Nathan Bomey speaks to aspiring journalist at EMU

Eastern Michigan graduate, Nathan Bomey visited EMU to speak to aspiring journalist, March 30.

The alumni started his career as a journalist in Detroit covering issues within the city, including news for General Motors right after graduation.

"When writing about GM, I got the chance to go to China a few times and other places to cover stories," said Bomey.

He also expressed how he was probably one thee first GM journalist to not know how to drive a stick shift car, which inspired him to write an article about how Melinneials do not know how to drive stick shifts.

After working 18 months and covering GM news, Detroit filed for bankruptcy. "This was the largest problem. You could see the writing on the wall that the bankruptcy was coming before it hit," said Bomey.

Bomey further discussed with aspiring journalist at Eastern Michigan University his experience as a business reporter for Detroit Free Press and covering the historic chapter 9 bankruptcy a few years ago.

"The Detroit taxability declined faster that the population," said Bomey. "We went from a 1.8 million populations to under 700,000, which contributed to the city going broke." Bomey mentioned how his story "How Detroit Went Broke" got a lot of attention and eventually led him to become the lead reporter on the city's bankruptcy.

In early 2014, Nathan Bomey first thought about writing a book on the bankruptcy because the city’s crisis was still going on. He said many people recommended it, including an agent from New York that emailed him to suggest a book to be written. He was later offered a book deal after his proposal for the book was reviewed and approved. "It was a great topic. The book now has a great review in New York Times," said Bomey.

"After working for the Free Press and the bankruptcy ending, my wife and I decided to move to Washington D.C.," said Bomey. After his move, he was hired at USA Today, where he has been working for almost two years now.

"I cover a lot of general breaking news and the Auto industry," he said. “I usually start my days early at 7 a.m. because I cover all the news that happens before 9 a.m."

Bomey continued his discussion by emphasizing the importance of social media. "People who are successful on social media are more likely to keep their jobs." Bomey explained that social media is no longer an option. He also said that the number of shares on a story published on social media if very important to a journalist career.

Bomey then introduced a new journalistic term and tool to students that he learned while working for USA Today. "Dataminr is a data base used to help keep journalist up to date with what's trending on Twitter," said Bomey. He said that dataminr helps filters out certain tweets and notify journalist on what news is trending on social media.

After his hour long meet and greet, Bomey concluded his discussion by leaving the floor open for any questions students wanted to ask. The event concluded at 3:15 p.m., respectively.


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