The publication, which does not yet have a name or any full-time staffers aside from Schmidt, will be “focused on exploring the surprising and complex effects of technology internationally, specifically outside the US and Europe,” the source wrote in an email to BuzzFeed News. “We’re most curious about human impact: social, cultural and political phenomena driven by the interaction between new tech and different cultures, institutions and norms abroad.”
Sophie Schmidt doesn’t have a journalism background. I met her a few times while covering Uber; she worked on their communications team, first in the US, handling the Travis Kalanick fiasco, and later in the UK where she headed up public policy comms.
Also, Buzzfeed notes:
Schmidt, who studied at Harvard’s Kennedy School and Stanford Business School, has had a globe-trotting early career, including stints at an Afghan media company in Dubai, a Google-funded tech incubator in South Africa, and the Chinese mobile giant Xiaomi in Beijing. In 2013, Schmidt interned at SCL Group, the parent company of the notorious political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
Schmidt is reportedly using a consultant to help make hiring choices – she doesn’t yet have any journalists on staff. But, if they can hire well, this project has big potential. I love the idea of a publication that looks closely at how technology firms are impacting worlds beyond the US, UK and other markets were tech reporters and publications are more heavily concentrated. Done right, this might fill a gaping void.