Matt's Open Road

MATT CARROLL

Research Scientist
MIT Media Lab

“This is a great time to take a risk. This is the time to move to another city, to do something exciting, to get together with a friend and start a company. Go start something new.”

INTERESTS:

Journalism Technology

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Chance Opportunity Passion Risk Dedication Hard Work Failure Support & Encouragement Transitions Courage Exploration Doubt Fear Hobbies & Pastimes Confidence Fulfillment Family Struggle Culture Conflict

FOUNDATION:

Being Creative

BIOGRAPHY:

  • When he was a kid, he loved reading the comics and sports sections of the newspapers, then he slowly worked his way back to the stories on the front page.
  • He started noticing that between different papers and different stories, there were elements that could make or break a piece; became fascinated with the craft of journalism.
  • When he was in middle school, he and his friends started a science fiction journal; then, when he was in high school, he took journalism classes.
  • He decided to briefly drop out of college to start his own newspaper; it ultimately failed, but he learned about every step in the process of founding and developing a paper.
  • Somewhere along the way, he realized that data could make a real difference within journalism; he started learning about coding to focus on the data.
  • Spent 26 years working at the Boston Globe as a journalist, specializing in database-related stories.
  • Even though he had a comfortable job, he saw the opening in the MIT Media Lab and realized it was a huge opportunity to influence journalism and give back in a new way.
  • When he made the transition to MIT, he was intimidated by the code-heavy environment; says he settled in by finding his confidence and asking the right questions.

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