A Peek Inside Kirk Siegler's Digital Life

Oct 9, 2013

Credit Kirk Siegler

People involved in public media share how they wade through the digital news deluge. This month we spoke with Kirk Siegler, reporter for NPR.  Kirk participated in our April 2012 Knight Training when he was a reporter for KUNC in Colorado. 

Three people you follow (online) regularly: 

  • Ivan Moreno (AP Denver/Colorado political correspondent)
  • Andrew Blankstein (former LA Times breaking news, now NBC investigative reporter for western US, based in LA)
  • Rocky Barker (ID Statesman reporter in Boise, covers politics, Yellowstone, Wildfires)

Three accounts you'd pay to follow on Twitter: 
These are the only three people that appear in my newsfeed who are not sources of actual news.  They offer sometimes hilarious, and always random, incongruous breaks in my newsfeed.

Three guilty pleasures online:
I wouldn’t say these are “guilty” …. But first thing, I love streaming Netflix TV shows on my iPad (especially like Parks and Rec – I’m conserving episodes now because I’ve gotten so used to watching it late night in hotel rooms after I’ve filed during tough breaking news assignments – when I can’t go to sleep and need a comical distraction from the events of the day).  I also love the Department of Interior’s Instagram feed.  It offers a virtual escape to some of the most amazing wild places in the US.   And finally, Google street view.  I know that’s weird.  But whatever.  I find myself looking up an address to get a feel for the neighborhood/area of where I’m about to visit for interviews etc… - usually in LA.   Then all the sudden 15 minutes has passed because I’ve gotten “lost” and totally mesmerized and now I’m in some city in Vietnam. 

First thing you check in the morning:

Sadly, probably my work email to make sure there’s not an unexpected assignment and a “crash” for that day’s All Things Considered.

Last thing you check at night:

I often will glance at Twitter just in case to make sure I’m not missing some breaking news event that’s happening locally.  But I try as much as possible to read a magazine or fiction novel before turning out the lights because I’ve found a tablet/laptop/phone/electronic device keeps me awake and I have a hard time winding down. 

Favorite news consumption time saver: 

Twitter.  But it also sometimes stresses me out looking at what fellow reporters are linking to or reporting on from the scene that most likely I’m not at.  Or I may use the frequency of posts and what people are saying to gauge whether or not I should go out and cover something in the middle of the night, for example.  (hence the “stress me out”) 

Go-to local news source:
The LA Times and the local NBC affiliate 

Your most used mobile reporting tool or app:
Definitely Twitter, more and more Instagram and less and less Facebook

Words of wisdom for your fellow stations as they go forward with their digital efforts: 
Reporting on multiple platforms through multiple media forums/devices is important and increasingly vital and a given.  But what’s more important is telling a good story and getting the facts right no matter what medium you’re using.  It’s right than first.