Welcome to the Knack Factory Podcast #1. For the first episode, I talked with Heidi Moore (Twitter), who I have been privy of thanks to Twitter for almost 5 years. Moore is the Finance and Economics Editor at Guardian US and she has been a financial journalist for 14 years. She is someone I have long admired and found fascinating. Also, Walter Benjamin somehow came up in this interview 3 times, so bonus on that.
I recorded at the Guardian offices back in late December, and we were interrupted a few times by folks leaving the office and going on holiday, so that explains the cuts and puts some of the subject matter into context.
Of the gradual integration of social media practices into her profession, she said:
The whole way that newsrooms work, I feel, has been changed by the way the Internet works right now. Before you would go into the newsroom and if it was a relatively prestigious place, it was very ivory tower. There were editors who were all knowing, and every day they would have a morning meeting on which they would inscribe the stone tablets that they would hand down to the reporters and the people about what was going to be the most important news that day. Now you don’t need the editor as the reader proxy. You have readers right in front of you if you can access them, if you know how to talk with them like on Twitter or commenters on your website. All of a sudden you have this unfiltered firehouse of what questions people are really asking. That has been uncomfortable for a lot of people who are used to the old, very rigid, almost authoritarian regimes of now newsrooms used to work, and it can be exciting if you are good at engaging with people and it can be tortured if you’re not.
By the way, every single social media thing I have done ever, I have been incredibly skeptical about and almost hateful about from the beginning.
Note: The first handful podcasts are pretty rough, as we were on the road and traveling pretty light. We have since upped our road game with a new mixer and a couple of solid microphones, but for something that was recorded directly into the factory microphone on a Zoom H4n, this sounds remarkably clear.