Meet the Media: Alexa St. John, Transportation Reporter at Business Insider

I’m Alexa St. John, transportation reporter at Business Insider. I cover electric vehicles and the future of transportation.

Can you tell us what types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now?

My reporting focuses on electric vehicles, the future of the legacy auto industry, the shift to electrification and startups in the EV space. I’m most interested in the people and places and technologies – well-known or not – that are going to be critical in the push toward EVs.

What story or stories are you most proud of?

I’m proud of my reporting for Automotive News on the supply chain production halts and ramp up early in the pandemic in spring 2020.

What elements or characteristics do you look for in a story?

There’s a lot to keep track of in the EV space: the competition, and partnerships, between legacy OEMs and nascent players to make this all happen; the changing supply chain; the need for more automotive talent; the state of investment in mobility; the different vehicle architecture required by EVs; charging infrastructure and grid capacity; and so much more. I look for stories that will pique my readers’ interests and touch on these topics or others that they absolutely need to know in order to be knowledgeable in the space.

How long have you been in journalism and how did you get started?

About a decade – my interest in journalism started in high school. I then reported for my college newspaper, The Michigan Daily, at the University of Michigan. I’ve spent summers at ClickOnDetroit/WDIV Local 4, Automotive News and the Wall Street Journal, and prior to my current role, I was a full-time reporter covering mobility and suppliers at Automotive News.

Finish this sentence: If I am not reporting, I am …

Trying a new restaurant in the Detroit area with my family, walking the Detroit Riverfront, riding my bike, catching up with friends over a nice charcuterie board.

What advice do you have for PR people that want to pitch you?

Really pay attention to my coverage and my outlet. There are some pitches that may be interesting, but simply don’t fit my audience or my focus area at Insider. I’m reporting not as a vehicle enthusiast, but rather, covering the business of the future of transportation, specifically the electric future of transportation. Offer exclusives and news under embargo earlier than an hour in advance. Pitch features with good people within companies, not just products. Emphasize interesting hires or executive moves in the industry that will ultimately further the needle on electrification.

Any pet peeves with PR people?

If I don’t respond after I receive the same pitch 2 or 3 times, it likely wasn’t a good fit, so there’s no need to also call several times. It’s also possible that I’m planning to circle back on the pitch later on when I have that particular idea on my plate. Regardless, if it is something that I would cover, trust that you will be hearing from me. Not every interview needs to be a Zoom or Teams video chat – we’re all fatigued by virtual working and I’m more than happy to do a phone call, too. And, where possible, I think the most authentic conversations with my sources come without a PR representative on the line or in the room.

You can follow Alexa on Twitter at: @alexa_stjohn

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