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Inside the Media Mind of Tonya Riley: Reporter at CyberScoop

In this week’s  episode of Inside the Media Minds, we sat down with Tonya Riley, reporter at CyberScoop. 

Tonya began her career at a start-up before she quickly jumped into freelancing, where she reported on many topics from lifestyle to technology. Tonya then made the move to Washington, D.C. where she jump-started her journalism career with Mother Jones Magazine. From there, Tonya landed her former job at The Washington Post as a researcher and reporter, as well as an author of The Cybersecurity 202 newsletter. 

Tonya joined CyberScoop in June 2021, where she now covers privacy and technology issues including facial recognition, surveillance tech, data and what the government is doing to address these issues.

She is always looking for stories that have an impact or challenge the industry from enterprise to consumer level. Tonya tells listeners that when looking at research, resources and pitches, she looks for experts that add a specific perspective to the topic. 

Tune into the full podcast to hear Tonya discuss all this and more, including: 

  • Her background and move to D.C.
  • Her interest in privacy policy
  • Her approach to research
  • Most memorable story
  • How companies can differentiate themselves
  • The biggest story of 2021 
  • Leveraging social media in journalism
  • Her passions and pandemic projects


0:50 – Tonya’s background and her start in journalism

3:25 – Her time at The Washington Post

5:30 – Tonya’s role at CyberScoop

7:23 – What she looks for in sources and pitches

11:08 – How she leverages research 

12:51 – Most Memorable Story 

16:36 – How Companies can Stand Out in a Saturated Space 

17:30 – How Tonya likes to be pitched 

18:56 – What she thinks will be the biggest stories of 2021 

21:45 – Leveraging Social Media 

23:21 – Her interests outside of work