Nicolle Reilly ‘24, assistant editor of the Flintridge Press and FLINT coordinator, wanted to plan an event where reporters could share how they act as leaders in the profession. “I knew that for my senior year, I wanted to combine my love for journalism with leadership,” shares Nicolle. “This led me to reach out to some of my favorite writers at the Los Angeles Times whose work has been so moving and thought-provoking. Their works helped fuel my love for writing, and I hoped they would also inspire other eager writers within the Prep community.” The result was last Thursday’s panel discussion Los Angeles Times journalists Alene Tchekmedyian, Jack Leonard, Matt Hamilton, Robert Greene, and Iliana Limon Romero.
The discussion covered a range of topics, including how they found their way to journalism, the challenges posed by social media and AI, and their favorite or most impactful stories. The conversation demonstrated that laws, governance, policing practices, and public wellbeing can be directly impacted by press scrutiny.
Alene Tchekmedyian’s work has focused on accountability in the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department; she and her colleagues exposed a cover-up of misconduct by deputies related to the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash that led to litigation making it illegal to take and share crime and accident scene photos. Jack Leonard was part of a team that exposed fraud and abuse in California’s conservatorship system. Iliana Limon Romero talked about the importance of being the first Latinx and female managing editor for sports, acting as a mentor so that she is not the last.
Robert Greene discussed the distinction between fair, accurate, and unbiased reporting and the responsibility of an editorial board to represent factually based opinions in a single voice that reflects the board’s collective perspective about a range of issues.
The journalists also described the importance of curiosity and grit. Successful journalists leave no question unasked. They acknowledged the challenges of being in journalism are greater than ever and encouraged students to pursue their passion for investigating and storytelling.