The New York Times yesterday rolled out a freshened cast of occasional contributors to the paper's opinion pages. On the list of 20 is a familiar LA byline: Hector Tobar, the novelist and author who left the Los Angeles Times staff last year to teach in Oregon.
"In effect, I'll be a monthly columnist," Tobar says on Facebook. "My areas of interest: The West, immigration, Latin America. Please feel free to pass on any ideas via email or Facebook messages. In all, they've brought in 20 new voices, including 5 who are, like me, novelists."
A note of controversy about the list: Gawker says that science blogger Razib Khan, one of the designated 20, has a "history with racist, far-right online publications" and treats the notion of blacks' intellectual inferiority as "as an open question worth exploring in the name of scientific inquiry."
- Michael Oreskes, the former New York Times editor and reporter, was named to run the news division of NPR. His title will be senior vice president for news and editorial director. He has been the vice president and senior managing editor at Associated Press.
- Fox 11 morning anchor Julie Chang returned to "Good Day LA" yesterday after maternity leave, which followed treatment for a brain tumor. She's been keeping her fans apprised on her website. Remember, Chang wrote about how taking up surfing and getting plunked on the head, which sent her to the doctor, led to the tumor's discovery: "California saved my life."
- KPCC named John Ismay the station's first veterans and military issues reporter. He is a former Navy lieutenant commander who has been writing freelance for the New York Times and its At War blog
- Author Mark Arax hasn't yet seen the Disney film about the McFarland high school runners, but he returns to the town and his story that first told the world about the boys.
- Marla Cone, newly installed as a senior editor at National Geographic, says the magazine is looking for a science writer for the website. "This person should be a generalist, but he/she should have some interest in archeology and anthropology."
- C-SPAN's BookTV announced which panels it will televise from the LA Times Festival of Books on April 19-20. Here's the festival lineup.
- KPCC is asking readers to send in their thought on the biggest change in Los Angeles during the 30 years that Larry Mantle has been on the air with "Airtalk."
* And a couple of late updates. Sorry:
- Alexis Hauk joins Zocalo Public Square as assistant editor. She was breaking news editor at Time.com.
- Variety senior editor Marc Graser is leaving to be editorial director of Marriott International's Creative and Content Studio, based in Bethesda, Maryland.
Media tweet of the day from Arianna Huffington, maven of the Huffington Post: