OLD Media Moves

How Bloomberg News tech reporter Frier got into business journalism

April 9, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

Sarah Frier

Bloomberg News technology reporter Sarah Frier talked with Brad King, host of the Downtown Writers Jam Podcast, about her career and her new book about Instagram called “No Filter.”

Frier recounted about how she wrote plays as a child and got into journalism as an undergraduate at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was editor of the student newspaper,

“I like learning from talking to people, and I like learning from experiencing things,” she said. “Once I realize you could have a career around talking to interesting people…and figuring out whether they were telling the truth, that sounded interesting to me.”

Frier was hired by Bloomberg News in 2011 and went through its rotation program.

UNC-CHapel Hill “had this business journalism program run by Chris Roush, who is now the dean at Quinnipiac University,” said Frier. “He really charged forward with this idea that everyone who wants to go into business journalism should be able to understand basic SEC filings and the difference between company jargon and the truth. So I credit a lot of my understanding of business reporting to his way of thinking….He really helped me think about companies critically.

“A lot of journalists go into their careers thinking about holding governments accountable. In reality, companies are getting more and more power over how we live. ..Holding those guys accountable is just as important,” she added.

Frier said that her coverage of social media is changing during the pandemic.

“Everyone’s priorities have shifted, right,” she said. “It used to be that all we wanted to know about was the election and in my world, social media, trying to make sure that the companies were prepared. Now, of course, everyone’s trying to figure out how to deal with the shift, not jut in our house, but how we’re interacting with each other.”

“Covering social media companies, it’s important now too because that’s how people are connecting with each other. It’s very interesting the choices we make about how to connect when we can’t see each other. On Facebook and Instagram, it’s not as much about performance like I went on this vacation…It’s all about when can we talk. Are you OK?”

To listen to the interview, go here.

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