advertisement
advertisement

Politico’s Natasha Bertrand never unplugs. You’re welcome

The news-breaking journalist feels compelled to be online 24-7. This is the Trump era, after all.

Politico’s Natasha Bertrand never unplugs. You’re welcome
Natasha Bertrand, National Security correspondent, Politico [Photo: Stephen Voss]

Twitter is definitely a distraction. But at the same time, I see it as a tremendous asset. If you’re constantly fighting with people, and you just see it as a tool to waste time and be frivolous, then it’s not going to help. You get out of it what you put in. Building up my Twitter following [to more than 500,000 people] has been invaluable. I get a lot of tips via Twitter, and via my encrypted email address, which I have in my Twitter bio. So, most of the time when people reach out to me, they say, “I follow you on Twitter,” or “I saw you on MSNBC.”

advertisement
advertisement

I have two screens at work. On one, I just have [Twitter feed aggregator] TweetDeck. My colleagues think I’m crazy. I have a very intense TweetDeck situation. I probably refresh [email] every 5 or 10 minutes, because I’m impatient. When I’m on the phone with sources, I’m constantly making sure that I don’t miss any tips that come into my inbox. I’m responsive at all times, for better or worse.

I don’t disconnect as much as I should. That is probably a recipe for burnout. But right now, in the Trump era, everything is just so fast-paced that it’s really a moment—and if I squander it, I feel like I’ll regret it. It’s hard to remain detached when you’re a journalist and constantly working with people who are hostile. In Washington, people associated with Trump are very suspicious of the media. So it is kind of difficult to completely remove yourself.

Time she gets up: 7 a.m.

First thing she does in the morning: “I’ll use the gym, pretty much every morning. I love the Peloton bike.”

Best habit: “My thoroughness. I refuse to be sloppy. I think there’s a lot of cutting corners in this industry. It’s kind of incumbent on us to [fact-check] ourselves. Our editors have their hands in so many different jars that they can’t constantly keep track of every minute detail.”

What’s on her desk: “I don’t have anything on my desk that isn’t absolutely necessary. I’m austere like that. I’m not really a decorative person.”

advertisement

Last thing she does at night: “I light a lot of candles at night to relax. I typically watch TV in bed. I usually watch intense crime dramas. I like spy thrillers, so Homeland was one of my favorites. But right now, to get my mind off national security and news, I’ve been watching The Mindy Project and mindless comedies. And wine. Wine is very important. And the last thing I do is check Twitter. Just to make sure I’m not missing anything.”

Time she goes to bed: Around 11 p.m.

A version of this article appeared in the Winter 2019/2020 issue of Fast Company magazine.

advertisement
advertisement