FBLA EXCLUSIVE: Jill Stewart on Juicy Stories, Lazy Media


Jill Stewart hasn’t even moved in over at the LA Weekly, and opinions are flying. She sent out her own letter, and gave FBLA some other thoughts, as well:

I’m very much looking forward to the job. I’m a big believer in writers, which is one of the reasons I spent six years on the LA Press Club Board of Directors. The news staff at the Weekly is bursting with talent, and editor Laurie Ochoa has launched a lot of improvements in recent years.

I’ve gotten dozens of congrats today, and one included the comment
that my coverage for New Times of the “dance of the lemons” in LAUSD “remains a classic.” That’s a very nice compliment. But!! Those stories–about how LAUSD quietly and wrongly shifts awful principals and teachers (drunks, incompetents, desk-sleepers) from one unsuspecting community to another, which I wrote back in the late 1990’s – are only now seeping into the mainstream media. Who is the LA media protecting with its frequent silence on juicy local stories? Or are we just lazy? I dunno.

I don’t want to underplay my willingness to wade into hot issues,
and I in no way want to diminish my love for “creating havoc with bureaucrats everywhere,” as one congratulatory email to me read this a.m. But it says something troubling about the state of media in LA that I, a self-employed writer, get so many powerful people so riled up. If this were New York, I would be one of dozens of hard-nosed journalists with attitude at the half-dozen hard-hitting newspapers in that town. –Jill

Stewart always reminds FBLA of those tough dames in film noir. Can she keep on “riling” up the big-wigs while managing a staff of ambitious reporters–some of whom might not welcome a new boss-lady? FBLA loves a good newspaper drama.