The State of Community Journalism in Los Angeles

Yesterday, Spot.us and La Opinion convened a roundtable discussion at La Opinion‘s Downtown offices between journalists, community leaders, police and government officials to discuss the state of our communities in Los Angeles and how the media can do a better job covering local issues. This Fishie attended the event on behalf of Spot.us and found it especially instructive to hear the people journalists typically use as sources tell us what they think LA journos need to start doing to improve their local coverage.

Frank Kwan, the L.A. County Office of Education’s director of communications, said he wanted to see more journalists “stay with a story. Don’t just publish a quick pop. Keep talking to us and follow up three months or so down the road.” Kwan is a former education beat reporter, so he knows what he’s talking about. He said despite covering education for years, he really “didn’t know anything about it” until he actually got into the education field. And that is why staying in touch with experts is so important–because when news breaks, the reporter will be up to date with the expert consensus in the field, rather than having to play catch-up or botch the facts.

You can read a more in-depth writeup of the summit, along with analysis, on KCET‘s SoCal Focus blog.