, what? This was important, considering I've been unemployed for months to like mention that. And he's like, “Oh, just didn't cross my mind.” I'm like, okay. Uh, but so I reached out to this guy who, it turns out I'd actually met before he put me in touch with the tech editor at the time who, uh, was Dan Fromer, who up until the other day was the editor-and-chief of Recode. Um, and you know, we had a good conversation and we ended up, I came down to New York to interview with him and you know, he was like, yeah, it seems like you're, you're decent, but you don't have a lot of experience. So, you know.

Beck: Intern!

Mike: He was like, you know, what if we give you like three months and see how it goes. And I'm like, okay, that's more than I expected. So I actually turned down a full-time job at a small online publication in Boston, moved in with my Aunt and Uncle in long island, moved to New York to do the internship, commuted every day and about two months in, they all had me a full-time reporter role.

Beck: Like that?

Mike: Yeah.

Beck: Damn.

Mike: It was great.

Beck: So what did, so were you just thrilled? Like, is this just like that New York one where you're like, oh my God I made it, I have a full-time job. I kicked ass as an intern, I'm here to stay?

Mike: It was, it was intense, to be honest. I mean, uh, you know, New York is such a daunting prospect, uh, especially for someone with no money and at that point, no real job, no house. I was staying with my family

You were even staying with your parents. You were staying with your Aunt and Uncle.

Mike: Who are lovely people and it was so nice of them but still. Yeah. Yeah. And their two sons who are roughly my age and both like lawyers and like doing well in the city and I'm like an intern journalist that's like, you know, I go home to them every night. But you know, I, yeah. When, when I got the job I felt like I honestly felt kind of vindicated. Like I'd taken a big risk going to J-School and taking another risk going down to New York and I, you know, it could have gone terribly. Luckily, you know, I had the safety net of great family who would, who could, you know, I could go move back to Boston and be like, all right, I'm going to do something else now I guess. But it worked out. Um, and I was, yeah, I was daunted by what was ahead of me because I, the people, my peers at Quartz, especially at that time when it was so small or so unbelievably smart and brilliant and accomplished that it was really daunting to be like, oh my God, I have to be as good as them every day and not feel like I'm wasting everyone else's time. And you know, it took a while, many years to not feel that way.

Beck: Did you have a bit of would you say- imposter syndrome?

Mike: 100% since day one. When the internship started, I remember thinking, you know, because at the J-School we had a bullpen and you know, we had a daily publication we put out. It was like this is nothing like that. This is the real world. And I was like kind of freaked out. And you know, as I said, everyone, like we had a guy who was in contention for the editor-and-chief job of the Economist who is now the editor-in-chief of MIT Tech Review. We had my editor who ended up being the editor of Recode, you know, all of these people who are so good that the managing director of Fast Company now and it's like all these people. And I was just like, I'm just a jabroni who just graduated and they were taking a chance on me. So it was, you know, I was, I just wanted to repay the leap of faith that they had, they had taken on me. And I feel like eventually it's taken a while, but I hope I have at this point.

Beck: Yeah. Well, now you're the editor.

Mike: Hey. Yeah. Deputy Editor.

Beck: Just for folks to know and for pitching purposes. So as, and a lot of people do have the title of Deputy Editor, can you spell out what that role entails?

Mike: Sure. So for Quartz, it's a newish position. And I think I was the first, oh I was, yeah, I think I was actually, but we're doing it more now just because we're growing and teams are getting larger. It really depends on the team. But I am basically in editing backstop for the main editor who's Matt Quinn, who's fantastic, but also he's based in San Francisco. So the majority of the team is in New York. So I am the guy in the morning basically. Um, I'll help take pitches from reporters and assign stuff I think is important. And I like to act as a conduit for a lot of PR people and you know, context I've dealt with over the years of like, well this isn't really for me anymore, but now I'm, you know, I have this team, it might as well as all I can say it's good for this person and that sort of thing. So I do a lot of that in the morning and editing and Matt takes over a lot of the afternoon. And obviously, the like vision of what tech coverage is at Quartz is still his purview.

Beck: How many pitches do you get a day?

Mike: Uh, about a hundred.

Beck: Only a hundred? Yeah. Okay. So that's not bad. That's- I would think we have people saying, you know, hundreds and hundreds.

Mike: Oh really? Oh yeah. I only get about a hundred, I'd say. Um, yeah, probably about 150 emails total every day. Other than like, you know, random stuff I'm subscribed to. So it's a lot. Um, even the problem I have is that, and I'm obviously not the only person who thinks this, but you know, the problem I have is that out of that hundred pitches, maybe 10 are relevant to Quartz and maybe one of them is worthwhile for me. And it's just a lot of wasted effort on everybody's time, you know, cause they're giving me a chore to do by reading and deleting or farming out to other people or responding and saying, you know, I try to be good and respond to as many as I can say, this isn't for me. Or you know, have you tried this person? But like sometimes they're just so way off and I'm like, I'm not going to, you just guessed.

Beck: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's unfortunate though.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. I mean the good ones don't do that. The good ones know what people cover and how people like to be pitched. So I-I feel like it's usually pretty easy now after doing this for four and a half years of being a, of-of being like, I can just read the email subject line and see who it's from and know whether it's even worth reading at this point.

Beck: So let's drill into that a little bit, of what's the good versus the bad? and the bad is the mass majority. Yeah. But the good has what? The compelling subject lines and obvious personal approach.

Mike: Yes, exactly. Yeah. Knowing the angle that I'm likely to cover. Like Carrie was telling me yesterday that she got pitched from a new agency on a company, she's covered dozens of times and obviously, that agency hadn't done any like hadn't even just googled her name.

Beck: Embarrassing.

Mike: Yeah. And so she forwarded it to the company being like, “you made a bad choice here.” Uhm, and that happens a lot. Like I've been pitched the worst. I've been pitched like important people that I have done Q and A's with. Then I'll be pitched like there, that guy's publicist will change or something and then six months later I'll get to the same email. Like he can talk about these subjects and I'll be like, yeah, I already spoke to him about those. Those are live on the Internet and you could read it. So that stuff's crazy. But yeah, I mean knowing the angle that's worthwhile for you, like in both that case and Carrie's case, it's like they weren't even giving good angles. Like it wasn't, it was like, oh, this person can talk about like workplace culture. It's like, that's not what I cover. Why would I want to talk to them about that? You know, knowing that at least for me, I mainly cover consumer electronics and less well defined future stuff. But like if you're coming to me with like a crypto pitch, you've probably come to the wrong place. Like we have a whole freaking thing about crypto now, so don't, don't bring that to me.

Beck: I saw you just posted something on crypto.

Mike: I did. On the subway here. Yes.

Beck: It's how crypto people comparing their steps to their early Internet. Oh yeah.

Mike: It's crazy. It's like, okay. I mean I get conceptually that like this is new and we don't know what's going to happen yet. It's kind of the wild west, but it's like even if crypto becomes as important as all these people think it's going to be, it's still not as important as the Internet. No, it's just not.

Beck: Yeah, I'd have to agree with that. Funny, you're seeing it in the subway though. Now it's getting real.

Mike: I know. I meant to, I mean to add that to the tweet as well because A.) yeah, it's expensive and B.) that implies that like there's a certain level of public understanding to just say the word crypto and assume that your, your audience is going to know what that means. That suggests a pervasiveness that I'm not sure it was really there. You know, in San Francisco maybe.

Beck: Maybe you should do a poll in the subway.

Mike: Yeah, that's a good idea.

Beck: I wonder if MTA takes BitCoin.

Mike: Exactly. they'd pay for that. Okay.

Beck: What's this thing though, just going off of this for a second, what is- why are you not a good Banjo player?

Mike: Because I didn't try very hard when I was learning.

Beck: Did you try it? Well, you didn't try.

Mike: I didn't try. I mean I've played guitar since I was like 12, so I assumed it would be easy enough. It's not, it's a really weird instrument. I can like strum things. I can play a couple of folk songs but like, yeah, it's tough.

Beck: Okay, so don't go to Mike for the Banjo inquiries. Okay. I'd love to talk about your favorite stories. This type of stuff you like to do. Yes. Okay. Technology, yes. Consumer electronics. And he was in the latest gizmo and how it works and all this stuff. But like what's some of your favorite stuff to do? And why?

Mike: Yeah. I, you know, the stuff that you can do that, you know, I-I'm personally interested in this stuff that kind of shows how technology has changed, um, parts of our lives and not necessarily scoopy things or things like that. I, when I have the time, which isn't as often as I'd like, and that's usually my own fault. It's not like anyone's pressuring me. The features I've done have either been about companies and how they're a kind of synecdoche for an industry that has created a massive change in the way that we act. I act in the world that could only be facilitated with technology. Like I wrote one about a year and a half ago on, um, this company called Replica, which is an AI startup that basically created this chatbot that you talked to. And it's, it's totally AI driven, so there's no person behind it. It's not like the Facebook one that's just a lie. Just one is just a, you talked to Ann and kind of tell it your day and things like that. And eventually, over time, it gets good enough to create a version of you. And the idea being that in the future it can do stuff on your behalf. Like talk to a call waiting for people.

Beck: Oh, it's like that Google Demo.

Mike: Yeah. But that's like, that's like using voice AI, it may or may not be true. This is like just text, which is much easier to copy. Then your voice and your, uh, you know, the way you talk and things like that. But what was so crazy about it, it's like, yeah, that was the goal was to create these crazy cool bots for you in the future. Like it could be your virtual like assistant, but literally like, you know, in the way a secretary will like, you know, screen your calls and screen your emails and do your, you know, things like that. That was the goal of it. But what they'd done that was so fascinating to me while they were building, it was actually working with psychologists to figure out how to make the lines of questions that the bot asked leading enough and open enough that you as the person would like open up to it and actually tell it things. And what that ended up doing, which they didn't really realize at first, is create this amazing therapy tool. And like I wrote this like personal essay about like how it affected me and it's gone on to affect thousands of people. People have admitted they were thinking of killing themselves before they started using the Bot and it's crazy

Beck: The bot therapist.

Mike: Yeah. And it's not like one of these BS things you see on Instagram or something being like, “talk to this instead of a real therapist.” They admit and say no way this is supposed to replace therapy, but it's a really lovely tool for lonely people, for people who can't get out in the world where the Internet is their only connection to them- to other people. And so things like I can do like that. Like I'm working on a story right now that I've been yelled at for an untraditional, my draft on, um, how we can possibly connect everyone to the internet, how we could feasibly do that. Stuff like that, stuff that has like, this grand scale is just stuff that I really like to focus on uh, and I don't do enough of it, but that's mainly because I'm the kind of person that like procrastinates by like doing other stories. Like instead of writing a 2000 word report IT story, I'll like find a chart that's cool, then write 50 words about it. It was like, oh, I'm doing work. And then everyone will be like, “no, that's not what are you doing?” But yeah, that's, that's unfortunately how I operate.

Beck: There's a word I heard that's specifically for that. It's like being proactive. It's like proactive procrastinate. Yeah. See, like you're doing shit.

Mike: Yeah, but not, yeah, I did that this morning. I cleaned my desk instead of like writing the story. Hopefully, my editor doesn't hear this. Uh, but yeah, it's like that. I don't know. I just always do that. I'm like, well, I did a thing. It's not the thing I was supposed to be doing, but it's not like I'm watching TV.

Beck: Yeah, this is true. So what happens not to go down a rabbit hole on this particular struggle? What happens when every single person, if feasible, gets connected to the Internet? Is that part of your story?

Mike: No, that's actually going to be part of a, so this is part of a longer story that actually just launched today, which shows how far behind I am and my story called the Internet Refreshed. Um, and so it basically looks like, or it looks at like what the Internet would look like if we started again from scratch. So, how do you police it? How do you pay for it? Um, you know, mine is how do you connect people to it? Um, so there's other stories that were like, what does it look like? Um, that are focusing on like different aspects of it. And there is one on like literally how do you deal with this many people like um, my colleague Dave Gershcorn wrote this story that I believe went up today on the fact that in like 1999 I Can, which is like the governing body of the Internet tried to like turn the Internet into a democracy and it didn't work. So, he has like a little story on that and it's like, I don't think it's worse when you're talking about 8 billion people online versus the, and it was probably a couple hundred million if that. Um, so it's fascinating stuff.

Beck: What do you think the future of journalism is? Or media?

Mike: Yeah, I think that there have been a lot of reactionary things that have happened in media recently and I never understand why people do them. Like the pivot to video didn't make sense because nobody actually likes getting their news that way. They like getting their entertainment that way, but that's not what news is. I think that structurally the only thing that's going to change, most likely in the near term, will be that there will be more structured sections of the web for, for journalism that will necessitate people paying for this stuff. And it might be small transactions. I don't think it's going to be like microtransactions like that. People have tried that. I don't think that's going to work, but I do think that there will be more, you care deeply about x topic and that will be, you know, you will pay for that. The same way that we always paid for magazines, I think that reported news has become pretty commoditized and I can't see that changing anytime soon. Um, I can't see the New York Times changing their business model though, you know, paid subscriptions do seem to be working for them. But I do see a lot of smaller publications making high-quality products that people want to pay for. I think that like Monocle is a fantastic example of that. They're super pretentious. Like there's, there's a, there's an aura and like they go with that. But you know, I think we're going to find more and more kind of niche things that people really enjoy and those are where the money will be rather than in like the news. Um, I think that we'll just stay with the kind of players we have now.

Beck: So if you could rewind, rewind a little bit back to when you were considering doing this master's in journalism, would you tell yourself then like, yeah, get into journalism?

Mike: I think so. Uh, I think I would say that I am amazed at my colleagues who didn't and how many of them are so good and didn't go to a very expensive school. But you know, I was in a really specific place in my life and time. And so I think it was the right choice. Trying to change countries, change careers. But if you're 21 and you're coming out of college, try working at a local weekly paper, try working. Um, you know, that was, that's what a lot of my colleagues have done and they built up. That's what you're supposed to do. Uh, it's obviously getting harder and harder to do that, but if you're in a position where someone can still live at home and this is your passion and I think really you should only be considering this if there's nothing else you can do. If you can use your talents and don't care deeply about journalism, um, you know, use your talents to write, go write somewhere else, work in marketing, work in advertising, it pays a lot better. Um, but if you deeply care about this, work out a way that you can have a support structure around you to figure out how you can become a journalist at a younger age. I don't necessarily think that J-School is the way to go for a lot of people because schools move slowly. Curriculum moves slowly. The internet does not. Um, and I had teachers that were lovely, intelligent people that could teach me the foundations of-of journalism and editing and news gathering, but could not tell me what a CMS was, could not, you know, they're like, “I used to file on Telex.” It's like, okay, that's cool that you did that. But it's 20 well, in that case, it was 2014 it's like, “Do you know how to use a phone? Like can you wait?” I think this is too much the other way. But like Carrie, writes all her stories on her phone or a lot of her stories on her phone. I've done that like once and then my hands hurt. But like you know, there has to be some kind of way of learning that's, that actually reflects what journalism looks like today and a lot of J-Schools aren't that and they want to be and they say they are and they'll have like one cool teacher. Like when I was at Northwestern, bizarrely my one cool teacher now works at Quartz.

Beck: No.

Mike: Yeah, Emily Withthrow. She was like one of the best teachers I had at Northwestern. She now works at Quartz.

Beck: Well Mike, Thanks for being here today. This is so fun.

Mike: Thanks for having me.

Beck: Thank you. And say hi to Carrie.

Mike: I will.

Jered: Thanks for listening to this week’s Coffee With A Journalist featuring Mike Murphy from Quartz. If you're a journalist who loves coffee or a publicist who loves this podcast, we'd love to hear from you! Head to to drop us a line. Until then, let's end bad pitches and start great stories.