This is Behind the Blog, where we share our behind-the-scenes thoughts about how a few of our top stories of the week came together. This week, we discuss Jason's entry into journalism via drones, as well as Emanuel and Sam's thoughts on the state of social media and disinformation today.
JASON: I’m a technology journalist because of drones. At least, my first big story was about them.
My first real journalism job after college was at U.S. News and World Report in Washington, DC. I had been an intern at Washingtonian, the city mag there, for a few years and had done a lot of reporting, but my first full-time gig was at U.S. News. It was 2011, and everyone I told was surprised to learn that it still existed. Well, it’s 2023 now, and it still still exists.
I was hired to write about “STEM Education,” because they were doing a big “best high schools” ranking and wanted to throw a sponsored conference about the failing American science, technology, engineering, and math education-to-job pipeline. It was also my job to do something called “Law Firm Insider,” where I wrote thrilling updates about lawyers changing jobs. It was like writing about sports transactions, except the people changing teams were K Street lobbyists and IP lawyers.
Here’s an excerpt from one of my posts:
Because I went to a science and tech high school and was nominally the only person there who knew anything about science, I was also in charge of our science page. This meant I read three websites we had syndication deals with, picked a few articles a day, copy pasted them into our CMS (with permission from the publication), and republished them.