Editing: Investigative projects, breaking news, features and a social media campaign

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Health Isn't Just a System, It's a Community

For this series at Zócalo Public Square, we focused on two California regions with severe health needs—the Inland Empire and the Central Valley—and surfaced the stories of people in those communities, giving voice to both the struggles and the unsung efforts underway to improve their health and well-being. 

Some of my favorites include the manager of an all-volunteer Muslim-run health clinic in San Bernardino describing how the center provides comprehensive free healthcare to an underserved Latino neighborhood, and a high school student in Apple Valley relaying how she restored a beloved but neglected hiking trail in honor of her father, who fled persecution in Ethiopia.

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As Reuters West Coast Editor in Charge, I coordinated coverage of an armed, six-week standoff at a popular bird sanctuary in rural Oregon. The coverage involved dozens of reporters, editors and photographers and yielded scores of stories. Some were straightforward accounts of the events of the the day while others, like this one, required a great deal of aggressive original reporting. Coverage of the standoff was highly competitive, with a mob of journalists scrambling for scoops. That the New York Times published this piece is a testament to the rigor and depth of the work of the Reuters team. 

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Building Trust - American Press Institute

The American Press Institute's Better News Initiative is designed to provide newsroom leaders with a range of resources to tackle vexing problems, including trust. For the section themed around journalism’s trust problem, I wrote the lead essay and curated the content, organizing it into three categories: the public trust, the trust between news organizations and the trust within each organization itself.

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Garage Parties in Hawaii Aren't Just Any Party

This piece, part of a collaboration with the Smithsonian exploring "what it means to be American," illustrates a simple social ritual tied to deep cultural traditions. The writer describes the communal nature of roasting a pig, a central part of the garage party experience: "The adults sat on folding chairs set up in the street and the garage, talking story while the pig turned. Meanwhile, the kids dipped rags into a plastic bucket filled with water and basted the spinning pig with a pole. The pig’s skin crisped and cracked, and the juices dripped on to the asphalt." 

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This project, the result of a year-long investigation by the NBC4 I-Team, featured an interactive web presentation examining multiple aspects of the toll on the community of years of mishandling dangerous radioactive materials and chemicals at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. Features include video, photos, interactive maps, pop-up explainers and a fully optimized mobile experience.

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Why We're Still Reckoning With Japanese-American Internment

This Zócalo Public Square series was prompted by concerns over a proposed "Muslim registry" and focused on the legacy and lingering costs of scapegoating an entire population. Pieces include a powerful first-person account from a woman who was incarcerated with her family at an internment "camp," an assessment of the lingering effects of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld internment, and details about a secret intelligence report that could have stopped the internments. 


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Real-Time LA Riots - NBC4

To mark the 20th anniversary of the LA Riots, the digital team at NBC4 Southern California created a dedicated Twitter feed that unspooled as it might have in 1992. Each of the 334 tweets, which included quotes and images from the events, was deeply reported and fact-checked in advance. This "real-time" historical approach, now widespread, was one of the first and was lauded by journalists and educators, and honored with a Shorty nomination.

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The subtitle for this series is “How Rescuers and Refugees Bear the Pain of Safety.” Our goal with this inquiry was to get beyond the deeply partisan debate over the existence of sanctuary cities to explore the human toll of displacement. One piece shows schoolchildren creating models of their personal sanctuaries, another—a first- person piece—recounts what happened when a church decided to break the law and provide safe haven, and yet another features an upstart sanctuary created in Rome that could serve as a model for others seeking to provide a safe place for refugees.

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CSU Fullerton Lockdown - NBC4

NBC4's digital team won its first ever national Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for this package of written stories, broadcast, web video, photo galleries, and extensive use of social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Storify. The work was recognized for "Online Reporting" in the category of "Deadline Reporting" for coverage of a campus lockdown at Cal State Fullerton.

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Was The Great American West a Lie?

This fun, provocative series was inspired by an exhibition of the works of Ed Ruscha at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. With the museum’s cooperation, Zócalo Public Square was able to publish a gorgeous array of Ruscha’s work as part of the inquiry, which also included a terrific essay by D.J. Waldie on Ruscha’s inimitable perspective on Los Angeles, a detailed piece on Western mythology and an original poem and photography collection we commissioned.