Robert J. Lopez
Journalist and higher education administrator with extensive experience operating under deadline conditions and directing a marketing and news operation at a state university in Los Angeles. Member of the university President’s Leadership Team and interfaces with reporters in the second-largest media market in the nation. Trained as an investigative journalist and was part of a team of Los Angeles Times reporters that won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. Produced in-depth investigative articles focusing on local, national and international topics including: terrorism, immigration, cross-border crime, political corruption, and social and demographic trends.
Manager who directs communications and marketing employees and oversees budgetary, hiring and contractual issues.
Investigative journalist with extensive experience on in-depth projects.
Taught journalism and digital media classes for university students, high school students and professional reporters in the United States, Latin America, Caribbean, and Middle East, and can teach reporting and storytelling classes across multiple platforms.
Fluent in speaking, reading and writing Spanish.
Proficient in using audio, video, text and still images to produce digital content.
Proficient with data analysis using spreadsheet and database programs.
Executive director for the Office of Communications and Public Affairs California State University, Los Angeles
September 2014 to present
Directs the Office of Communications and Public Affairs and the 15 employees who design web pages and produce a magazine, news articles, photos, videos, graphic designs, bookstore apparel and athletics uniforms. Oversees the production of visual and text content for key web pages, including the homepage, as well as news releases, internal and external campus publications and social media content on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Oversees hiring, procurement and budgetary issues for the office. Serves as the university media spokesman, providing interviews and planning news conferences. Works with the president and senior administrators on the President’s Leadership Team to develop policies and procedures and collaborates with government and private-sector partners on strategic initiatives.
Blogger/Editor for L.A. Now breaking-news blog and re-write reporter Los Angeles Times
August 2009 to August 2014
Produced deadline content, including text reports and original news videos, during the afternoon-nighttime shift and used social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to disseminate blog posts and interact with online audience. Viewership increased more than 100 percent during tenure. Performed re-write duties during major breaking-news events, editing feeds from reporters in the field and using that material to write articles for the homepage and next-day publication in the newspaper.
Investigative Reporter/Staff Writer Los Angeles Times
August 1992 to August 2014
Reporter on California/Metro investigation teams, 1996 to 2014; general assignment reporter on the Metro Desk, 1994 to1996; law enforcement and small business reporter for the City Times section, 1992 to1994. Part of a team that won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal in Public Service for exposing government corruption in the city of Bell. Wrote other government investigative pieces, resulting in the conviction of a powerful Los Angeles councilman and resignations of three city fire chiefs. Also helped report and write investigative pieces on crime and corruption along the U.S-Mexico border and how widespread deportations of convicted felons transformed a L.A-based street gang into a transnational criminal network.
Digital Journalism Instructor
U.S. Department of State
September 2009 to September 2011
Taught workshops and delivered presentations to college students, newspaper reporters and television journalists in Latin America, the Caribbean and Middle East as part of a distinguished speaker program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Topics included digital journalism, social media and investigative reporting.
USC Annenberg School for Communication
October 2008 to December 2008
Advised journalism graduate students on producing interactive content and developing web pages for their online master’s theses. Taught basics of shooting and editing video.
University of Hawaii
September 1999 to September 2004
Taught weeklong writing classes and investigative reporting workshops for journalism students and school newspaper staffs at the Manoa and Hilo campuses.
Adjunct Faculty Member
USC Annenberg School for Communication
September 1997 to June 2000
Taught news writing and investigative reporting for five semesters.
Le Monde Diplomatique
September 1992 to September 1993
Wrote articles on issues involving U.S. urban affairs for monthly French publication.
The Oakland Tribune
August 1989 to August 1992
Covered higher education, police and general assignment beats. Co-wrote a story after a devastating urban wildfire that led to a state law requiring rescue agencies to systematically coordinate resources during major disasters.
KQED, San Francisco
January 1991 to April 1992
“This Week in Northern California,” commentator for weekly TV news affair show on PBS station.
Journalism B.A. with highest honors | University of Hawaii, Manoa
Summer Program for Minority Journalists | University of Calif., Berkeley
Gold Medal for Meritorious Public Service | Pulitzer Prize
Part of a team of reporters who uncovered widespread corruption in the city of Bell, southeast of Los Angeles in 2011.
Breaking News | Pulitzer Prize
Wrote an article that was part of the package honored for coverage of the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
International Reporting | Overseas Press Club
Part of a team of Los Angeles Times journalists who wrote and reported articles on the rise of Islamic terrorist groups.
Best Feature Writing | National Association of Hispanic Journalists
Wrote fourth part of a 2004 four-part series on Latino immigrants who died in the first days of the Iraq War.
- Analyzing data with Microsoft Excel and Access spreadsheets and databases.
Editing multimedia with Photoshop and Final Cut
Shooting video using DVD and HD camcorders.
Multimedia Workshop | Knight Digital Media Center, UC-Berkeley
IRE National Conference | Investigative Reporters and Editors
CAR Bootcamp | Missouri School of Journalism
Panelist, “Mind Matters: a University-Wide Initiative to Improve Mental Health at Cal State LA,” Coalition for Urban Municipal Universities, annual conference, Oct. 23, 2018.
Keynote Speaker, “Broken Borders: Covering Crime and Corruption on the U.S.-Mexico Line,” University of Hawaii Hilo, sponsored by the UH Board of Student Publications, Sept. 8, 2006.
Keynote Speaker, “Investigating International Gangs in the U.S. and Central America,” University of Hawaii Hilo, sponsored by Hawaii Community College and UH Board of Student Publications, Sept. 2, 2005.
Panelist, “Local Investigations,” Regional Better Watchdog Workshop, Cal-State Fullerton, sponsored by Investigative Reporters and Editors and Orange County Press Club, Feb. 7, 2004.
Panelist, “Following the Local Paper Trail,” Better Watchdog Workshop, University of Hawaii, sponsored by Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists, Hawaii Chapter, Nov. 8, 2003.
Panelist, “Doing the Local Investigation,” Investigative Reporting Workshop, National Association of Hispanic Journalists Convention, New York, sponsored by NAHJ and Investigative Reporters and Editors, June 25, 2003.
In Conversation with author/actor Cheech Marin, Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, UCLA, April 27, 2003.
Keynote Speaker, “Mobility and Diversity in the Media: From Ka Leo to Los Angeles Times I-Team,” University of Hawaii Manoa, sponsored by UH School of Communications, Sept. 17, 2002.