In her day job, she covers artificial intelligence and cybersecurity for national technology magazines and edits a blog about virtual reality.
Maria Korolov majored in mathematics but after graduation decided to follow her true calling, writing. She started out covering local politics for the Chicago Tribune then became a war correspondent, reporting from Chechnya, Afghanistan, and other war zones in and around the former Soviet Union in the 1990s and ran a news bureau in Shanghai in the 2000s.
For the past ten years, she’s been living in Western Massachusetts and covering artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and extended reality for national technology publications.
She is past president of the New England chapter of the Society of Professional Journalist, and a former chair of its International Journalism committee. She is the author of the SPJ’s Journalist’s Guide to the Geneva Conventions. She is the co-author of the book A Changing China, and editor of Warren Liu’s book China Key Success Factors.
She speaks at conferences and has been quoted in national media as an expert on virtual reality, business in China, and international journalism.
She was inspired to begin writing a series of novellas set in the Krim virtual world after binge-watching the show Lucifer on Netflix. She loved the way the show’s writers added supernatural elements and humor to an episodic crime drama in order to tackle themes of personal responsibility and the human potential to change.
Maria Korolov graduated from Cornell University with a degree in mathematics in 1990. While still a student, she worked for the Cornell Daily Sun and the Ithaca Times. A cover story for the latter about town-gown relations won an honorable mention from the New York Press Association for best feature story of the year.
After graduation, she went on to cover the Lake County suburbs for the Chicago Tribune. A story on corporal punishment in the schools made the front page of the paper. Another, on the growing drug trade in Lake County, made page 3.
A year later, she went to Moscow, where she was a freelance war correspondent for UPI for several months before being hired as a reporter by the Moscow Tribune. Within two months, she was promoted to national editor.
Using her contacts with local journalists around the former Soviet Union, she put together a team of correspondents throughout the republics. A year later, she moved to Reuters to be able to spend more time in the field covering civil wars.
Her work took her to Aghanistan, Chechnya, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and the former Yugoslavia. She spent a month in the trenches with Abzhazian separatists, followed the Georgian guard as they looted and pillaged their way through Western Georgia during the civil war with the Zviadists, and was twice taken prisoner.
Family concerns sent her back to the U.S. in 1994, where she moved on to covering another type of revolution: the way the Internet is changing the way the world works. As a financial services writer for Computerworld, she was in the middle of the biggest change our economy has ever experienced.
In 2004, she went back overseas and ran a business news bureau in Shanghai for five years for SourceMedia, formerly part of Thomson Reuters.
Maria Korolov has been active in the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2003, she received the society’s President’s Award for her work as the chair of the SPJ’s International Journalism Committee. She is also past president of the New England Pro chapter of the SPJ. She took over when the chapter was functionally dead and made it one of the most active chapters in the organization. As a result of her work, the chapter received an award for Outstanding Small Chapter in its region in 2004. Korolov also served as treasurer of the New England chapter of the National Writers Union. In Shanghai, she was president of the Shanghai Entrepreneur Group, and active in the Shanghai Foreign Correspondents Club. In 2014, she founded Women in Virtual Reality.