How one tech reporter uses anonymous sources
David Ingram, a tech reporter with NBC News in San Francisco, spoke with Beck Bamberger on “Coffee with a Journalist” about his reporting tactics.
Here is an excerpt:
Beck: No comment. Okay. We don’t know who’s on the list of Dave’s. Okay. All right. You got your sleuths, you got your people, and you dig up the rest. Do you usually get blocked by PR people, or do they usually swoop in?
David: That sometimes happens, yeah. Especially if I’m contacting company employees outside the official channels, which everyone knows happens, and everyone knows sometimes you get sent to the communications department.
Beck: Shoveled over to the PR people. When they happens, how do you feel? You’re like, “Ah, shit”?
David: I don’t take it personally. They’re doing their job. As long as they understand I’m doing my job, as well. There’ve been a couple times where I was like, “I think this person’s really going to talk to me.”
Beck: Then they got swooped?
David: Yeah. Actually I’m thinking of this one case in particular. I won’t say the person or anything. This is someone I talked to before for stories, had been helpful. I sent them a message and said, “I wanted to talk about this subject.” They said, “I’m not the right person, but I think I know someone who can help you out.” I said, “Fantastic. Forward on my information, or I can call them. Whatever you think is best.”
Maybe an hour or so later I get an email from the PR people.
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