In just a short amount of time since embarking on his crypto journalism career in mid-2018, he’s written 550 articles and interviewed high-profile leaders from Vitalik Buterin, Changpeng Zhao to Craig Wright.
Tell us a bit about your background and how you landed a role as UK editor of Decrypt?
“I studied news journalism at Press Association, London, while freelancing for multiple crypto news outlets. Shortly after I finished the course in May 2019, I was hired by Decrypt in July 2018 when it was first about to launch. I spent over a year as a journalist before making the move up to become a news editor in 2019.”
What’s a day in the life of the UK editor of the Decrypt?
“I spend my day switching between searching for stories, editing articles and doing other admin tasks. We will typically assign some stories to reporters in the morning, and more later on as they break.
From time to time I have to look for new talent, bring people onboard and get them set up. I also spend time analysing where the site traffic is coming from and looking at opportunities for delivering content that people are looking for. I still do the occasional news story if all our journalists are busy.”
How has the blockchain and crypto media narrative evolved in 2020?
“I think the media has continued to step up its game, providing more skepticism and holding companies in the space more accountable. I think the coverage has stayed focused on the same topics, from where there is adoption — whether that’s Paul Tudor Jones buying Bitcoin or more Bitcoin ATMs cropping up — to the darker sides of the industry, the hacks, scams and 51% attacks that keep coming.”
“There are some new trends, DeFi in particular is trending, largely because of the tokens that are shooting up in value. I also think the factions in this space are becoming more defined, with advocates for several major coins all starting to engage in verbal wars on social media as they — and their followers — believe their technology is the best.”
Decrypt has launched several products including a token, an app and new daily podcast this year. What are the company’s long term goals?
“We are focusing on decrypting the crypto world, whether that’s from our Learn content — that walks you through any topic from Bitcoin mining to staking cryptocurrencies — to our long-form features that go into much greater detail. Our daily podcast is there to help listeners keep on top of the daily stories while hearing from industry leaders and getting the inside scoop.
The next step is the launch of the token within the Decrypt app, which is live on both the App Store and the Google Play Store. This will be a test of how we use blockchain technology to reward our readers who want to learn more about it. Not only will they be reading about it, they will get to experience just how exciting it is.”
What’s the one thing you wish PRs or companies would know when pitching you a story?
To be as clear as possible what the story is in the pitch. Often a partnership will be dressed up with a hot angle/topic that disguises what’s really happening. This can be frustrating as you try to wade through what is actually going on.
As a journalist time is the most valuable thing since you are rushed off your feet all the time. So, say exactly what it is and why it’s interesting and if it isn’t very interesting, go back to your client and tell them they need to offer something better.
What’s the worst or best pitch you’ve received?
“I think the best pitches are where someone contacts me, say on Twitter, and explains that they have an interesting story and why it’s worth considering. Obviously that’s a time consuming ask for PRs, but if you’re looking to get a few sites covering the news in detail, it could be worth doing.
That can sometimes backfire though. Sometimes, you’ll get someone pitching a story to you directly but they won’t take no for an answer. They will try to argue against your reasons for not covering it. That can be frustrating because even if the story is good, it might not be right for the site — there are many factors that you’re considering that you don’t have time to explain.”
How has COVID19 impacted work for you?
“At Decrypt, we’ve always had a flexible work-from-home policy and we have people located in multiple countries, who are used to working remotely and organizing through Slack. So, it hasn’t particularly affected us or how any of us work.
I think that the crypto industry is built on a similar foundation, with many remote-first companies. So, everyone has just kept building and working on developing new products. This means that there has been a consistent amount of news. The only big impact has been on events, with all of them moving online — damaging revenue and the number of attendees. But, on the flip side, that also made them far more accessible to the wider world.”
We look forward to the launch of Decrypt’s Token within its app. Will be interesting to see how beneficial this model will be for the future of journalism!
Thanks for the chat, Tim!
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