Yesterday I was interviewed by the Seattle Times Coffee City Blog. I’ve had a mixed record dealing with reporters in the past, so I’m always a little hesitant about doing interviews. Some of you may recall how the New York Times stole content from my site without giving me credit. In that post I detail what happened and I end with this conclusion.

Why do we blog writers need to be validated by the real media? We dont. My goal is to create web sites and to gain audiences for those sites. If a reporter can help me achieve my goal, Ill help them with their story. And if my blog is good enough on its own to tell the story then pay me for it. Otherwise bug off.

The Seattle Times story got everything correct and linked to my websites. Perfect. During the interview I learned the the reporter was also a graduate of The Ohio State University. Nice!

Here is a scorecard of my dealings with the press.

  • St. Petersburg Times (1997-1998) – The radio reporter for the St. Pete Times stole content from my website for at least one radio column. I was never contacted. The reporter gave credit to my Internet Service Provider.
  • Tampa Tribune (1997) – Wrote up a nice profile of the Best websites in Tampa Bay. They included a screenshot of my Virgin Mary Kinison graphic. Very well done.
  • USA Today (2001) – Very professional and accurate. I got a nice photo of myself roasting coffee into the paper.
  • New York Times (2003)– Stole content from my website detailing the time I drove Presidential Motorcade. Had to wait 5 months to see story. Never gave credit to my site. Photo was published without credit.
  • Wall Street Journal (2003) – The reporter liked my story The Quest for Good Coffee in the Office and interviewed me. I believe a story was written for the online edition, which at that time could only be assessed via a paid subscription. Not sure what became of this.
  • San Diego Reader (2004) – Story about home coffee roasting got my occupation wrong, but otherwise was a good story.
  • San Francisco Chronicle (2004) – I helped a reporter on a home roasting story and I got a link to INeedCoffee. This was a positive experience.
  • LA Times (2004)– Rude reporter basically wanted to collect a paycheck copying the NY Times article and my website. I told her to bug off.
  • LA Times (2006) – Another rude reporter from the LA Times demanded that I contact him in the next 30 minutes to meet his deadline. Request denied.
  • Bloomberg (2006) – Published a story on a caffeine gene marker. They took some quotes from me and linked to my website. Very well done.
  • Seattle Times (2009)– Yesterday’s story mentioned above. Very well done.

There were other smaller papers that I’ve forgotten about, but I would score my press experiences as 6 positive, 4 negative and 1 neutral.


Photo from USA Today.

UPDATE 2014:

  • Sun Sentinel and reprinted in Miami Herald (2014) – Full story and interview with me regarding the Neil Rogers Audio Restoration project ( Although the story was excellent publicity for the project, the reporter got so many things wrong. I explicitly told him to use my middle name if he quoted me, because my name is so common. He didn’t. I wrote a blog post correcting the story from my perspective. see My Tribute to Radio’s Neil Rogers.