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Mass Comm Week 2021: What’s Next With Laurie Segall

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By Autumn McGowan
Web Content Contributor

On Tuesday, Oct. 12th, as a part of Mass Comm Week, Laurie Segall spoke about her journey as a journalist thus far and what she believes is next for the ever-changing world of technology.

Segall is the CEO of Dot Dot Dot Media, a correspondent for 60 Minutes +, host of First Contact podcast, the former Senior Tech Correspondent for CNN, and a self-proclaimed weirdo. 

She started off as an intern at CNN International and went on to work at CNN’s Business Desk, where she began noticing technology changing the landscape of everything around her. She started attending tech conferences and in 2010, she wrote up her own job description as a multi-platform reporter for CNN and began covering start-ups and apps. Segall is fascinated with the relationship between humanity and technology and says that’s what was most interesting to her when she started covering tech in 2009.  

“I started seeing tech getting bigger and bigger and I think for me, the human impact of it was the interesting stuff,” Segall said. “I’m someone who wants to talk about mental health, relationships, depression and anxiety, all the stuff that we’re not supposed to talk about, and technology was a great window into doing it. I remember saying ‘In a couple of years, tech isn’t just going to be a beat. It’s going to be politics, life, mental health, death and love. It’s going to be mostly human, because it’s becoming like another layer of our skin, and we’ve got to start talking about it like that.’”

Throughout her career, Segall has kept her focus on where humanity and technology intersect, from interviewing Mark Zuckerberg during the Cambridge Analytica scandal, to investigating online harassment and cyberbullying.

“If you can have these conversations and if you can do it in a way that is human, it’s so much more interesting to me than ‘here’s a new emoji’,” Segall said. “So that’s always been my take on it.”

Connecting with people authentically has been paramount to Segall’s success and reflects in the advice she gives for anyone interested in a journalistic career path. 

“If I could go back and tell myself anything, I think it would be [to ask] for what you want. Don’t be afraid to ask for it,” Segall said. “Also pay attention to people, pick peoples brain, know things about other people like specifics and things that kind of make them tic a little bit. Try to make it seem less transactional. I think that always works really well.”

As for what’s next for tech, Segall believes that the future is bright but that it’s critical to have conversations about information and implications every step of the way. 

“Tech is not good or bad, it’s inevitable,” Segall said. “We are entering a new era of the web and I think those that pay a lot of attention to it will be in front of something interesting that’s coming. We have to stretch our minds to think about these things. How do we talk about these things, and how do we make them accessible to more people?”

Featured Image by Autumn McGowan

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