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Meet the New York Times' Jenna Wortham before she reinvents herself again

"I always wanted to be in this business because I wanted to write about people who look like me."

Mark Linsangan for Re/code

For some journalists, landing a writing job at a prestigious outlet like the New York Times would be enough. For Jenna Wortham, that job is just part of the story.

On the latest episode of Re/code Media with Peter Kafka, Wortham outlined her unconventional rise to the NYT, whose job offer she initially rejected. There, her current day job is writing for the New York Times Magazine about technology’s influence on culture, education, health and more. In addition, she has pursued several side projects, including frequent self-funded travel and the journalism-as-live-performance show Pop-Up Magazine.

"Being a journalist in 2016 means constantly reinventing yourself," Wortham said.

On the new podcast, she also talks about why "Amazon Prime is the devil" and her concerns about the on-demand economy, which makes life more convenient for customers at the expense of workers.

"Every time I get into an Uber, I ask, ‘How many hours have you been driving?’ and they’re like, ’18!'" she said. "That’s not okay."

Wortham joined the Times magazine staff after a stint covering daily technology and business news when she was first hired. She explained that daily reporting was exciting but not fulfilling because the constant pace left her unable to chase offbeat stories.

"I spent years looking at bros in Silicon Valley," Wortham said. "Many of them are wonderful, but they’re all very similar. … I always wanted to be in this business because I wanted to write about people who look like me."

Listen to or download the episode in the audio player above. And make sure to subscribe to Re/code Media with Peter Kafka on iTunes, which you can do right here; you can now also listen to this show on Google Play Music. You can also find the show on Stitcher and TuneIn. We’ll have a new episode next Thursday.

Want more podcasts? Okay! Try Re/code Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, which you can subscribe to on iTunes here, or click here to listen on Google. Or there’s Too Embarrassed to Ask, hosted by Kara and Lauren Goode from The Verge, which will have a new episode tomorrow. Click here to subscribe to Too Embarrassed to Ask on iTunes, or click here to listen on Google Play Music.

Finally, don’t miss Re/code Replay, where we’ve posted audio from Peter’s Code/Media 2016 conference. To subscribe to that on iTunes, click right here. To listen on Google Play, click over here.

You can follow @Recode on Twitter for the latest on upcoming guests.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on iTunes — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Peter. You can also suggest guests for the show, and we’ll do our best to nab them for an interview.

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