Meet the Media: Charles Morris, Senior Editor at Charged

I am the senior editor at Charged – I write daily blog posts, as well as articles for the print magazines, and do copy editing. I’m also a contributing writer for EVannex – I write a weekly blog post.

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

Charging management for commercial EV fleets, new battery plants, battery recycling

Describe the craziest or most fun story you have written.

I recently did a humorous piece called Snarky Answers to Stupid EV Questions. We EV owners hear some of the same silly questions over and over, so this was about how I might like to answer (but in real life of course, I always try to be patient and helpful). 

What story or stories are you most proud of?

I do a lot of interviews with pros in the EV industry. Two recent ones who had some very interesting things to say: former EPA admin Margo Oge, who explained how federal emissions regulations work; and CharIN North America President Oleg Logvinov, who discussed the latest trends in commercial EV charging.

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

I look for things that really have the potential to change the EV industry, and because we’re a trade mag, I like to see as much technical detail as possible. We don’t tend to chase breaking news – when something momentous happens, I prefer to wait a couple days and write about the big picture, so I welcome items that put current events in context, or provide additional angles.

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

I was part of one of the first e-zines back in the 1990s, a trade mag for web developers, and was at the center of the Web boom and bust (moved on to travel writing before it boomed again). I joined Charged just as the EV scene was starting to roll, and once again I got in at the dawn of a new industry that’s destined to radically change the world.

Finish this sentence: If I am not reporting, I am…keeping up with paperwork (barely), reading the news, sifting through the dreck on LinkedIn and Twitter in search of the rare nuggets of useful information.

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

Give us solid, meat-and-taters info about your product or service. Offer us an interview with someone with technical expertise.

Any pet peeves with PR people?

Oh, I could go on and on! The usual: ALL CAPS; obsession with the passive tense; redundant, self-congratulatory language…

My main beef is probably that PR writers waste everybody’s time with verbiage that they have to know is never going to be used. “COMPANY X, the leading provider of dynamic solutions that empower next-generation disruptive technology, introduces GOODSTUFF™, the award-winning product that enables the green revolution that’s going to help butterflies and grandchildren. COMPANY X’s GOODSTUFF™ is used by the leading blah blah blah.”

No journalist is going to repeat that kind of flowery language, nor all your TMs, so why include them?

What’s the most challenging part of your job right now?

Finding good writers has always been very tough. At Charged, we’ve been trying for years to find someone to take over some of my duties, but we can’t find anyone who can write accurately. If I have to spend time correcting typos on every post, I might as well write it myself.

Tell us a little about yourself (family, interests, hobbies, background, some fact about you that few people know, etc.)

I live in Florida and visit the beach almost every day. I’m also a professional musician. I love traveling, reading (mostly non-fiction and classics) and watching movies and Jeopardy!

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