Nadine M. Post

Editor-at-Large

NadinePOst
  • Engineering News-Record
  • Two Penn Plaza
  • 9th Floor
  • New York, NY 10121
ENR goes back to 1874, having stemmed from two separate publications, Engineer & Surveyor and The Plumber and Sanitary Engineer. How does a legacy like this affect the magazine today? The Engineer & Surveyor started publishing in 1874. By the next year it was renamed Engineering News. In 1911 it was purchased by John A. Hill. The second publication was originally called The Plumber and Sanitary Engineer and started publication in 1877. By 1890 it was called Engineering Record. In 1902 it was purchased by James H. McGraw. After several decades as competitors, the two publications merged in 1917 to become Engineering News-Record. ENR’s reputation for editorial excellence and balanced journalism is based on the reporting and writing of myriad journalists who have worked during the more than 137 years of the magazine’s history. ENR provide the readers, or viewers, of late, with editorial content they can use to improve their work and the engineered environment. The legacy is one the current editorial team takes very seriously. How does your publication serve the A/E/C industry? ENR serves the industry by airing the issues, disseminating information about innovations in design and construction and the impact of news events. ENR covers many construction sectors in addition to buildings—bridges, tunnels, highways, mass transit, sewage treatment plants, water and powerplants, other infrastructure, technology and the environment. We also cover the business and economics of construction, including but not limited to government policy issues, risk, project management and delivery, codes and standards, companies and news about people. How has the magazine evolved over the years? We serve the construction industry, which includes development, planning, architecture, engineering and construction, in all the ways we think its members need to be served and want to be served. We air issues that affect the engineered environment. We are a networking medium for design and construction professionals. We cover the markets, costs, the impact of natural disasters on design and construction, and the humanitarian efforts of those in the industry. We cover education, the workplace, legal issues, project delivery, technology, equipment, etc. We cover so many subjects and angles on so many parts of the industry, from North America to around the globe. Subscribers don’t get this anywhere else.

[expand title=”Read the rest of the article here…”] How do you decide which stories to write about and where do they come from? I have never, in more than 30 years, been told what to write about and what to write, by anyone on the business side. I can only speak for myself but I do not favor one source over another. I favor good ideas. I write a story based on what I think is the value of the subject to the reader. I do not discriminate based on whether I know the person, the size of the firm, and I do not favor or discriminate against advertisers. Some very good story ideas have come from advertisers. I am always seeking projects that break the mold, issues that affect practice, new delivery systems, etc. The source of the idea is not relevant. Many potential sources don’t realize how easy it is to get my attention, in terms of considering a project or story idea. All it takes is an e-mail. I am constantly seeking fresh sources for topical stories. Some of my best story ideas come from public relations consultants representing their clients well by truly studying what ENR is seeking, rather than simply sending out a press release that does not answer the questions I need answered: How does this project differ from all others of its type? What are the challenges and how are they being met? Why would a busy ENR reader want to read about this project? How does this project stretch the envelope? How does this project contribute to an improved built environment? What lessons can be learned from this project? Any other differences between ENR and its competitors? We are the only “horizontal” construction news magazine in the world and the only one of its kind that covers the world. All the others are specialty magazines. We provide the big, broad picture–not simply that something has happened but its ramifications on the members of the industry. We are forward looking, in that way. We jump off the news to report the impact of the news. What is one of the biggest industry changes you’ve experienced, both in the A/E/C industry and in the publication world that reports on it? The development of technology, in my opinion, is the biggest change I have witnessed and experienced since 1978, when I started writing about construction. Designers have been able to harness the high-tech tools to design structures and systems in a way they could never design them before. This began with computer analysis and moved into all kinds of computer modeling and CAD, including building information modeling (BIM). As the tools got better and less costly, the designs got more complicated and targeted. Technology has also been the biggest change factor for ENR and journalism. High-tech tools have made reporting, writing, presentation and publishing in general much easier and better in some ways. The web has made it possible for instant news. ENR.com provides subscribers with breaking news. Slide shows and videos expand the graphical information capabilities of the print medium. ENR.com removes the wall between writer and viewer. What kind of background do you require/ works best to “successfully” report and comment on the industry? Are your writers retired engineers? There are no requirements for any professional degrees for ENR reporters. All ENR editors and reporters are journalists. A journalist is qualified to ask the questions required to develop good stories. The best reporters are those who know how to identify a good story subject, seek out the best sources and ask the best questions. The best writers are those who know how to look beyond the obvious to seek the impact of the news or action on the industry. Why doesn’t ENR report on completed projects? We do not generally write project stories about completed projects because we are a construction news magazine. Once a project is complete it is generally old news. What’s your favorite kind of story and/or what do you like reporting on most? My favorite stories are ones that provide a service to the reader and push the needle forward on improvements to the built environment. I am always seeking ways to help readers grapple with change; to help conserve resources; to help serve the public interest through the dissemination of ideas related to construction. I never started out thinking I would be a journalist. I fell into journalism quite by accident, sort of, trying to support myself while I became a professional viola player. But, I landed in a field that suits me to a tee. I have interviewed some of the best minds of the 20th and early 21st Century. What a way to make a living! Interview by: By: Vanessa Weber, Cooper, Robertson & Partners [/expand]