A tech reporter who uses old-fashioned reporting methods
Jack Nicas, who covers Apple for the New York Times, talks about some of his reporting methods on the beat.
Here is an excerpt:
I’m also a prolific screenshotter. The internet is an ephemeral place, so when I see something online for a story, I make sure to capture it immediately. The technique has been crucial for documenting fake Facebook accounts, dark YouTube recommendations, wrong Google answers, bizarre Google Maps neighborhoods. I use the FireShot plug-in for Google Chrome and my iPhone’s built-in screenshot and screen-recording tool.
I record some interviews with TapeACall Pro, an app that requires dialing in a third number that records the call’s audio. But because that can store the audio in the cloud, for sensitive calls I revert to a tangled setup that involves a decade-old Olympus WS-400S voice recorder, headphones and an auxiliary cord. That keeps the audio on a recorder that never connects to the internet. For particularly sensitive conversations, I ditch all of that and try to meet in person.
I typically bike to meetings and am an avid user of San Francisco’s shared-bike programs. I do not ride scooters, thankfully, because otherwise I know this article would have ended up with a photo of me on one.
If I had to choose one favorite old-school reporting technology though, I’d pick the doorbell.
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