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Mack Male

Tech Matters with Mack Male

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Mack Male is the co-founder of Taproot Edmonton which he founded in 2016 with Karen Underwood. He describes himself as an entrepreneurial journalist. He has been covering Edmonton City Council for more than a decade. When the laptops are switched off, Mac is still connected to technology by listening to podcasts.  He enjoys learning new things and reading; whenever possible, he and his family make time to enjoy the outdoors by going for walks.

As an entrepreneurial journalist, Mac spends most of his time serving B2B clients and trying to grow the various aspects of the business.  The team at Taproot works remotely, so days are spent in front of a screen.  Mac’s co-founder Karen works with him to find the balance of working “in the business” versus just “on the business.”
They agree that some days they are more successful at that than others! Mac indicates, “I also work daily to support our editorial team in putting together The Pulse and our weekly roundups.”


We live in a media-intense world, but what inspires Mac are the many talented, creative, thoughtful people he has met in Edmonton.  After learning about their stories and helping tell those stories, he is inspired. “They’re all making a dent in the world and that makes me want to keep going with my efforts as well,” Mac shares.


Mac confirms that Edmonton has incredible opportunities for the future in technology, energy and other sectors and is optimistic that the region will continue to experience solid growth and that the economy will continue to diversify in the years ahead. While he is working to ensure that Taproot thrives by serving the community effectively, the future is unforeseen in terms of media sustainability.  Mac is encouraged by Edmontonians who are dedicated to journalism. Still, the reality is that “ we’re going to continue to see cutbacks in staff, quantity, and quality of coverage in the legacy media organizations for the foreseeable future.”


As an independent media journalist and co-founder of Taproot, Mac wears many hats, including the developer.  Because his background is in computer programming, which Mac fell in love with at an early age, programming is one activity that he enjoys working with, and he can reliably achieve the “flow” of the work. Embracing technology is one of the competitive advantages they have over other independent media outlets. Mac believes that everyone working in independent media worries about funding.  Taproot is not pinning their success on government bailout or charity, but rather focusing on solving real problems for the communities they serve and collecting fair revenue for that work.  “We strive to be more fully in control of our own destiny when it comes to the financial sustainability of our operation,” Mac reiterates. 


Balancing being a dad, podcaster, writer and journalist take constant and consistent work.  Mac organizes his daily schedule around his daughter so that he is sure to have time both morning and evening with her. He confesses that he relies heavily on his calendar and says that, “if it’s not scheduled, it doesn’t happen!”  By blocking off time slots in his calendar, he makes sure he is not overstretched, but most importantly, he shares that he has an incredible and supportive partner who makes it possible to do all the things he does.  


Teamwork and meditation every day help Mac stay present and enjoy the moments. He also uses digital tools as much as possible to get things out of his head so he’s not constantly thinking about everything that must get done. Plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and coffee make a difference for Mac’s mental health.

And speaking of incredible resources, Mac reads digital books from the Edmonton Public Library using the Libby app. Currently, he is reading “Machiavelli For Women” by Stacey Vanek Smith and “Rationality” by Steven Pinker.  And even though Mac is not as well-versed in poetry, Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” has several lines that speak to him. If you want to read his comments, check him out at @mastermaq on Twitter.

This article was published in the summer edition of Ladies Corner Magazine.


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