Hollywood's Spotlight team.
In the recent history of the Los Angeles Times, the newsroom pendulum has swung between having dedicated investigative reporting teams and not having teams, preferring instead to pursue stories and major projects across desks and with the best available resources. As of Tuesday's memo from LAT editor Davan Maharaj, the pendulum swings back to an I-team, at least within Metro. "We are looking for energetic journalists with proven records of digging deep into matters of public interest," Maharaj says in a note inviting anyone in the newsroom to apply.
Hard not to see this in the context of all the attention being paid to the Boston Globe's Spotlight team, the subject of the pretty great newspaper movie out now, "Spotlight," which has a main character based on a former LA Times senior editor, Marty Baron. The new LA Times Metro team will have some differences from Boston's Pulitzer-winning Spotlight team, including that the editor in charge here will have other duties. And no catchy name is mentioned in today's memo from Maharaj.
To: The Staff
From: Davan Maharaj, Editor
We will soon re-establish a team of reporters in Metro focusing on accountability journalism.
Watchdog reporting is at the center of our mission, and Metro has produced some superb examples lately – exposing waste in the management of the L.A. County Fair, the L.A. Fire Department’s failure to inspect thousands of high-occupancy buildings, the same Fire Department’s stark lack of diversity, and the mayor of Carson’s curious decision to live outside the city he governs.
We want to bring our readers even more first-rate local investigative journalism in 2016 and beyond.
To that end, we are looking for energetic journalists with proven records of digging deep into matters of public interest. We have some candidates in mind, but we are also open to suggestions and to applicants.
We are keenly aware that many of the best ideas for investigative stories come from beat reporters. We want those stories. We will give beat reporters time to develop them – and we will give them help from the investigative team when that makes sense. The Data Desk will be a full partner in this mission.
Anyone interested should contact City Editor Matt Lait, who will oversee the Metro team.