Meet the Media: Roberto Baldwin, Freelance Automotive & Tech Journalist

I am a freelance automotive and tech journalist. I write for Forbes Wheels, Engadget, Reviewed, and others. I report on the latest vehicles and technology and the intersection between the two. 

Can you tell us what types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now?
The expansion of battery electric vehicles and how that affects the average driver, the grid, and of course the industry in general as automakers battle for range supremacy. I’ve also intrigued at the slow, yet promise-filled world of autonomous driving and robo taxis. 

Describe the craziest or most fun story you have written.
I’m a big fan of personal stories within the automotive world. Individuals building something weird or unique. the story of how KITT went from napkin drawing to TV show was fun and the 3D printer in your garage article let me explore how technology is making vehicle repairs and prototyping something that average person can now explore without breaking the bank.

What story or stories are you most proud of?
I’m really happy with the reporting I did explaining Kaua’i’s closed electric grid and how it’s evolved to become more sustainable could benefit the mainland.

Also I enjoyed how a piece about the technology in a vehicle can make you a better driver fixing your mistakes on the road in real time.

What elements or characteristics do you look for in a story?
Drama and why the subject matters. The tension of an automaker or individual wanting something new then triumphing with a innovative idea or even a lucky break makes for a compelling story. Adding context around that drama gives the reader a better understanding of not just the individual, tech, or car, but it means to them right now or in the future. 

How long have you been in journalism and how did you get started?
I’ve been a journalist for 15 years. I got my start at TMZ of all places. I helped build the voice of the site even though I was never interested in celebrity news. I then transitioned to tech journalism and finally to automotive journalism. 

Finish this sentence: If I am not reporting, I am …
Working on my band(s) or building something in the garage. 

What advice do you have for PR people that want to pitch you?
If the news is big, give me time to interview an executive or engineer. 

Any pet peeves with PR people?
Getting a press release at 5pm with an embargo for the next morning. There’s no time to flesh out the details because not only am I now working late to hit the deadline, the company is now asking an editor to work even later. 

Tell us a little about yourself (family, interests, hobbies, background, some fact about you that few people know, etc.)
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have too many bands (cover and original), I’m married with two dogs and three cats, I enjoy surfing, snowboarding, building random stuff in my garage, and working on cars. 

You can follow Roberto on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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