In the world of journalism, do you know what a stringer and a fixer are? In this episode, we had the pleasure of talking with Mari-Leena Kuosa, who has been working in this capacity for many years for the New York Times, Voice of America, and many other publications. In fact, one of her stories has even been among the 10 most-read articles in The New York Times. We got the chance to sit down with her to talk about her career in journalism, starting in the Finnish media as both a journalist and producer and then moving on to the international press, where she has been part of the reporting teams of many of the stories you have seen in the international press coming from Finland.
Mari-Leena explains that most press work for larger international publishers is done in teams that gather, write, and produce information. In this episode, Mari-Leena shares her experiences and advice for companies who want to get their stories heard. She talks about some of the interesting, crazy days required and even a connection to her career to the heavy metal horror and Eurovision winner Lordi. We talk a lot about the differences and similarities between US and Finnish media and get a bit philosophical about the spread of misinformation. As she says in the interview, it’s a big difference when you will likely run into the country’s president in the bathroom.
We also discuss good pitching and the many other adventures on which her career in journalism has taken her.
Check out Mari-Leena’s LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mari-leena-kuosa/ and some links to other articles she has contributed to:
- Finland Has Second Thoughts About Giving Free Money to Jobless People – The New York Times
- Finland Unnerved by Trial of Police Detective on Drug Charges – The New York Times
Key takeaways include:
- Fixers’ and stringers’ roles often combine to complement a story
- When you start talking to the press, start small: Start with local press and social media to gain public interest in your story. Build it from different pieces.
- People don’t think of what they want to say as a story; they just want to launch something or get famous (they need to think differently for a journalist to be interested)
Listen to the newest episode of the Get Known podcast with Mari-Leena Kuosa to learn more!