- Adam Glanzman/Daily
By Stephanie Shenouda, Daily Staff Reporter
Published February 21, 2013
LSA freshman Mark Gurman works a full-time job, is frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, and regularly beats his major competitors in releasing exclusive coverage about Apple products and announcements.
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Nights lasting until 3 or 4 a.m. have become the norm during the three years that Gurman has reported for technology site 9to5Mac, which specializes in all things Apple.
“Apple is a major company, so they have a huge following as far as what’s next in their product line,” Gurman said. “People are definitely really interested as to what’s going on within the company and the entire ecosystem, so it’s our job to tell them.”
The site gets 10 to 15 million page views a month, a number he attributes to people’s desire to constantly know what the technology giant “has next up its sleeve.”
Gurman said the job was a natural progression for him because of his love of Apple products and his interest in journalism.
“I met the owner of the site, Seth Weintraub, after I found a domain name before the iPad was announced that seemed to allude to Apple building a tablet,” Gurman said. “That was big news and I wrote the story after I discovered that, and the rest was basically history.”
Gurman also broke the news about the new 128-gigabyte-capacity, fourth-generation iPad last month, three days before Apple announced the update.
“I was able to break that news, and basically the big deal there is that it’s more business- and enterprise-oriented,” Gurman said. “That launch was the same week as Microsoft’s enterprise pro tablet, so that was an interesting turn of events as far as the business, professional aspect of technology is concerned.”
Business Insider recently called Gurman the “World’s Best Apple Reporter,” noting that he beat out The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and most other news outlets on that story. CNN noted that seven out of eight of his predictions for Apple product launches were correct. The eighth turned out to be true in time.
Gurman said the site has “industry sources” from within Apple that regularly come to them with news. After getting information from any source, no matter their reliability, Gurman will validate the information with evidence. In the most recent case, an iOS code, Apple's landmark mobile operating system.
Gurman said he’s reached expert status for his job and in his field. In addition to a reported six-figure salary, his knowledge also comes in handy for assisting his friends and family with simple technological repairs.
Since coming to college, Gurman said his time-commitment level has changed. He is now writing more on a case-by-case basis since courses are his first priority.
“It’s pretty unorthodox not to have a specific posting quota as a reporter, but Seth is very accommodating because he trusts me and my work, and I’m very thankful for him for that,” Gurman said. “A lot of the stories that I write are big, exclusive stories specific to the industry and so if I get two to three of those a month, it’s great, and that works with my writing and school schedule.”
In high school — outside of classes and social life — Gurman would occasionally post up to 20 to 30 stories to 9to5Mac per day, especially around new product launches.
About a month ago, Gurman wrote a story regarding the release of the then-new iPhone 5 at the same time he was visiting the Detroit International Auto Show with friends. It should come as no surprise that he wrote the story via his iPhone, which Gurman says is his most-used Apple possession.
Though Gurman enjoys writing, he’s currently in the process of applying to the Business School, with his sights set on the business side of technology. He said he plans on staying with 9to5Mac because of the site's reach, as well as the network he’s cultivated.
“Even though everyone I work with is older and this is their professional career, I feel like they respect me because of the work that I’m able to do,” Gurman said. “They couldn’t do what they do without me, I couldn’t do what I do without them, so it’s a team.”
Gurman said he feels that at this point in his career writing for 9to5Mac, he’s at “the top” of his field and is happy with the stories he’s been able to accomplish.
“It’s random sometimes,” Gurman said of his work. “It’s fun, it’s fierce, it’s tiring, but I love that anything can happen at any time.”