Visiting fellows at LAT

The Times is converting a seat on the editorial board into a three-month visiting fellow slot, as a way to bring in more thinking from academics and foreign journalists. The first stint is scheduled to be served in the fall by Gregory Rodriguez of the New America Foundation and Zócalo, the lecture series that helps sponsor L.A. Observed. Until then, with half the editorial writing staff reassigned, the Times is contracting with freelancers to pen some editorials. Also, a well-placed Times source says that business writer Jon Healey, who covers tech, will join the editorial board this summer.

Media shorts:

• Kim Murphy, the Times' Moscow bureau chief, was a finalist for the Michael Kelly Award, given in honor of the late editor of The Atlantic. New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof won. (Via Romenesko)

• Times photographer Francine Orr, whose disturbing images from Uganda were featured in the paper on Sunday, will speak and show photos on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. the Central Library's Mark Taper Auditorium. It's free and sponsored by Photo Friends of the Los Angeles Public Library.

• The LA Weekly is throwing a release party for Joy Nicholson's new novel, The Road To Esmeralda, on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Boardner's in Hollywood. Nicholson is a former Weekly intern. Jonathan Kirsch's review last Sunday in the LAT Book Review says her first novel, The Tribes of Palos Verdes, is being made into a movie.

• The French artist Invader's latest show, RUBIKCUBISM: A logical exhibition, opens with a Saturday reception from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the sixspace gallery downtown.

• Mediabistro is trying to round up players for a co-ed media softball game Wednesday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Penmar Rec Center in Venice. Bar info for afterward is at the link.

State of the Blog: May was another good month here, with more than 386,000 pages viewed (1.9 million hits for those who prefer that misleading stat.) Another 1,579 visitors added L.A. Observed to their browser favorites, according to Awstats, the service my hosting provider offers. (And Internet Explorer remains the browser of choice for 69% of visitors, compared to just 13.6% using Firefox. That probably reflects the slow pace of software updates in newsrooms.) The biggest referrers for the month were Romenesko, Salon, LAVoice, Bloglines, Sploid, BoifromTroy and Hugh Hewitt. The rundown of Google search terms shows that nearly 1,000 new visitors found their way here looking for news on the death of Miguel Contreras. Thanks to everyone who stopped in.

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