OLD Media Moves

The 20-year-old who rocks the Apple beat

August 19, 2014

Posted by Chris Roush

Michael Rosenwald writes for Columbia Journalism Review about Mark Gurman, the 20-year-old Michigan student who covers Apple for 9to5mac.com.

Rosenwald writes, “Gurman’s scoops, beginning in high school, have included stories about Apple’s foray into tablets, new phone designs, the arrival of Siri, the dropping of Google maps, how Apple stores operate, how new operating systems work and look, and, most recently, how the company plans to integrate health and fitness tracking into its devices. Gurman’s stories serve multiple audiences. The primary one is Apple obsessives, for whom even a report on a new button design is life changing. Another is the mainstream tech press, which reads his stories for clues about Apple’s larger strategy, a Rubik’s-like puzzle given Apple’s stealthiness and complexity.

“‘He drives that site the way Nate Silver did at the New York Times,’ said Kara Swisher, who with Walt Mossberg co-founded Re/Code, one of many outlets that have tried unsuccessfully to lure away Gurman and his scoops. ‘He’s the show as far as any of us are concerned in Silicon Valley. He’s the brand.’

“Becoming a brand before becoming a full-fledged adult has made Gurman’s life a little peculiar to family and friends, and even, at times, to Gurman himself. One morning in the fall of 2011, at the beginning of his senior year in high school, Gurman woke up about 6 a.m. and noticed a missed call from a source. ‘What could they want at 2 a.m.?’ he thought. Gurman fired off a text message. Through a series of exchanges during the school day, Gurman learned that his source had some incredible goods: details of the iPhone 4S and, more importantly, news of Siri. To fanatical iPhone fans, this was Pentagon Papers stuff.”

Read more here.

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