The Los Angeles Times has zigged and zagged with blogs in the past — at one time I think there were more than 40, then most were killed or consolidated. Now it sounds like the plan is to go big into staffing up "exciting new blogs" on various subjects using experienced bloggers. They won't ferret out news or break stories so much as "add context" to stories that other media outlets and blogs get started first, per the memo. Connections with other bloggers and knowing how to use web traffic analytics to skew the stories are desirable.
This note went out to the newsroom this afternoon from Jimmy Orr, the managing editor for digital.
Later today or tomorrow, we will be advertising externally the positions described in the note below. Internal applicants are welcome as well.
The Los Angeles Times seeks experienced reporters/bloggers to run exciting new blogs in politics, money, breaking news, technology, entertainment, sports, and science. The successful candidates are comfortable writing in real-time, have demonstrated records of success in their fields, and know how to use analytics.
You will write several posts per day based on the most interesting and engaging stories in the news. You have an innate sense for what will work digitally. You know how to jump in an existing conversation and add context.
You know how to break news. You’re a clean writer.
You’ve got a deep rolodex. You can get people on the phone quickly and although it might be a story many news organizations are covering, you know how to make it unique and something people will share.
You’re comfortable with your own voice, are well connected to like bloggers, you know how to get the audience to engage and you excel in social media.
Is this you? Send your resume and URLs for published writing examples to Jimmy Orr, Managing Editor, Digital. [Email address redacted, for Orr's sake.]
Also this memo about the move of Maria LaGanga, the bureau chief in San Francisco, to the same job in Seattle.
To: The Staff
From: Kim Murphy, National Editor
The National Desk is happy to welcome its newest correspondent, Maria La Ganga, who will become chief of the Seattle bureau and will anchor The Times’ coverage of the Pacific Northwest.
Maria is one of our most experienced and accomplished reporters, and that is fitting because Seattle is one of our most important bureaus. She’ll find great stories in Seattle, including news from its vibrant technology sector. Her coverage of the wider region, including the northern Rockies, Alaska and Hawaii, will help us realize our ambition to tell the story of the West better than anyone else.
Since launching her Times career as an academic intern in 1981, Maria has traveled the back roads of California as a state correspondent, covered five presidential campaigns and pitched in on the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.
She has written about agriculture for the Business section, where she was also an assignment editor. As San Francisco Bureau chief, she has covered the region’s response to poverty and homelessness, as well as its singular characters and controversies.
On her presidential campaign tours, Maria attended Mass with Pat Buchanan and John Kerry, watched the denizen of Moonlight Bunny Ranch cheer on Ron Paul and spent 14 months with George W. Bush, who gave her not one but three nicknames —“California,” which was short-lived; “Sweet Maria,” because as a reporter she seems sweet; and, finally, “La Gangagangaganga.”
Maria is a graduate of Cal State Northridge, where she studied English literature and journalism.
Please join us in welcoming her to the national staff.