Andrés Martinez, the new opinion honcho at the L.A. Times, tells the paper's Jim Rainey that he intends to "ratchet up" the presence of pieces on local and state affairs and "do a better job of bringing in local writers on the daily Op-Ed page." He and other editorial board members also plan to have a more public presence and will partner with Zócalo, the public lecture series that L.A. Observed helps to sponsor. "People no longer take it on faith they should read the institution's perspective," Martinez said. "They want to know who is involved in the discussion. We are going to do a lot more to let them know about that." (LAO reported earlier that Gregory Rodriguez, the creator of Zócalo, recently joined the LAT editorial pages as a visiting fellow.)
More on Martinez from today's Times:
Andrés Martinez, the editor named Tuesday to oversee the Los Angeles Times editorial pages and the Sunday Current section, takes pride in confounding categories, partisan and otherwise.
Martinez, 39, said his appointment would mean the newspaper would continue to pursue a determinedly unpredictable stance — one demonstrated by The Times' support of gay marriage, free trade in Central America and an end to Democratic filibusters against President Bush's judicial appointments.
"We have plenty of critics on both sides of the aisle, and I think that has been one of the hallmarks of the [editorial] page in the last year," Martinez said. "If you are going to have any credibility, you need to remain intellectually honest and consistent over time and not be overly tactical and partisan."
A native of Mexico, Martinez earned a bachelor's degree at Yale, a master's in Russian history at Stanford and a law degree at Columbia.
Before joining The Times a year ago, he had been assistant editorial page editor at the New York Times and in 2004 became a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for what the judges called an "exhaustively researched series of editorials that exposed the harmful global effects of American agricultural trade policy."
Martinez and his wife, public interest lawyer Katherine Hall-Martinez, live in Marina del Rey. They have one child.