Catching Up With a Very Special L.A. Times Intern

Nika Soon-Shiong is headed back to the African continent.

As L.A. Weekly writer Hillel Aron makes mention of in his tronc deep-dive “Desperate Times, Desperate Measures,” the daughter of Patrick Soon-Shiong was for two summers an intern at the Los Angeles Times. A fact that has gained new prominence now that her father, routinely ranked as one of L.A.’s two richest individuals (alongside Elon Musk), owns a large stake in parent company tronc.

This bit of history begs the question – what has daughter Nika been up to since her stints at the paper’s science desk in 2012 and 2013, during which time she wrote nearly three dozen articles? The answer is massively impressive.

She has completed two degrees at Stanford (a B.A. in International Relations with a minor in Creative Writing; an M.A. in African Studies); shepherded an ambitious photography project across two different African countries; and is set to spend this coming school year as an international Princeton Fellow. From a recent Stanford University African Studies newsletter:

Nika conducted a photovoice project among unemployed youth at Etafeni, a community resource center for people affected by HIV/AIDS. The project culminated in a gallery exhibition at the Cape Town Public Library titled “Ilizwi Lam” (Xhosa for “My Voice”), which highlighted both sources of inspiration and barriers to employment in the township community of Nyanga.

That was in the summer of 2014. The following summer, Soon-Shiong continued this great project at the Baylor Pediatric Aids Initiative in Gabarone, Botswana. As a Princeton Fellow, she will be working with yet another local concern while receiving additional support from the Cameron Schrier Foundation.

We’re not sure if dad’s technology patents will help tronc chairman Michael Ferro conquer the 21st century journalism world. But it does appear pretty certain that Soon-Shiong’s daughter Nika will conquer whichever world(s) she chooses to focus on following her time as a Princeton fellow.