Daniel Sieberg, the head of media outreach at Google based in NYC graduated from UBC journalism as part of its inaugural class in 2000. During his time at the j-school he focused on journalism and technology.
Since graduating he has held a number of positions including, business-tech-civics reporter for the Vancouver Sun and technology editor and correspondent for CNN in Atlanta. He has also worked for CBS News, ABC News, BBC, MSNBC and he wrote a book titled, “The Digital Diet.”
Tell us about your current job.
I’m the head of media outreach at Google and based in NYC. My role is to work with journalists all over the world to empower them through Google’s tools for newsgathering (search, trends, maps, data viz, social media, analytics, etc.). I’ve had the opportunity to visit countless newsrooms in more than 20 countries and the people I work with are truly dedicated to fostering a robust press through digital reporting. I feel incredibly lucky to be at this intersection of media and technology and it’s a culmination of all my past experiences.
How did your j-school experience help you transition into a career in journalism?
My j-school career was invaluable in getting me where I am today. I can still remember the first conversation I had with Donna Logan. She asked if I had a specialty since all students had to focus on a particular subject to gain admittance. I blurted out “technology” since it was the only real area I felt passionate about and it’s served me well ever since. Plus the j-school team was always adamant that we get out into the community and do real reporting. It pushed me from academia to journalism.
Of the lessons you learned at UBC, which one has proven to be the most valuable?
To always listen to your own internal ethics radar. I loved my courses with Stephen Ward and the j-school was the first time I could really dig into that complex world. Also to write from the heart and the head – don’t be afraid of your own knowledge on a topic or story.
What’s been the piece of journalism you’ve produced of which you’re most proud?
I did a three-part series on climate change for the CBS Evening News in 2007 after traveling to the Arctic. My father happened to be on the trip since he had being going up there with oceanographers for 30 years for his job as an electronics technician. It was an incredibly emotional trek and I felt proud of the stories we produced on a relatively limited budget. Photos can be found here and the stories are archived here.
Would you recommend the j-school to aspiring journalists? If so, why?
One hundred per cent. In my experience, it’s a place full of curious, brilliant and creative minds who are hoping to change the world with their reporting. What budding journalist wouldn’t want to be around that?