How did an 18-year-old college student in Maryland gain the trust of and get access to TV executives and anchors in New York? “By posting 10 or 15 posts a day meant that the industry knew it was a reliable consistent source,” says Brian Stelter, creator of this site and now a media reporter for the New York Times and author of the just released “Top of the Morning.”

As he neared graduation, Stelter had to make a choice: work in TV news, or cover it.