SF Chronicle biz editor Thomas gives advice on getting scoops
The San Francisco chapter of the Public Relations Society of America interviewed San Francisco Chronicle business editor Owen Thomas about his career and journalism.
Here is an excerpt:
How does working at the Chronicle differ from the other media outlets that you worked for?
When I came here, I was more focused on the similarities: We break news at the pace of Web publications I’ve worked at, and we bring design and copy editing and photography together to deliver a polished product like magazines I’ve worked at. The difference here is the clarity of mission: Our editor-in-chief, Audrey Cooper, says we cover the city whose people change the world. That’s why I came to San Francisco two decades or so ago, and that’s why I love what we do.
What’s your technique for getting scoops and how do you like to work with sources?
I’m mostly out of the scoops-and-sources game as an editor, but I love working with my reporters as they build out their sources. I occasionally get a good tip from a network of contacts I’ve built up over my career, but I mostly hand those off to a reporter. Back when I was writing more, it was pretty simple: Show up, ask questions, think about the answers, ask more questions.
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