The TSL industry is a barometer of the economy for some, and an interesting professional adventure for others. Elzbieta Haber, deputy editor-in-chief of TSL BIZNES, told us how she started writing about logistics, what she believes is in the catalog of skills an industry journalist can't do without, and what annoys in working with PR people. Daria Wackerman-Dobosz, our account manager, conducted the interview.
Daria Wackerman-Dobosz: You seem to know everything about the TSL industry in Poland. You had the opportunity to write for many years about the condition of this sector of the economy, solutions for individual industries, personnel changes or new locations of major market players. What made this industry become your passion as a journalist?
Elżbieta Haber: Passion, that's an exaggeration. I got into logistics more than 20 years ago by accident, before Poland joined the EU. The reason was that I was offered a job in a magazine with this profile, which was more attractive than competing ones, and the periodical dealing with art, in which I was writing, was closed because it was making losses. Logistics in Poland was different then, but over the years it developed, and I developed with it. I got to know the topics that interested me, as well as the people involved in the industry. Today, I certainly know more than a little about it and move efficiently in this field.
DWD: In your opinion, is there a specific catalog of skills that a trade journalist can't do without? If there were to be only 3 elements, they would be...?
EH: It is certainly important to be able to use language and think logically, to synthesize the information that comes to the journalist. And I'm not a journalist by training, or even a polonist, you could even say self-taught. Many years of working as a journalist, not only in logistics, have made me reasonably proficient in this field. But this is not related to the logistics industry. And the 3 elements, are there any? You have to like the industry and know a little about it.
DWD: In your opinion, have the tasks performed by a journalist changed significantly over the last decade? What has influenced this?
EH: Online journalism has developed, which is handled by many "non-journalists," including on professional portals. Unfortunately, I have the impression that it is often the case that this profession is occupied by, among others, people who can't write and are less committed to providing reliable information. Many of them simply want to make a name for themselves, but this is less true of expertise, including logistics, on which articles are less frequently read than sensational pieces, gossip, etc. I also have the impression that classical, especially trade journalism is not attractive to young journalists as it used to be. Rather, they choose YouTube and similar media. It used to be more important to have an attractive topic, but today, more often than not, the medium that gives some money wins.
DWD: What challenges do journalists face today?
EH: They have to get used to the reality that paper is being displaced by electronic editions and reportage by short news stories.
DWD: Please tell us what was the craziest subject you were given to report on?
EH: It was crazy to get into this industry. And what I enjoy most is writing articles on broader topics, where questions are asked that force interlocutors and readers to think.
DWD: We worked together for a very long time, one might even be tempted to say that we liked each other in this relationship. What do you think an ideal cooperation between PR and journalism should look like?
EH: Ms. Daria, I liked working with you because of the good personal contact, reliability, knowledge of the subject and willingness to cooperate. But this is probably not a recipe. Everyone is different and chooses a different way of cooperation. A PR person should be open to this otherness.
DWD: And now provocatively, what annoys you, in cooperation with PR specialists, besides failure to meet deadlines?
EH: I realize that failure to meet deadlines is usually not up to the PR person, so here I have no complaints. What annoys me, however, are the phone calls (frequent from young and overzealous employees) asking if I got the information on a particular topic and when I will publish it.
DWD: Please tell us, what do you do when you are not writing and putting together the next issues of TSL Business?
EH: First of all, I travel. The day before yesterday I returned from a cruise in the Canary Islands. I read a lot, meet with friends, play bridge.
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