Meet the Media: Jamie LaReau, business and automotive writer for the Detroit Free Press

Jamie LaReau is a business and automotive reporter covering General Motors for the Detroit Free Press.

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

I cover General Motors. I am mostly interested in any news involving GM’s operations, earnings, products, hiring practices, corporate structure, autonomous vehicle development and people inside GM or related businesses such as GM dealers who might be doing something interesting or have a unique story. I have also written a lot about women in the auto industry and how they are still largely under represented. Finally, I enjoy any human interest story connected to the auto industry in general, whether it’s a personal feature story or a good business story that will resonate with readers.

Describe the craziest or most fun story you have written.

The two most fun stories I have worked on were investigative stories into Nissan struggling to get new stores open in Boston and giving its favorite dealers cash to open new points. I won awards for both and it was an exciting experience to uncover the stories.

What story or stories are you most proud of?

I have done some deep investigative stories that involved Nissan struggling to get dealers to take on its stores in Boston to a personal profile on a reclusive car dealer, Terry Taylor.

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

I look for something that will incite emotion and be relatable to readers beyond the business / numbers side of it.

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

I started as an intern at WJR in 1987 when I was still in high school. I have wanted to be a journalist since I was age 5.

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

Walking my dog, riding my bike, running 18 to 20 miles a week, spending time with my elderly mom or enjoying a nice dinner with friends.

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

Please make sure you pitch a story that will appeal to car consumers or auto industry employees since that’s our primary demographic that we are writing for. Thanks.

Any pet peeves with PR people?

If you do send me a press release, please include your contact information and be available if I do need to call / speak to you for further information about the release, especially if I’m on deadline. Often, PR people will issue a release and then not be available to answer questions.

Tell us a little about yourself (family, interests, hobbies, background, etc.)

I grew up in Livonia and attended Michigan State University. I was a TV reporter for many years before segueing into business writing in the late 1990s in Chicago. I then spent four years in New York writing for various national publications before returning to Michigan in 2004 and getting into the auto industry coverage. I have a dog and two cats and reside in Livonia.

You can follow Jamie on Twitter @jlareauan

You can check out some of Jamie’s latest work here:

How Onstar Prepares to Save your Life

How will Fuel Standards Freeze Leave Buyers in the Cold?

GM Exec’s Heartbreaking Mission After Son Killed by Distracted Driver


One Comment

  1. Posted August 20, 2018 at 12:45 pm by Sean Dowdall

    I think GM’s work on autonomous vehicles is very interesting.

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