OLD Media Moves

A tech reporter who does his work alone, one scoop at a time

January 16, 2014

Posted by Chris Roush

Mark Stencel writes on Poynter.org about tech reporter Brian Krebs, who has worked independently since losing his job at The Washington Post in 2009 and who broke the Target credit card story.

Stencel writes, “Without revealing exactly how much he makes, Brian says his work brings in enough money to cover his share of the bills. He gets health coverage through his wife’s work, which helps financially. They don’t have kids.

“Working alone means Brian has to be his own publisher — an area in which he says he sometimes gets ‘pushback from fellow journalists.’ Brian manages sales and relationships with advertisers, almost all of which are involved in the topics he covers. The publisher side of the job means he sometimes has to explain to disappointed sponsors why their buys never guarantee coverage. He also says he discloses relationships when he needs to refer to an advertiser — as was the case in a story this week that quoted the co-founder of a threat intelligence firm. (‘Full disclosure: Malcovery is an advertiser on this blog,’ Brian noted parenthetically with the quote.)

“As his own publisher, Brian sometimes turns down money, too. A couple of experiences appearing in corporate webinars convinced him those gigs were too ‘skeevy.’ ‘I do draw the line,’ he says. But he does make paid in-person speaking appearances for corporate and governmental audiences — something editorial guidelines at media organizations like the Post would prohibit.

“Brian monitors traffic and impressions for his advertisers. He also maintains advertising standards and handles ad hosting himself — especially after someone tried using a third-party advertising service to post malware on his site.”

Read more here.

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