IMG_5098 (002)After his first report for his college radio station about an accident outside his dorm, KGO’s Jason Middleton has been a journalist in every kind of newsroom. He started working at San Francisco’s KGO 810 in 2013. At KGO, Middleton focuses mainly on business and technology stories.  As a self-proclaimed nerd, covering technology stories comes naturally to Middleton. “Technology just always interested me and I was already reading all the tech blogs,” he says. “I’m not an economist, but I’m really interested in how the economy works.”

Middleton finds radio reporting to be more intimate than reporting for print or TV. “I find that the words I choose to include in my reports really matters. In addition, intonation on the air makes a big difference in a story.” To simplify the sometimes-complicated technology stories he reports on, Middleton imagines that he is explaining the story to his grandmother. “I try and take stories from a 30,000 foot view and think about the landmarks that I would need to point out. For example, why we would need a new app,” he explains. “The first question I usually ask is ‘Give me your elevator pitch’. That’s a boiled down description of an expert’s point of view on a topic.”

When asked how he thinks business reporting has changed in the last year, Middleton says his audiences have become savvier about what reporters talk about on the air. “Five or six years ago, I don’t think people would have known how big of a deal it is if the Fed raises interest rates. Now they do.”

Because he doesn’t report on breaking news, Middleton says he uses Facebook for story ideas more often than Twitter. “One of the first things I do is look at my Facebook feed to see what’s trending and what my friends are posting. I’m always looking for watercooler pieces that I can drill into.” Middleton also explains that Twitter does help him reach out to sources. “Everyone has a Twitter handle, so it’s a lot easier to get ahold of sources.”

For Middleton, some of the most interesting stories he has reported on are about women in the technology field. “I have a six year old daughter and I want her to know that she can be an engineer or a computer programmer.”

Middleton says he has a “man crush” on Tesla CEO Elon Musk. “I feel like I already know him,” Middleton says. “I’ve gotten a Retweet from him once. I am dedicated to getting an interview with him.” If he wasn’t in radio, Middleton says that he would commit himself to finding a startup business to build. “I don’t think you can live in this area and not get involved in a tech startup. Silicon Valley is pushing ahead into the next sector.”

Stay tuned…

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