Five things you need to know about Kara Swisher
May 1, 2019
- Kara Swisher has reported on Silicon Valley for venerable old newspapers like the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, calling out the industry in ways few others do in public. When she started reporting on the tech industry in the 90s, people had no idea where ‘this internet thing’ would go, and your favourite tech blog didn’t exist. She wrote books about the rise and fall of AOL! Because Swisher was the leading reporter on the tech industry as the modern Silicon Valley emerged, weathering the dotcom bust and the rise of social media, she has interviewed virtually all of the major players in tech and the VC community that supports it. With her confident, take-no prisoners attitude, a track record of firm, but fair reporting, and a contact list of key industry insiders, she’s broken dozens of blockbuster stories about the Valley.
- She’s an entrepreneur in her own right, launching the All Things Digital conference, the Recode site and podcast and the Code Conference with Walt Mossberg.
- For most journalists, if you want to get, and maintain, the all-important ‘access’ to rich and powerful interview subjects, you have to be nice to them in interviews. Coddle them. Avoid certain issues, soften the hard questions or don’t call them out when they give an evasive, media-trained answer. Kara Swisher doesn’t seem to have to follow the normal protocol for interviews. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg.
- Her most recent interview with Twitter and Square CEO, Jack Dorsey was, in her words, a “goat rodeo” with the dual CEO deftly – or predictably – avoiding direct questions about the company’s specific measures for reducing harm on the platform. Also, Twitter isn’t great for conversations.
- She drives a Ford Fiesta.
Kara Swisher is one of our keynote speakers for our Building Bridges, Not Walls track at True North on June 19, 2019.