The ideal relationship between PR and journalism? "Speed of response, because as a rule the questions are for yesterday: make it worse, but fast. Natural statements are also valuable, colourful, at rest, without "washing them out" and "standing at attention", because such are read best," – says Robert Przybylski, a long-time journalist at Rzeczpospolita. The hero of the next interview in our MEET THE MEDIA series told Daria Wackerman-Dobosz, our account manager, about his fascination with the STAR factory, skills which a journalist writing about the Polish TSL industry cannot do without today, and his special adventure connected with driving a tank. We invite you to read more!
Daria Wackerman-Dobosz: "STAR. Cradle of Polish Motoring" is the title of your book, which was presented to readers in July. Where did your particular fondness for this truck manufacturer and the idea for the book come from?
Robert Przybylski: The modern race of states and societies takes place in the economic arena, where we have a microscopic presence (under our own colours). I have been interested in motoring "forever" and I decided to write the history of STAR because no one had written about it before (or at least not as I expected), and it was the most important (though not the biggest) factory in the automotive industry of communist Poland. So STAR is not a special interest, but a special factory.
DWD: Was this keen interest in Polish motoring first or, however, born out of work in the media related to the transport sector?
RP: Rather the opposite – my interest in transport came after I started writing about trucks. Someone was using the trucks and it turned out to be very interesting and full of life. Then other branches of transport and contract logistics came along. An evolution similar to the changes in the whole industry.
DWD: Journalism around the world is undergoing an intense process of transformation. From the perspective of your long experience as a journalist, how has the list of skills a journalist should be equipped with changed today? What can't a journalist writing about the Polish TSL industry do without?
RP: Proficiency in the use of newer and newer software has come along, as paper is losing relevance and diaries have moved online. Content-wise, however, the key all the time is to state the topic clearly and without distortion, which is not always easy.
DWD: Asking somewhat perversely: today, from your point of view, can working in journalism still be a passion or does it only require a solid workshop, an up-to-date orientation and contacts?
RP: Workshop, orientation and contacts are prerequisites, passion helps a lot, as in everything.
DWD: What do you think is the most important task of a journalist these days?
RP: As always: factual descriptions of the surrounding world and phenomena.
DWD: Tell us about your craziest automotive or transport topic you have ever covered?
RP: Test drive of the T34 tank. I was surprised by the driving position (low as in a racer). By the end, I was all dirty with grease – the engine was leaking like a haystack.
DWD: I would still like to ask about the current challenge for both journalists and PR professionals – which is artificial intelligence. How might AI affect the work of journalists one year from today? In your observation, do journalists use the available AI tools in their daily work?
RP: I look at AI with optimism. Algorithms "dig" from what they find on the web. If I have first-hand information, I'm in a winning position. On top of AI being anonymous, there will be a lot of room for abuse, so hopefully trusted titles will become more important and gain readers.
DWD: What do you think the ideal relationship between PR and journalism should look like?
RP: Speed of response, because as a rule, questions are for yesterday: make it worse, but fast. Natural expressions are also valuable, colourful, at rest, without "washing them out" or "standing at attention", as these read best.
DWD: I already know about your love of Polish trucks. And what do you do when you're not writing about STAR and Polish transport?
RP: There is not much time left, I have it for my granddaughter.
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