On a recent trip to InkHouse San Francisco, I caught up with Mashable’s Patrick Kulp on the line dividing traditional and digital media, the resurgence of the email newsletter, and the changing role of journalists during publishers’ grand pivot-to-video.
What do you think is most important to make for a good story these days?
Some sort of resonant conflict—whether it’s businesses competing against one another, a rise to meet a challenge, a struggle against conventions or whatever. Tech coverage is great for that because most of my stories center on how technology is upending traditional ways of doing things and all the challenges and opposing interests that come along with that.
How important do you think digital-first/digital-only platforms like Mashable are within the media sphere?
The dividing line between traditional and digital media has definitely blurred as print outlets have gotten digitally savvier and new media has beefed up reporting resources. A lot of journalists now have experience with both. Still, I think digital-first publications tend to be more willing to experiment with how they tell stories, more diverse, and more nimble in covering breaking news from a wider variety of angles.
What's your opinion on the massive pivot-to-video that publishers are currently making?
As someone who writes for a living, I’d like to see writing continue to exist, and I think there will always be an appetite for it. I understand the economic pressures, though.
Where do you get your news? What kind of publications are you reading?
I try to read everything I can that’s relevant to my beat and check other tech/business/trade sites frequently. Nuzzel* is a great tool too, and I’m always watching Twitter. I’ve also been getting more into email newsletters recently.
How has the nature of your job changed over the past year?
I’ve expanded my beat to include retail and the future of work, on top of advertising. Mashable as a whole has worked to bring more voice to the writing, to zero in on more specific areas of interest to our readers, and dig for creative angles that add unique depth or perspective to straight news—so it’s been exciting to be part of that.
How useful do you find PR professionals in discovering new stories to write?
I always like getting thoughtful pitches that take into account the kinds of stories we run and make a sincere case for why our readers would be interested. Obviously, I like exclusives and scoops too.
*Author side note: Great recommendation Patrick - Nuzzel surfaces the trending and top stories being shared by the people you follow. For me, those tend to be reporters and key influencers in my clients’ industries, and topics that are important to me.