Josh Merkin|Aug 26, 2015

Coming up in October 2015, rbb will present the second Larry Birger Young Business Journalist of the Year Award at the National Society of Business Editor and Writers (SABEW) fall conference in New York City.

The award, named after one of rbb’s founders and former Miami Herald business editor and SABEW president, recognizes the work of young journalists and provides one grand prize winner with a $1,500 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to NYC to accept the award at the fall conference.

With the big day coming up, rbb conducted an email interview with last year’s winner, Mina Kimes, a highly acclaimed writer with We wanted to get her thoughts on the Larry Birger award, as well as her advice for other journalists and how PR people can get on her good side.

rbb: As last year’s winner of the Larry Birger Young Business Journalist award, why should other young journalists take advantage of this opportunity?

Mina: Not only is the award a tremendous honor, but it also presents a wonderful opportunity to meet other journalists at the SABEW Awards. I really enjoyed chatting with reporters from across the country and learning about their work.

rbb: What advice would you offer to young journalists who are just getting started in the profession?

Mina: Report, report, report. Even if your first job (or internship) entails writing short stories or blog posts, try to find a way to use reporting to add a different element to your analysis.

rbb: You’ve written for both Fortune and Bloomberg. How is your current job at ESPN the Magazine different in terms of deadlines, newsgathering and reporting process, etc.?

Mina: My features writing process hasn’t changed, but I now write a column, which is very different. It comes out once every two weeks or so, so I’m constantly thinking about how to riff on the news and writing in a different voice.

rbb: These days, almost all reporters use social media. Which ones are most useful for you, and what are you using them for (i.e., sourcing, research, engagement)?

Mina: I primarily use Twitter, mostly as a means of gauging what people are talking about and the tenor of the conversation. But I also find sources there, as well as Facebook.

rbb: What is both the best and the worst things that you see from PR professionals? What is something that you appreciate and something that annoys you?

Mina: The best thing is when it’s obvious that a PR person has read my work and has an idea of the kind of stories I’m looking for. The worst thing is the opposite.

Be sure to check back in October for the announcement about the second winner of the Larry Birger scholarship and a summary of highlights from SABEW’s fall conference.


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