Scott Detrow is part of the Pennsylvania team that will be digging up stories on what’s powering the state’s energy economy. We’ve had a great time working with him already and he’s doing a fantastic job populating the new StateImpact Pennsylvania site. I asked Scott a few questions so you can get to know him, his background and his town of Harrisburg a little better.
Tell us, what made you interested in the StateImpact project after your experience covering the Pennsylvania legislature?
Since I’ve started covering it, I’ve seen the Marcellus Shale go from something people confuse for a person – Marcellus Who? — to a national news story. The chance to spend all my time covering drilling and other energy issues – and to do so from out in the field, as opposed to the state Capitol – was too great to pass up. I’m also excited about moving from daily spot news reporting to investigative work.
What’s something that people don’t know about all the energy debates in the Keystone State?
Pennsylvania has been around the block a few times, when it comes to energy extraction. The first-ever oil well was drilled here, in 1859.
One of the things we learned about you during the interview process is that you have journalism in your blood. Tell us about that and what it’s like having a reporter as a dad.
The downside is my parents are both well-aware of the journalism industry’s shaky state. This leads to a conversation with my mom every two months or so where I explain, no, I’m not applying to law school. It’s nice to be able to talk about work with my dad, though, and to get his advice on things.
What’s your advice for dealing with angry sources or listeners?
Don’t say the first thing that comes to mind! Writing out a draft email, and then letting it sit there for 10 to 20 minutes, is usually a good idea. I often end up deleting the whole thing, and then writing a much more polite response.
How do you spend your spare time?
I play on a men’s league hockey team filled with hulking FBI agents and U.S. Marshalls. I also run – albeit slowly – and finished my first marathon last year. Most evenings, I’m usually grilling out, reading or hanging with a beagle named Lucy.
Tell us something about Harrisburg that will make us want to visit.