*Note: Originally published on March 24, 2014. Updated on March 21, 2015.
One of my top priorities when joining the Opinion Pages at the Los Angeles Times in October 2010 was to develop the Opinion L.A. blog’s editorial strategy and increase its readership. Blog traffic has since grown about 690%.
In addition to focusing the blog on lively commentary about the day’s biggest news stories, the blog transformed into a space for conversation and debate with readers. I integrated recurring features and launched a guest blogger series, which I edited. I also coordinated live event coverage, specifically around elections, produced web videos and wrote blog posts on social, political and cultural issues. You can find a selection of posts below.
Beyond the blog, I oversaw and coordinated the multimedia and web components of projects including The 21st Century Citizen, which explored the meaning of U.S. citizenship in today’s world, and Roadshare, which looked at whether L.A.’s drivers and cyclists will ever be able to share the city’s streets. Both projects were ongoing series over several months and included editorials, op-eds, blog posts, videos, graphics, original art, reader participation and social media strategies.
I also produced, or co-produced, videos including an interview series about “the meaning of citizenship”; two formal sit-down interviews with the 2013 mayoral candidates that incorporated “man-on-the-street”-style voter questions filmed in advance; a live video discussion about secular parenting; and an exit interview with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Additionally, I built easy-to-navigate landing pages that showcased the most recent commentary as well as curated content. And I created a hub for The Times editorial board’s endorsements, which gave readers a one-stop shop for election recommendations as well as a look at how the board worked and arrived at its decisions. When there’s an upcoming election, you can find that page at latimes.com/endorsements.
Of course, readers are most likely to visit the Opinion Pages online via an individual article or blog post, so just as much attention was paid to the article level. That included writing clickable headlines, using SEO, building attractive and sticky articles, and encouraging reader conversation.
That also meant paying a lot of attention to social media. In addition to maintaining social media accounts for the Opinion section, and nurturing a community that grew 560%, web headlines were written so that they’d resonate on the “social web” and the Opinion section’s staffers were encouraged to circulate their articles and engage with readers.
Behind the scenes: I attended editorial board meetings; I worked with writers on the blog, assisting them with best practices; I created manuals for operating The Times’ content management system, photo database, and other web tools; I reported technical issues; and I stayed up-to-date on web development and digital trends transforming the media landscape.
I worked in the Opinion section until March 2015. To learn more about my work there, please visit my resume.
Selection of posts from the Opinion L.A. blog:
Posts I wrote:
- The pink ribbon’s ugly new image
- The ‘feminist housewife’ vs. Beyonce
- On race, President Obama can unite us
- 3 ‘rules’ the Obama campaign broke to win
- Why are people being mean to Gabby Douglas?
- Pandora: Don’t hate the game, hate the players
- Should canned foods come with a warning label?
- Is there room for Hipstamatic in photojournalism?
- Tiger Mom: Behind our obsessive Amy Chua disorder
- Jennifer Lawrence and Hollywood’s self-loathing game
- Is it appropriate to rejoice at Osama bin Laden’s death?
- On Russia’s anti-gay laws, Elton John to the rescue? He’ll try.
- What it’s like to get raped in prison, and how we can prevent it
- On how smartphones are killing compassion, Louis C.K. nails it
- Hillary Clinton’s wardrobe, Paul Ryan’s suits: Do clothes matter?
- The ‘Breaking Bad’ example for why illegal downloading must stop
- Boycotting Barilla pasta for anti-gay remarks? A couple of suggestions
- The sharing economy isn’t ‘collaborative consumption,’ it’s ‘disaster capitalism’
Posts I edited:
- Dear Internet: Lorde is dating an Asian guy — get over it by Nico Lang
- Lena Dunham, keep your clothes off: Why the nudity on ‘Girls’ is a revolutionary act by Nico Lang
- The political calculation behind Hillary Clinton’s poor-mouthing by Charlotte Allen
- Why the feminist commentariat was wrong about the L’Wren Scott headlines by Charlotte Allen
- Climbing Everest shouldn’t just be an item on someone’s bucket list by Chris Feliciano Arnold
- Obamacare: Unfair to the young middle class, punished enough already by Matthew Fleischer
- How curbing climate change can prevent Russia from becoming a superpower by Matthew Fleischer
- Finally, a romantic comedy about abortion by Susan Rohwer
- Will the pro-vaccine celebs please speak up? by Susan Rohwer
- I failed to land a girlfriend with the Tinder dating app, but there’s a silver lining by Joel Silberman
- Have we become numb to mass shootings? by Joel Silberman
- Is downtown L.A.’s Figueroa Corridor the next Silicon Valley? by François Bar and John Seely Brown