About Chris O'Brien
Chris O’Brien is currently a business columnist for The San Jose Mercury News, where he has been a business reporter since 1999. During his time there, he won several reporting awards and the paper twice submitted his work for consideration for the Pulitzer Prize.
In 2007, he was appointed to serve on the steering committee of a project called "Rethinking the Mercury News." The project was charged with reinventing every aspect of newsroom operations. The committee spent six months conducting extensive interviews with members of the community, building new prototypes for print and online products, and creating a proposal to reorganize the newsroom staff to create a true, online first news organization.
In 2007, O'Brien was also selected to receive one of the first News Challenge Grants, a new program created by the Knight Foundation to promote the development of digital technologies that build community. Over the past year, he has been project manager for The Next Newsroom Project whose goal was to research and design the ideal newsroom for the student newspaper at Duke University.
O’Brien grew up in Kansas and attended Duke University in Durham, NC. He got his first taste of journalism working on the student newspaper and serving as an intern at the St. Petersburg Times in Florida.
After graduating in 1991, he took a year off to travel and then landed his first full-time newspaper job at The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. O’Brien spent his first few years at the paper working as a metro reporter, covering cops, courts, and county governments. In 1992, he received a feature writing award from the North Carolina Press Association for his profile of a legendary police reporter living in Fayetteville, NC.
In 1996, O’Brien took a new beat covering the Research Triangle Park, the world’s largest research park and the hub of the Triangle region’s technology scene. O’Brien wrote about diverse subjects, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, personal computers, telecommunications, and computer networking. The job involved writing about the people in the park as opposed to covering the businesses themselves. It also included writing stories about the early impact that the Internet was having on people and businesses.
O’Brien moved to the business desk in 1998 where he covered the networking beat and was responsible for such companies as Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, and Lucent Technologies. While immersing himself further in the details of technology and finance, he also continued to develop his passion for telling stories about the people involved in these companies.
- Occupation: business reporter
- Organization: The San Jose Mercury News
- Location: Oakland, CA 94609 USA
- Website: http://www.mercurynews.com
- AOL Instant Messenger: chobrien99
- Was accepted for Feb 17-20 2009 Technology Training.
Digital media stories published elsewhere by Chris O'Brien:
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Content on this site written by Chris O'Brien (includes contributory writing):