Media Moves

Covering the tech beat

November 12, 2010

Michael Arrington, the founder and editor of the technology news site TechCrunch, writes in the latest issue of Inc. magazine about how he does his job.

Arrington writes, “If news is breaking, I want to be on it. We break more big stories than everyone else combined in tech — and that’s not prebriefed news or something that was handed to us. I judge my own performance based on that. When we break a story, that’s a point. When someone else breaks a story, we’re minus a point. And I want to be positive points.

“I try to get up at 9 a.m. every day. One of the things my doctor wants me to do is regulate my sleep. A year ago, I’d work until I passed out, and wake up eight or nine hours later, which might be 4 p.m. or 3 a.m. Then I’d work again until I passed out. That was my life for four years — it got really bad. I missed a lot of social things. I didn’t keep up with friends. I was a mess. I actually gained 50 pounds in the five years since I started TechCrunch. So now I’m working with a doctor and trying to get reset. Getting up at the same time every day is apparently one of the best things you can do health-wise. The problem is, I still don’t go to sleep very early. So I’m usually working on four or five hours of sleep. Then I make it up on the weekends.

“The very first thing I do in the morning is go right to my computer, which is always on. I’ll scan my e-mail for breaking news. If something big is going on, I’ll decide if I want to cover the story or assign it to another writer. Say a source sends me a tip that Google is buying Microsoft, and it’s going to break later today — I’m making this up, but that would be a big story. I’d start calling people at Google and Microsoft to see if it’s true or not.”

Read more here.

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