How a NY Times biz reporter uses Slack and Signal to spot stories
Kate Conger, a tech reporter for The New York Times, talks about how she uses technology to help her find stories.
Here is an excerpt:
You cover breaking news about all things tech — from Google to Facebook to Twitter to Uber. What are your most important tools for staying quick on your toes?
I use alerts from Twitter and Dataminr, a social media monitoring service, alerts to keep up with breaking news, but one of the things I find most useful is keeping up with my group chats. I hang out in a lot of Signal and Slack groups with friends, colleagues and sources, and if I notice a topic is causing a lot of chatter, I know it’s time to start working on a story.
I use a note-taking app called Bear, which lets me sort and filter my notes using hashtags. It makes it really easy for me to keep my notes orderly while I’m running around between interviews, and makes it possible for me to quickly return to a conversation months or even years later if I need to refer to it again. I’m always a bit stressed about the security of tools I use for reporting, but Bear syncs through Apple’s CloudKit, a framework that lets the app developers store my data on Apple’s servers, so I feel relatively comfortable with it.
For me, the most important way to stay quick is to stay focused — so I ultimately end up relying on pen and ink more than tech tools. It feels as if my half-baked thoughts are constantly getting bumped down my news feeds, so I keep a paper to-do list. I have disappearing messages turned on in most of my Slack, Signal and WhatsApp conversations, so sometimes I also need to write down important points so I don’t forget them. I’m paranoid, and keeping paper notes feels safer to me.
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