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Kevin Roose has been a writer for the New York Times since 2013, covering business, finance, and technology. He has written several books about the tech industry, and most recently wrote a book about the young people caught in the online economy. In this Q&A, we’ll talk about his background and his newest book.

Q&A With NYT’s Kevin Roose On His New Book

Kevin Roose is an American journalist and author currently works as a technology columnist for The New York Times. In addition, he has worked on staff at several publications, including the Financial Times, Fortune Magazine, and New York Magazine. He also makes frequent appearances on television as a talking head.

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Throughout his career, Roose has served as a correspondent of record for some of the biggest stories of the last two decades. He covered the Morgan Stanley vs Citigroup battle over Smith Barney in 2009, reported live from Wall Street during Occupy Wall Street in 2011, and was part of The New York Times team that won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 2018 for coverage of Russia’s interference in US elections.

In 2014, he wrote a book about millennials in Silicon Valley entitled Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits. The book was a best seller and won numerous awards from outlets such as Amazon and Fast Company magazine. It has since been turned into an HBO documentary series directed by award-winning French filmmaker Jean-Charles Livolsi.

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Roose has since penned two additional books – Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation (2019) and The Unlikely Disciple (2013). In both books he explores issues related to his central interest: humanity’s relationship with technology.


Kevin Roose is a New York Times bestselling author and senior editor at the New York Times. He’s also the author of Futureproof: Nine Rules for Humans in the Age of Acceleration.

In this Q&A, Kevin Roose shares insights on his new book, his professional background, and his thoughts on the future of technology and its implications for society.

What inspired you to write your new book?

My new book, “Futureproof: Nine Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation,” was inspired by my reporting and my life experiences. Over the past five years, I’ve done a lot of reporting on the future of work and automation, which made me highly aware that large-scale economic changes are coming to all kinds of occupations. These topics had been on my mind since growing up in rural Minnesota in the middle of a dying rust belt town.

I wrote “Futureproof” to equip people with strategies they can use to survive – and possibly even thrive – during these turbulent times. It’s an urgent book that makes two important points:

  1. That automation will radically reshape our lives in ways large and small.
  2. By anticipating these shifts, educating ourselves about our rights as working people, seizing opportunities for reinvention and starting meaningful side hustles we can make ourselves more resilient against the impacts of automation.

What has been the most impactful technological development in the past decade?

In the past decade, many technological developments have significantly impacted our lives. From artificial intelligence and machine learning to streaming services and connected devices, technology has embedded itself into virtually every aspect of life over the past 10 years.

One of the most impactful developments has been the widespread shift towards Cloud computing which has changed how businesses operate profoundly. Since 2010, companies have adopted Cloud-based tools for storage solutions, data management, customer relationship management (CRM), analytics platforms and software development. The ability to move entire IT portfolios from on-site operations to cloud-hosted solutions means that companies can now access more sophisticated features with much less overhead cost. This shift towards a virtualized environment has revolutionised many industries and allowed companies to become more agile, flexible and innovative in their business operations.

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Other significant developments have included big data analytics tools that offer businesses an unprecedented level of insight into their customer base and the ability for automation systems to complete complex tasks with minimal human intervention, both of which depend on cloud computing solutions to function effectively. As a result, it is not difficult to see why this trend is set to continue well into the future as technology continues to evolve and develop at an exponential rate.

What advice would you give to aspiring journalists?

If you’re an aspiring journalist, I strongly recommend you hone your skills in researching stories, finding interesting angles, and writing with clarity and precision. Being a successful journalist often means having the judgement to know when to pursue a story, how deeply to investigate it, and which parts will make for the most compelling narrative.

You should also develop an intuition for understanding where stories are going before they’ve fully developed. This requires not only keen observational skills, but also an appreciation for complexity. The best journalists recognize that stories aren’t straightforward; they often require subtlety and nuance to be revealed.

Effective journalists also rely heavily on cultivating sources – both outside their newsroom and inside it. It’s important to foster relationships with people who can provide firsthand accounts of what’s happening in a particular place or field of interest. If you already have relationships with key people in your area of expertise – politicians, businesspeople, activists or non-experts – then use those connections to your advantage!

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Finally, strive to ensure that the highest ethical standards always guide your work. Ethical journalism involves holding yourself and others accountable while striving for accuracy and fairness in reporting a story. This means avoiding potential conflicts of interest or improper disclosure of information that could compromise the integrity of your work.

What do you think are the key skills needed to succeed in journalism?

Having an innate curiosity, a passion for learning, and an ability to stay focused despite external distractions are all essential skills for any journalist who is committed to producing high-quality work.

In addition, training in research and interview techniques is invaluable. Journalists need to be able to dig deep, uncovering information that might be hidden away or ignored by the general public. Moreover, they should possess strong analytical skills to interpret and synthesise the information they uncover so that it can effectively be communicated to a wider audience.

Understanding the subject is also crucial; possessing specialist knowledge or a willingness to undertake deep research into topics such as politics or economics can help journalists gain insight into complex matters. Finally, working cooperatively with others, both within and outside of news organisations, also helps facilitate sound journalism practice – successful journalists need not only possess technical expertise but also have good relationships with colleagues, sources, and other stakeholders.

Finally, good writing remains at the heart of journalism: having the ability to concisely express facts and opinions in engaging ways helps ensure that stories reach their target audience. Overall, key skills needed for success in journalism are diverse but complementary; cultivating a broad range of abilities is important for anyone in this dynamic sector.

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