The successful future journalist is someone who rarely sleeps, is not afraid to fail, probably does not work for a traditional news organization but is having a heck of a good time doing it.
That is what Super Session speaker Kara Swisher, the co-CEO of Revere Digital and co-founder of technology news and analysis site Re/Code, told attendees at the Excellence in Journalism Conference.
Re/Code is an independent tech news and analysis site that aims to reimagine tech journalism. The site delivers the latest tech news from some of the most informed journalists in the country.
Swisher is the prototypical future journalist, a person who worked for a traditional news organization and could have been promoted to a top job but instead took a chance and struck out on her own.
Swisher was working as a college journalist when she called The Washington Post Metro-Editor Larry Kramer and yelled at him for factual errors and typos she found in a Post story. Kramer challenged her to come in and say that to his face, which she did. She was hired on the spot.
After working at The Post for many years, Swisher had a chance to move up in the business into the political beat, a job that usually took a person into one of the top editor jobs. But she decided to change paths. She turned down the job to do something she found more interesting, starting her own media company.
“Every time you take the safe choice, it is usually the wrong choice,” she said. “You must take risks.”
Not only has she made a lasting impression on many journalists across the country, but she has interviewed some of the biggest names in the technology world.
A memorable exchange between her and Facebook founder Mack Zuckerburg left audience members in awe. Swisher asked questions about Facebook privacy issues that were difficult for Zuckerburg to answer.
She also had a chance to interview Apple’s Steve Jobs and Microsoft’s Bill Gates.
Swisher told attendees to not factor in age when looking for a job.
“You don’t have to be young to understand digital things,” she said. “In order to survive in a new member environment you better love what you do – despite how old you are.”