Meet the Media: Shiraz Ahmed, Assistant Editor, Mobility at Automotive News & Host and Producer for Futurismo

Shiraz Ahmed is assistant editor, mobility at Automotive News, and host and producer for Futurismo, a podcast on tomorrow’s cars. 

Can you tell us what types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now?
I follow state and local policy towards new transportation models, autonomous vehicle development, vehicle connectivity, and digital talent recruitment.

Describe the craziest or most fun story you have written.
I had a lot of fun talking to developers and amateur data scientists about how they envision transportation in the future. Generally, semi-professionals, amateurs, or students are fun to chat with because they dream big and have no filter.

What story or stories are you most proud of?
Most recently, this story on a state-level push to enact vehicle connectivity in the absence of federal support. This was great because it started with a single tip and I just followed the string of reporting until I figured the story out. It also helped me establish entirely new sourcing in a sector not many are looking.

What elements or characteristics do you look for in a story?
Interesting characters, contrarian views, and connections to major industry players.

How long have you been in journalism and how did you get started?
I’ve been a professional journalist for nearly 5 years at Automotive News after graduating from Northwestern University. I originally came on a digital everything, helping reporters understand how to tell new stories online. That evolved into producing and hosting Futurismo, our podcast on the next generation of transportation, and my current role building out Mobility Report with my editor Sharon Silke Carty and our Silicon Valley reporter Katie Burke.

Finish this sentence: If I am not reporting, I am …
I am currently filming my first documentary, Alive in Detroit, about grassroots healthcare providers keeping this city whole. The film is an examination of our healthcare system through the experiences of people in one of America’s sickest cities, and is inspired by my family’s frustrating interactions with the healthcare industry. The teaser trailer for the film, ‘Miracle City,’ is currently out now.

What advice do you have for PR people that want to pitch you?
Subject matter expertise is always a plus, connections to longstanding industry topics is better than vague connections to current events.

Any pet peeves with PR people?
My first name is Shiraz, not Ahmed. A sad majority of PR people can’t figure that out despite it being right there in my signature.

Tell us a little about yourself (family, interests, hobbies, background, etc.)
I volunteer as a writing tutor with 826michigan, try and get outdoors and travel as much as I can.

You can follow Shiraz on Twitter @shirazzzz 

You can view some of Shiraz’s recent articles here:

A week of sparring for Musk and Tesla
Reality check for suppliers of robocar technology
Frustrations in finding a CPO hatchback online

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