Former Neon Tommy Editor Lands at LA Business Journal

Just before the holidays, Ryan Faughnder wrangled his third job since graduating from USC Annenberg in the spring of 2012. Following paid internships at the LA Times and Bloomberg News, he joined the Los Angeles Business Journal December 17 as a staff reporter.

“I’ll be covering manufacturing, transportation and trade,” Faughnder tells FishbowlLA. “Meaning I’ll be dealing with the ports on a very regular basis. I’m helping out by contributing other types of stories too, like this one on a struggling local flash-sales website.”

Faughnder (pictured) heard about the Business Journal job from a friend and former classmate who works there. He thinks the fact that he’d been focused at LAT and Bloomberg on business journalism was definitely a major plus, as was his genuine interest in the beat.

He cites as mentors while at USC Gabriel Kahn, for helping develop and fine-tune his business-reporting chops, and Alan Mittelstaedt, a faculty advisor for Neon Tommy. When asked which Neon Tommy stories still resonate with him most from his days as executive editor, Faughnder points to a pair of contrasting pieces.

“The first was my contribution to our analysis of the California budget crisis,” he says. “I reported on mental health issues related to funding, shelters and philosophies about how we care for people with mental illnesses. I led this project in which we dissected the Jerry Brown budget that year.”

“The other was a feature I did on poet Kamau Daaood, with the news peg being an exhibition highlighting LA’s African American art,” Faughnder continues. “It was a little offbeat compared with what I usually write about, but it intersects a lot of my interests, such as writing, art and music. That one got nominated for an LA Press Club Award.”

Congrats to Faughnder and a tip of the hat as well to his USC Annenberg guiding hands. Kahn worked for the Wall Street Journal for many years, including a stint as LA bureau chief, while Mittelstaedt came over to the school from the alt-weekly and regional newspaper side.