Our Anniversary Interview With Matt Dornic

FBDC's former editor Matt Dornic tells us what he's up to these days and how blogging has changed since 2009

FishbowlDC_10-years-1It’s hard to believe it’s already been 10 years since FishbowlDC first popped up in Washington — back when blogging was still somewhat of a foreign concept. Plenty has changed since 2005 and the DC media scene is nearly unrecognizable to the one that we came here to cover a decade ago.

To commemorate the occasion, we caught up with some of our predecessors. Throughout the week we’re rolling out Q&As with a handful of them. For this latest installment, we caught up with Matt Dornic, who was FishbowlDC’s editor for nearly three years, starting in 2009.

In late 2011 Dornic left FishbowlDC for CNN Worldwide, where he oversees global communications for CNN Digital, which includes the company’s websites, products, apps, partnerships and talent.  

1459943_10151956741047789_553935498_nFBDC: What was the best part of being a Fishbowl editor?

MD: Access. The returned call. The surprising invite. The humbling introduction. And the opportunity to make friends and interact with a group of people I admire. I know, I know… pull out your puke bags. But it’s true.

FBDC: Worst part?

MD: Besides Fox News PR? Zing! The cirrhosis (so many open bars) and the pay. Sorry, Mediabistro.

FBDC: You left FishbowlDC for CNN. How would you describe that transition?

MD: Ah yes, the tears and takeout era. It was startling because it also involved a move to New York and into corporate housing during the dead of winter. I’d say that both CNN and I are in a better place now.

FBDC: What invites, introductions or calls humbled/surprised you?

MD: As editor of FBDC, I met the Obamas and the Bidens, and I attended events at both the White House and the VP’s residence. That’s pretty humbling at any age.

FBDC: What’s the biggest difference about the interwebs since you were a blogger?

MD: Mobile domination. Birth of the listicle. And a perception that blogs are written by coffee shop dwelling trolls who channel their daddy issues into snarky posts. We use Twitter for that now.

FBDC: What is the most important trait for an editor of a blog?

MD: It all comes down to creative storytelling. The big boys — CNN, The New York Times, Buzzfeed — will break the news 95 percent of the time. They’ve got the resources. But the ability to re-imagine those stories and tell them in new or better ways — inverse, advance, personalize, predict, trend spot… that’s how you get in the game.

Check out our interviews with Garrett Graff and Patrick Gavin.