In a previous life I was a big-city journalist, so once a year when a cadre of big-city journalists descend on Sun Valley to cover some sort of secretive conference, I like to pop up to the resort, introduce myself, and live a little vicariously as they dish on their busy lives and glamorous careers.
During my last sojourn I met the delightful Peter Lauria (then of The Daily Beast now of Reuters), Michael de la Merced of The New York Times, Kenneth Li and Yinka Adegoke of Reuters, and Georg Szalai of The Hollwyood Reporter. This year there was a bonanza of broadcast journos, including CNBC’s Mary Catherine Wellons and Kayla Tausche and Fox Business News’s Dennis Kneale. Reuters and Bloomberg were also well-represented in the form of Lisa Richwine and Liana Baker, and Edmund Lee, Betty Lui and Jon Erlichman. The “traditional” print media was here too, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and New York Post all had representatives, with a lone dash of new-media blogger in the form of the delightful Alexia Tsotsis of TechCrunch.
This influx of some of America’s finest business, media and technology journalists to Sun Valley each July produces reams and reams of copy about this low-profile conference. However, there doesn’t seem to be much room in the reporters’ dispatches to discuss how they feel about their Idaho vacation. Judging by their twitter streams, instagram feeds and Facebook profiles, when they do get a little downtime (which is rare), these journos seem to really enjoy being in Sun Valley. We hope this means that they’ll come back one day, off the clock.
I collected a handful of the journalists’ social media posts about their time in this storify feed, which gives a small taste of their impressions of our humble hometown. From our conversations I think it’s clear that while their assignment is a tough one, the fresh air, spectacular surroundings and healthy dose of outdoors they get to experience more than makes up for all that hard work.
Mary Catherine Wellons, Social Media Director of CNBC, produced a stream of scenic images on instagram during her brief visit, commenting on one view that “this never gets old.” The reporters also took in some local sights (including a visit to Ernest Hemingway’s grave), sampled the local fare (a steak and Jim Spud at the Pioneer, a light meal at the Sun Valley Wine Company), and threw back a few cocktails at Boca and The Cornerstone (one CNBC photographer was particularly impressed by the “old guy playing guitar, and even older guy playing bongos,” in Ketchum’s newest nightspot).
What? You wanted to know about that secret little conference they were covering? Well, I couldn’t possibly comment. But Mary Catherine may have whipped up her own storify summing-up some of the highlights of her and her colleagues’ working hours in Sun Valley. There also may be some pictures on the Financial Times’ site, which strangely didn’t send a reporter this year. When I asked media editor Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson why not, he tweeted me “Not this year. We assumed @rupertmurdoch would just live tweet it all and save us the bother.”