How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Katie Rogers, a White House reporter for The Times, discussed the tech she’s using.

How do President Trump and Melania Trump use tech?

They’re an Apple couple. Both use their iPhones to interact with the outside world — sometimes to the chagrin of Mr. Trump’s security advisers and critics.


The president is not as technologically savvy as the first lady. His aides slip him paper copies of news articles, and when he travels on Air Force One, an aide is often spotted carrying around these mysterious-looking cardboard boxes. They are full of paper documents. The president will often sift through the papers when he needs to refer to something — which can be where that famous Sharpie of his comes into play.

Mrs. Trump is more tech oriented. She uses Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, mainly on her phone. Like her husband, she is very interested in her coverage but also uses those tools to keep track of things she’s interested in, including fashion design, magazines and astrology. (She’s a Taurus and follows the @taurusismagic account on Twitter, which has an interesting bio.)

The Trump White House also had journalists switch over to an in-house Wi-Fi network, which made some reporters understandably uncomfortable for security reasons. The West Wing has also made more use out of devices that scan for gadgets including phones — I can understand why Signal is so popular. I think the anxiety over surveillance is perhaps more heightened than it was under the Obama administration, which, by the way, did its part to pave the way for these types of procedures.

What are your most important tech tools for keeping up with breaking news from the White House and talking to your sources?

I’ve been on this beat since January. I thought I was pretty much tethered to the news before, but this job requires you to imbibe a daily tidal wave of news. So that’s fun.

A lot of my monitoring is Twitter-based, so I use tools I’ve relied on for years. I use Nuzzel, a social news app that lets me know what the people I follow on social media are sharing, which is helpful for identifying the stories getting traction. And I use Twitter’s list function to sort all of the noise into manageable buckets: I have lists of White House reporters, politicians, White House aides and Washington chatterboxes.

Outside of a few news apps, I dislike having notifications on my phone in general — my eyes tend to glaze over if I have too many — but I receive them from a few news organizations and whenever the president or his press secretary tweets. Several of my colleagues have the Apple Watch, which gives them a friendly little jolt when those tweets happen. I haven’t been able to bring myself to cross that particular Pavlovian bridge yet.

Living and working in Washington have a way of narrowing your perception, so I try to make sure I understand what people outside my bubble are talking about and reading. On my computer, I use Tweetdeck — which helps manage Twitter accounts — to display a list of prominent conservatives, which runs alongside a list of journalists. It’s interesting and instructive to see how the two worlds function in real time, especially when news hits.

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