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David Sickels is the editor of The Buzz and senior editor of Tire Review & Fleet Equipment at Babcox Media.
Can you tell us what types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now?
I don’t think there has ever been a more exciting time to be covering the electric vehicle market. Automakers and their partners in the aftermarket are improving on battery technology seemingly every day and range anxiety for most EV drivers isn’t nearly what it used to be. It’s also exciting to see automakers experimenting with components that never seemed viable before, like solar- or hydrogen-powered sedans.
While the vehicles themselves tend to get the above-the-fold headline treatment, there are also massive opportunities in charging, on both the hardware and software sides. Improving the charging experience is going to go a long way in improving the consumer EV adoption rate.
Describe the craziest or most fun story you have written.
You really have to try to not have fun when writing about the automotive industry. Tire manufacturers are experts at giving the press opportunities to not only experience their new products, but have a blast doing it with a spin around the track or a chance to go rock crawling in the desert.
What story or stories are you most proud of?
Lately, I’ve been focusing on the medium for storytelling and trying to take the most advantage of the tools at my disposal. I love the written word, but video and audio exponentially add new ways to get my point across or to accentuate a specific idea. For better or worse, I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve spent the better part of a Saturday morning searching for the exact right truck horn sound for an episode of The Amped EV Podcast. Hearing details like that in other podcasts make me excited to plug into Audition and work on my own.
What elements or characteristics do you look for in a story?
I love misdirection and mystery. It doesn’t need to be overwhelming, taking up the entirety of a story or a passage, but I always appreciate when the writer can trick me into think he or she is talking about one thing, then turns it on its head. It also helps me remember that part of the story later.
How long have you been in journalism and how did you get started?
I started by writing for the Arts & Life section of my college newspaper at The University of Akron roughly 12 years ago. I had a blast and am thankful to have had the opportunity.
Finish this sentence: If I am not reporting, I am …
Playing music, learning a new board game or cooking something fun.
What advice do you have for PR people that want to pitch you?
My best advice for pitches via email is to Include a photo. A photo helps legitimize the story, and I’m a lot less likely to overlook something with an attachment in my inbox.
Any pet peeves with PR people?
PR people are some of the most helpful and hardworking people I know. No pet peeves on my end!
Tell us a little about yourself (family, interests, hobbies, background, some fact about you that few people know, etc.)
I live in Northeast Ohio with my wife and two cats. We love this area, especially for the fantastic Metroparks.
You can follow The Buzz on Instagram here: @thebuzzev
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