Sara Catania is editorial director of Zócalo Public Square
, a non-profit that blends live events and humanities journalism in partnership with educational, cultural, and philanthropic institutions. Zócalo publishes original daily journalism syndicated to hundreds of media outlets worldwide.
She serves on the program committee for the JSK Journalism Fellowship at Stanford
, where she was a fellow in 2003-04. In February of 2017 she will serve as a mentor for the ONA Women's Leadership Accelerator at USC—previously she served on the faculty at the first ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media.
She had such a great time that she also taught an online leadership course for Poynter and wrote Five Reasons Why Women are (Still) Underrepresented in Newsrooms.
Prior to Zócalo, Sara was West Coast Editor in Charge at Reuters, where she was responsible for general news coverage from the Rockies to the Pacific. Before that she was vice president of digital news at NBC4 Southern California
. Under her leadership at NBC4 the station won its first-ever national Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, for coverage of breaking news, won the first Murrow Regional Award for NBCLA.com for a series on physical therapists and legal violations, and hosted the first digital fellowship in partnership with Asian American Journalists Assn, which resulted in the hiring of the fellow as an on-camera multi-media journalist. She was the digital point person for the NBC4 I-Team, which won an IRE Award for exposing dangerous bus companies. Previously she was the editorial director of digital news for the station.
Sara is the recipient of a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship from Stanford University and an active member of the Online News Association–for the 2016 annual conference she served on the program committee, as well as mentoring at the ProPublica Diversity Breakfast. In the past she has led sessions that focus on blended newsrooms and wrestle with questions about the present and future state of journalism.
Before NBC Sara was a regional editor at AOL's hyperlocal Patch.com, where she spearheaded the Southern California operation, launching the first sites in the state and guiding the establishment of the brand in the region.
Sara's journalism experience is rooted in newspapers and magazines, both mainstream and alternative. She has worked as a Mother Jones contributor, as a staff writer specializing in long-form storytelling for the LA Weekly and as a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, where she contributed to the Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Northridge Earthquake.
She was a contributing editor for the Los Angeles Times op-ed page and served for six years as an adjunct journalism professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.
She holds a bachelors degree in philosophy from St. John's College and a masters in journalism from UC Berkeley.
An avowed non-athlete, Sara ran the LA Marathon and lived to blog
She is at work on White Girl in Bronzeville, a reported memoir/urban history about growing up on the South Side of Chicago in the midst of one of the most ambitious urban renewal projects of the 20th Century, for which she was awarded a residencies at the Mesa Refuge and the Carey Institute for Global Good and a research grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two children, an Australian Shepherd and a bunny named Bunny.