About

Marrian Zhou is currently a reporter at CNET, a publication dedicated to covering the ever emerging technology industry for millions of readers. She published an investigative story earlier this month about how data brokers buy up voter data, combine it with consumer data to get a sense of who you exactly are, sell it to political campaigns and organizations, and ultimately turn it into a political ad, a phone call, a text or a knock on the door from campaign volunteers.

She usually write three to seven stories a day for the breaking news desk and work on long-form projects using her spare time. For this story, she contacted every US state’s office to gather information on voter data, then made it into an interactive map detailing the data’s costs and rules in each state. She also talked to many experts and companies to get a clear picture of the data trade.

Zhou has written an explainer on the 3D printed gun controversy as well, where she interviewed an official from the State Department, the creator of 3D printed gun Cody Wilson, attorneys general that sued Wilson and the State Department, and dug through court documents.

Before CNET, she graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She hopes to become a foreign correspondent covering the technology industry in Asia.

Backstory

Originally from Beijing, China, Marrian Zhou moved to Los Angeles in 2010. She double-majored at California State University, Los Angeles, and received Bachelor degrees in Communication and Saxophone Performance.

During her time in undergraduate, she found her passion in journalism through contributing to the University Times- the weekly campus newspaper, and later became the Editor-in-Chief. Zhou has also produced a short documentary dedicated to Dreamers on Cal State LA campus, post inauguration of President Trump.

Zhou also studied abroad in Rome and London for a year, where she learned to speak Italian and became interested in journalism. Later, she worked as an interning reporter for Beijing Today, which is a bilingual newspaper in China’s capital.

She has emerged herself into the cultures she lived in, and developed a deeper understanding of the preconceptions a journalist might have when reporting internationally. Zhou thrives to cover stories objectively and fairly.