Media Moves

Auto reporter looks for the impact of the pandemic

March 1, 2021

Posted by Chris Roush

Eric D. Lawrence

Eric D. Lawrence, who covers Fiat Chrysler for the Detroit Free Press, spoke with Bianchi Public Relations about his job.

Here is an excerpt:

Can you tell us what types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now?

I’m watching the ongoing impact of the pandemic on the auto industry and other types of transportation. The evolving technology landscape, which includes electric vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems, is always on the radar. Lately, I’ve also taken an interest in Michigan’s growing space industry.

Describe the craziest or most fun story you have written.

The craziest story from the standpoint of realizing I was in the middle of something really big was probably the 2010 Enbridge Oil Spill. An editor asked me to check into a short wire service item he’d seen about a spill near Marshall, Michigan. I quickly determined that this would require more than a few phone calls and headed out to see for myself. I can still clearly remember the smell of the oil in the water and how black a creek was near the spill site. I’d expected to be gone for the day so didn’t pack anything and ended up staying out there for about a week.

What story or stories are you most proud of?

I’m most proud, in the last couple of years, of my work covering the crisis of pedestrian deaths in the United States. The main story our team produced ran as a Detroit Free Press/USA Today Network investigation, titled “Death on foot: America’s love of SUVs is killing pedestrians.” That story and others have highlighted the disturbing rise in fatal pedestrian crashes in recent years and a key reason those crashes have become deadlier.

Read more here.

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