Noah Oppenheim, president of NBC News, sent the following message on Friday to the staff about its tech coverage:
As you all saw on Nightly News last night, Jo Ling Kent and the Business & Tech Unit had a broadcast exclusive with a former YouTube employee on the company’s recommendation engine. This is just the latest in a string of significant enterprise reporting by NBC News on technology, which is increasingly one of the most crucial areas we cover.
In the same way we’ve set ourselves apart from other news organizations with our best-in-class Investigative Unit – which has had more than 350 exclusives since January of last year and is adding to that tally every day – NBC News has increasingly become a major hub for significant tech news and interviews. Our mission is simple: to break and make news about the tech giants reshaping our cultural, economic and political landscape, and to investigate the staggering impact they have on our daily lives.
In just the past few weeks, TODAY has had news-making interviews with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. We’ve seen Jo Ling Kent chase Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg down the hallways of Capitol Hill, and, along with Kara Swisher, our colleagues at MSNBC scored a very timely town hall with Apple CEO Tim Cook. NBC News recovered more than 200,000 deleted Kremlin-linked propaganda tweets and published them, creating the largest public database — now being used by academics and other journalists around the world — conducted the first interview with a paid, Russian campaign troll, and brought together Facebook and Google whistleblowers, one of whom called Facebook “a living, breathing crime scene for what happened in the 2016 election.”
Like so much of what we do, our technology reporting is driven by collaboration across our organization, but at its core is the Business & Tech Unit, which has grown from three reporters to fifteen in the last two years under the leadership of Allison Girvin. As you’ve often heard me say, original journalism is the backbone of NBC News, and it’s never been more important. The work being accomplished by the Business & Tech Unit is emblematic of what we all strive to achieve together every day. Please join me in congratulating them on their recent success and in supporting their efforts, as this beat continues to grow in importance.