On this episode of the WitzEnd Podcast, we had the pleasure of interviewing Rich Tehrani, Editor and Founder of TMC. We learn about his early days at TMC, what stories interest him the most currently, and his advice for young professionals starting out in journalism. We play a new game called "Trippin' Tweets" so stay tuned for some hilarious content!
Here are the biggest takeaways from our conversation. If you like what you’re reading, be sure to listen to the whole episode, linked at the bottom of this page.
Never underestimate the power of programming!
Rich’s father started TMC.net in the 1970s as a publishing company, eventually moving into the call center space in the 1980's. Rich got an early start in TMC’s mail room at age nine in hopes to buy his first stereo system. He worked every summer to turn that dream into a reality, but he realized that his job in the mail room could be outsourced by a computer. It turns out his hobby of programming computers, on a Commodore 64 no less, could be very useful. He eventually outsourced his job to a computer, stating, “That got me to understand the power of technology.” And, if you’re wondering whether he ever got that stereo system, he did indeed. He bought the Bose 901 speakers with a Vector Research Receiver and a Denon turn table. Oh, how the turn tables…(a reference to the comedy show, "The Office").
There’s no place like Dublin…
The first story Rich ever wrote was a “life altering” experience. In the early 1990s, the Investment Development Authority in Ireland (IVA) invited Rich and a few other editors to Dublin to tour the call centers of Ireland. It was there that he learned why European and American companies were moving their call centers to Ireland - noting that the work environment was superb. Rich mentions that this was a time when he didn’t know how to write, while we don’t quite believe that, his editors played an instrumental role in the beginning of his journalism career.
Tips for those considering tech journalism as a career…
Having a background in engineering can really give you a leg up in tech journalism. Rich said his background in engineering gave him the ability to understand most of the technology he ran into even if it was the first time he was seeing it. In addition, Rich explained how the old models of journalism may not work in the future especially with online advertising changing the way things are promoted. He also notes the pressure AI is putting on the journalism industry. Overall, his advice for people who are considering journalism is to be aware of the potential pitfalls before you make the jump.
Transform your way of thinking…
We were curious to find out which tech stories currently captivate the editor of TMC and his answer may or may not surprise you. He is interested in stories that are revolutionizing the way we do things, namely “transformative stories.” The example he gave us was the “future-of-work type stories where AI and humans merge together to produce better outcomes, more productivity and better return on investment for technology.” We went onto discuss the impact companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Sirius XM have on our society today. If you’ve enjoyed these takeaways be sure to listen to our full interview, linked below. Also, be sure to listen to, rate and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play or SoundCloud.