Media writer at LAT

The Times has named Jim Rainey a national media writer. He recently covered the presidential campaign and has reported in the past on L.A. city politics. His beat is separate from what media critics Tim Rutten and David Shaw do. The memo follows below:

To: The Staff
From: Scott Kraft, National Editor

I'm delighted to announce that Jim Rainey, hot off the presidential campaign staff, is taking on the new assignment of media writer for the paper.

His ambitious mission will be to cover the world of journalism-newspapers, magazines, television, radio and the Web. While he will be a part of the National staff, and report to Deputy National Editor Tom Furlong, Jim will range broadly. He'll be available, and we'll be encouraging him, to write for all sections of the paper, including Metro, Business and Features, in this new role. Fortunately for us, Jim is just the kind of tireless reporter who can make an assignment this big work.

Jim has a bachelor's degree in history from the University of California at Berkeley. He began his career at the San Ramon Valley Herald and later worked at the South Bay Daily Breeze. He was a two-year reporter for The Times in the early 1980s and joined the paper as a permanent staffer in 1987, working as a writer for the South Bay edition.

During his career here he has worked covered City Hall for the suburban section and, later, Metro. For several years, he worked as a general assignment reporter, winning awards for his coverage of child welfare issues. During a two-year diversion, he worked as urban affairs editor and state editor. Scampering back to reporting a year ago, he joined the political desk as a writer/editor.

The son of an actor, Jim recently played a small but important role of his own when he phoned the political desk and, portraying an Icelandic Radio news anchor, managed to conduct a 10-minute interview with our own credulous (and media-hungry) Political Editor. Did I mention he has a sense of humor, too?

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