NY Times’ Alba: Tech reporting should focus on how it infiltrates systems
Donna Patricia Manio of Metro.style profiles new New York Times tech reporter Davey Alba.
Manio writes, “Later on, Davey found herself beating deadlines for Wired and BuzzFeed News where she was able to pursue stories she deemed important. ‘After a few years in the business, I started to see a shift in tech reporting from the emphasis on gadgets to the kind of storytelling that showed how tech affects real people… [S&T] has emerged as one of the most essential beats to explain our world today. There are so many invisible ways that tech has infiltrated the systems that run our world, and they deserve interrogation.’
“The young journalist has since written many features in the science and education beat. The story that finally won her acclaim is about how Facebook fueled the drug war in the Philippines. It was particularly difficult to write, she pointed out. Prompted by one of her visits to Manila, where she noticed how a lot of Filipinos were seemingly addicted to Facebook, she pitched the story to the editors at BuzzFeed. She also got wind of rumors about troll farms and how they sow disinformation. ‘The hardest things to wrangle were all the minute details that I had to track down, for almost every paragraph. If you read the piece closely, there are several mini-stories that I had to gather facts for […] It’s the densest story I’ve ever written, reporting-wise.’
“It’s been quite a journey for Davey. ‘Looking back, starting from a young age, I’d always loved literature and writing, but I always felt insecure about my own work. It was when I was forced to figure out my life as a new immigrant in the US—applying to as many jobs as I could and just hoping to get a callback, then eventually landing several positions in journalism—that I had to swallow my fears and just write.'”
Read more here.