February 27, 2020

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As part of PRSA’s mission to advance the PR profession and the professional, we bring you our next Meet the Media Q+A profile. In this Q+A, we speak with Salvador (Sal) Rodriguez, Tech Reporter at CNBC.com, to learn more about his work, what PR pros should expect and how he spends his free time. Oh, and if you don't yet follow him on Twitter (@sal19), you're missing some live entertainment.


How did you get into journalism? Tell us about yourself.

I got into journalism while in high school. At the time, I wanted to be around professional sports, but I knew I was no athlete. I figured joining the school paper would put me on a trajectory to ESPN. I started covering our school’s sports but joining the paper introduced me to journalism as a whole, and I quickly fell in love. 

What’s it like to work for CNBC compared to other publications you've supported?

I love that CNBC is an established brand with a new-age digital newsroom. Our readers know who we are, respect us and they trust us, but our newsroom is young and fast-moving. We jump on things quickly and get news out right away while also dedicating the required time for longer projects like scoops, features and enterprise stories. 

What do you anticipate is the next big trend in media? 

Seeing as I cover social media, I would imagine that we might start to see more reporters try to incorporate TikTok into how they connect with audiences as well as how they look for stories. Whether or not that works is a whole different conversation. 

How do you anticipate the media industry will change in the future?

I imagine that we’re going to continue to see more and more news outlets put up paywalls. Audiences are getting to a point where it is finally the expectation that they have to pay for the type of journalism that they value, so now’s the time to do it. 

How would you improve the news industry? 

If I were the grand god of journalism, I would place an emphasis on more digital-first, local news. Newspapers and TV stations are still around somehow surviving, but there’s a gap for local news delivered in modern formats. 

What makes for a good story? 

Good stories are the ones that make you think about things in a new light. They introduce you to something that you didn’t previously know, and they are compelling enough to keep your attention from beginning to end. 

Who or what company would be your dream interview and why?

I’d tell you, but then I’d have to scoop you. 

How do you like to work with PR pros?

I like working with PR professionals who take the time to build a relationship with me and understand what my job is and the type of stories that I’m after. Once we establish that trust, I will ping you any time I’m working on a relevant story, and I will always read your emails. But if you take a shortcut, I won’t give you the time of day. 

Anything else PR pros should know? 

I encourage any PR people who are interested in working with me to search “@sal19 pr ppl” on Twitter. 

What are your hobbies/interests when you're not working?

I love to play soccer, and I’m in three leagues that play weekly in San Francisco. I also love to play video games, even if it’s just FIFA soccer on my Nintendo Switch. I also love to binge watch shows on HBO and Netflix, although recently I’ve gotten more into reality TV.