Times adds 'demographics' desk

LAT Assistant Managing Editor Janet Clayton reorganized the Metro editors a bit this week to create a new desk to specialize in coverage of immigration, growth and population changes. One of the editors on the "Demographics desk" will be Julie Marquis, who played a leading role in the Pulitzer-winning series on King-Drew Medical Center. Clayton's memo was sent to the staff on Monday.

California Staff,

As I've told many of you, I think that growth is the story of California. The state's Department of Finance tells the numbers: 36 million people in California, more than all but three dozen nations. We already tell the story of the people behind the numbers in many ways. We're going to tell it even better by making sure that we focus and connect the many changes, large and small, that are making the greater Los Angeles area and the state such a dynamic place. Nobody knows exactly where it's all going, but no one is going to chronicle this
local/national story better than we will.

To that end, we're creating a new desk that will explore the trends that are reshaping Los Angeles, the region and California, and how those changes are affecting people's lives. Reporters attached to this desk will look at the economic and social effects of immigration, the stresses of continued growth, the widening chasm between the wealthy and the poor, and the challenges of the middle class; where people are moving and why, and how they are managing to get there on roads and highways built for another time. Public and private health care, and the changing age, racial and ethnic makeup of the area also will be key part of coverage.

Heading up the demographics desk will be Julie Marquis and Carlos Lozano. Julie and Carlos both have deep interest in this ongoing story and bring talents for projects and good daily beat coverage to the assignment. We expect to attach several reporters to this desk, not all of them based downtown. We have some
ideas about which reporters to attach to this desk, but let me know if you are interested---at the least, for future reference. There will be some natural overlap on occasion with the local government, state and environment desks, but given the hugeness of this story, I expect that there's plenty for everyone. We will launch this desk in mid-May.

Laura Greanias will become the early morning editor when Carlos Lozano moves to the demographics desk. Laura first came to Metro a few months ago from the A1 desk. Since she joined Metro, she has been a key force behind relaunching the B2. Laura's great organizational skills will serve her well in her new assignment, which requires coordinating daily coverage and launching stories that break early in the day. She'll work closely with City Editor Shelby Grad and
current early morning editor Carlos Lozano in making her transition to her new assignment.


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