In what hopes to be a recurring feature we will be turning the tables around on a prominent journalist and making them the subject of a short interview. Our goal is to bridge the gap between journalists and PR professionals and foster better relationships in our daily work lives. If you have any suggestions for journalists you would like to know more about or see interviewed here, leave a note in the comments.
Peter Ha is an NYC-based journalist who spent several years as the news editor for TechCrunch’s Crunchgear.com. Recently Peter left his gig at Crunchgear to pursue a new opportunity with TIME magazine and TIME.com as the editor of their new technology section which is set to launch this November. Moving from a tech focused site to one of the most recognized brands in weekly news magazines, Peter’s new position represents a changing of the guard in journalism and news media as the generation who was born along with the Internet reports back to the generation before.
TP: Tell us about your new job at TIME. What is your role going to be there?
PH: All I can tell you right now is that I’m the new Technology Editor and I’m currently working on a super secret project. My main objective is to bring Time’s tech coverage back from the dead.
TP: In an interview you did you referenced this decade as the “age of the geek”. Is this new venture a symptom of that? Will you bring “geek” to the masses at your new job, or have the masses already been geeks and they just didn’t know it?
PH: Did I really? If I did, in fact, say that then I’m much smarter than I thought. This really is the “age of the geek” and it’s funny that no one has realized it. We’re all geeks and nerds in our own right. People don’t look at you weird if you’re excited about the upcoming Android phone or raving about the latest app you just found that lets you do x, y and z. I think my new role at Time will show others that geeks aren’t cut from the same mold. Just look at me; I’m a tattooed freak and damn proud of the fact that I’m also a geek. Go into a comic book shop on a Wednesday during lunch and you see just how diverse the geek is these days. Walk into a Best Buy’s gaming section and check out the types of people wailing on Guitar Hero.
TP: What are you looking forward to most about the new job? What advantages does it offer you as a technology journalist?
PH: I’m most excited about revealing to the world the project that my team and I have been working on since I came aboard in September. It’s funny that this is what I’m doing for a living. If you had asked me what my dream job was five years ago, this would not have been it. Advantages? Working for Time is a much bigger deal than I first thought. It’s opened up a world of possibilities that will allow me to work on a number of projects that I wouldn’t have been able to do anywhere else.
TP: If your work allows you to expose the technophobic, mainstream consumer to at least one valuable piece of technology they might otherwise ignore, what would it be?
PH: The Internet has all the answers anyone ever needs. I’d love to no longer be tech support for my parents. The Internet is your friend, people!
TP: What gadgets, gizmos, or games are you most looking forward to getting your hands on in 2010?
PH: The iTablet! I’m pretty geeked over all the Ebook readers that are being announced. But, really, I just want a color tablet to read comics on. BioShock 2 looks pretty damn cool. Other games I’m looking forward to are Heavy Rain, GT5, Splinter Cell: Conviction, Castlevania, DC Universe and I Am Alive.
TP: For all the PR flaks out there who want to get your attention, how do you like to be pitched?
PH: E-mail. Don’t IM me or add me on Facebook. Unless, of course, we’ve actually met in person or had a couple beers and talked about things other than “work,” I will ignore you and put you on my Creepy List. Actually, don’t ever add me on Facebook. That’s what Linkedin is for and I like to keep some things about my personal life private.
TP: We know you like surfing and photography, if I could offer you a career right now as a “surfing photographer”, would you kiss TIME goodbye?
PH: That’s pretty tempting. I’d consider it since the water temps around here are in the 50s, but I know you can’t make that happen!
TP: I have three round-trip tickets to anywhere in the world for you. Where do you go and who do you take? You can’t take me, sorry.
PH: Venice – my mom
Patagonia – my best friend and her husband, my gf and her best friend and husband.
Maldives – I’m not sure I’d come back, so anyone that wants to come with
TP: I also have a magic crockpot that will contain any dish you desire in the world when you open it. What’s going to be in there when you open it?
PH: Anything my mom makes.
TP: Thanks for your time today and good luck with the new job. Since you now have a vote, I’d like to toss my name in the hat as a dark horse for TIME’s Person of the Year.
PH: I’ll see what I can do…