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Christie Schweinsberg is the senior editor for WardsAuto.com and also electrification analyst for WardsIntelligence.com. For WardsAuto she covers the Japanese and Korean automakers, and occasionally markets in Asia, while for Wards Intelligence she focused on the state of electrified vehicles and the charging infrastructure supporting them.
Can you tell us what types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now?
Anything that pertains to electrification and infrastructure for EVs is very much on my radar right now.
Describe the craziest or most fun story you have written.
The craziest or most fun story probably was the review I did of the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid back in fall 2013. Subaru hosted media in Iceland where winter was in full force. I had somehow missed the itinerary and presumed, because it was a hybrid, we’d just be darting around downtown Reykjavik. Instead we went off-roading for two days. There were a couple times we almost got stranded in the wilderness because the monster snow plows they hired couldn’t easily carve a path for us. The conditions were very extreme, the likes of which I’ve not seen again.
What story or stories are you most proud of?
I did a feature story for our defunct magazine about automakers’ efforts marketing to LGBTQ customers. It was a very daring piece to write for a magazine that rarely touched on controversial topics and as predicted we got a lot of blowback from conservative readers. I owe a lot to former Wards AutoWorld Editor Drew Winter for allowing me to helm that piece and not caring about the blowback.
What elements or characteristics do you look for in a story?
New topics or new and/or interesting angles on well-covered topics.
How long have you been in journalism and how did you get started?
I was a journalism major at MSU and shortly after graduating my mom found a job listing for a position at Wards. The rest is history.
Finish this sentence: If I am not reporting, I am …
Hanging out with my husband and dogs, or traveling with my husband. This job awakened a love of travel. We were just out west visiting family in Southern California and having fun in Vegas. We also did a great trip to Oahu before Christmas. A U.K. or Paris visit is on our bucket list for this year.
What advice do you have for PR people that want to pitch you?
Learn my name (you would be surprised how many pitches I get to “Christine”) and know my beat. Also, please know my time is limited. We do a lot here that doesn’t involve writing, or immediate writing, like evaluating and photographing vehicles for our 10 Best Interiors, 10 Best UX and 10 Best Engines competitions, as well as setting up our website and emailing newsletters. I get lots of great pitches, but sadly I don’t have time to write all the stories I’d like to.
Any pet peeves with PR people?
As I said, please learn my name and my beat.
Tell us a little about yourself (family, interests, hobbies, background, etc.)
I have one husband and two dachshunds. I love rock ‘n’ roll, gardening and travel.
Follow WardsAuto.com on Twitter at: @WardsAuto
Check out some of Christie’s recent articles here: