What Does Lizzie O’Leary Read?

The Atlantic Wire’s Uri Friedman asks Bloomberg’s Lizzie O’Leary how she handles all the news and information that comes at her…

I think the new media landscape changes my role as a consumer of news more than it does as a reporter of news. I feel more connected when I’m able to watch real-time feeds from Egypt; it’s an incredibly powerful experience. As a reporter you’re more aware of what’s around you but, since I was trained by a crusty old guy who wouldn’t let us call PR people ever, I’m always a little nervous about whether the new environment makes me a better reporter or whether there’s a tendency toward laziness that can come with things being readily available. I’m a hyperactive tweeter but a lot of it is me being a complete goofball. The stuff I’m working on–the serious or important stories–I’ll save them and hone them and craft them before I’ll ever tweet them. I still really care about the construction of a story. I follow about 700 people, and the entire world would keep plugging along if none of us were communicating. I think that’s something we should all be actively aware of.

I also find that as much as I love this stuff and find it incredibly addicitive, I’m aware of how it’s changed my media metabolism and self-consciously aware of the need to unplug–to take a day off and go fly fishing and not look at anything. I’m currently watching an extraordinary event right in front of me: Two people are trying to unbury a grain elevator that’s pretty much submerged. It’s a big mess.


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