I’m one of several road test editors at Roadshow, a division of the technology site CNET. Aside from evaluating new vehicles, I also script and host videos, write feature stories and help produce commerce-related posts. Basically, I do everything (or at least it feels like I do, LOL).
Can you tell us what types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now?
I primarily cover product, vehicle reveals and first drives, so that’s where most of my energy is spent. But the two biggest trends I see today are pretty obvious: autonomy and electric vehicles. These issues impact all facets of the car business and will continue to do so for years to come.
Describe the craziest or most fun story you have written.
Two of my all-time favorite features immediately come to mind. Both videos are from when I worked at AutoGuide, my previous employer. The first one is a review of a 2016 Lincoln MKX (https://youtu.be/D_yRrSMNyxg) and the second is a first drive of the updated 2019 Honda Pilot (https://youtu.be/xZCpTzwD7K0). In both videos we pulled out all the stops to create fun and engaging montages. The Honda’s mimics an airline safety briefing and the Lincoln’s, well, you have to watch it to understand.
What story or stories are you most proud of?
One of the recent stories I’m proudest of is our coverage of the Ford F-150 Lightning. I led the charge (yes, pun intended) on this project, hosting four separate videos and pumping out at least as many written articles. We produced these features under difficult conditions, with extremely limited shooting time. The situation was challenging but we came together as a team and created some great content that performed extremely well both on our website and YouTube. I’m very proud of how everything turned out.
What elements or characteristics do you look for in a story?
The most important part of any news story is accuracy. If you don’t have that you’ve got nothing. In second place, if a story can be written in a fun or playful way, I find it much more engaging. Anyone can reword a press release, but it takes skill and effort to craft a story that really grabs the reader. If you can make me chuckle, you’ve really hooked me.
How long have you been in journalism and how did you get started?
I’ve been a full-time automotive journalist my entire professional career, ever since I graduated college waaay back in 2007. It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for *pulls out calculator* a decade and a half! I got a taste of this business through my internship at Autoline a couple years before graduating. Luckily for me, that turned into a full-time job, and I’ve been at it ever since.
Finish this sentence: If I am not reporting, I am …
…either working in the garage, tinkering with one of my classic cars or futzing around in the garden. I greatly value time away from the keyboard and computer screen.
What advice do you have for PR people that want to pitch you?
The best advice I have for PR folks pitching story ideas is make sure the topic is relevant to the journalist you’re reaching out to. If it’s not, I can assure you your message will be promptly deleted.
Any pet peeves with PR people?
Random, unsolicited e-mail pitches can be pretty annoying. Like, I cover cars and the automotive industry; the site I work for is called ROADshow. Why would I ever write about a Bluetooth-equipped hernia belt or some mobile app that helps you track your bowel movements?
Tell us a little about yourself (family, interests, hobbies, background, etc.)
Ever since I was a kid I’ve been interested in cars, so it’s fitting I get to work in this business. As mentioned above, my hobbies include gardening and tinkering in the garage.
Gardening is definitely an old-fashioned hobby, but it’s good for the soul and I love it, plus nothing tastes better than homegrown food! I cultivate a diversity of plants each year, everything from garlic and potatoes to asparagus, paprika peppers, strawberries, herbs and much more. I also have a small orchard of fruit trees.
In the garage, I’m currently restoring a 1951 Ford Crestliner, my second classic car. This is a lot of work and involves hours of cleaning and grinding, fabricating and welding, but it’s also super satisfying. I’m hoping to have this vehicle wrapped up and running in the next few years.
You might also be interested in: