blogging Portfolio

The Story Behind Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month
(Photo: Arizona State University)

Every year on Sept. 15, government institutions and community-based organizations across the Unites States commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month. The month-long observation is a time to acknowledge the many contributions that Latinos have made to the political, cultural and social fabric of our country.

While many people are aware of Hispanic Heritage Month, relatively few know the backstory of how it was established.

I know firsthand, because I helped get Hispanic Heritage Month enacted.

Read more

Leaving the L.A. Times


(Video: Rich Marosi/Robert J. Lopez)

I spent 22 years at the Los Angeles Times, where I worked on investigative and multimedia projects across the United States and in Mexico and Central America. I had a wonderful career and was part of a team of reporters that won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for exposing government corruption in Bell, a small city southeast of Los Angeles.

But I was offered a great job and realized that it was time to take on a new and exciting challenge.

Read more

Social Media And a Manhunt For a Suspected Cop Killer

Police roadblock during manhunt. Photo: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

Roadblock during manhunt. Photo: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

I was headed to the newsroom when the story broke: Fugitive former police officer Christopher Dorner had been in a shootout with law enforcement officers in the snow-covered mountains northeast of Los Angeles.

INTERVIEW: I talk to Poynter Institute about Twitter and Dorner manhunt

The ex-LAPD officer had been accused of killing three people, including a police officer. A second law enforcement officer would be mortally wounded in a raging gun battle that would soon erupt after Dorner fled the shootout and barricaded himself inside a mountainside cabin.

It was a huge story that illustrated how social media has revolutionized the way we gather and share information.

Read more

Occupy L.A. Protesters Arrested, Camp Razed


iPhone video footage I shot during the final hours of Occupy L.A.

The night began with Occupy L.A. protesters singing, dancing and chanting. But the festive mood changed as the LAPD swooped down on the City Hall encampment.

In the end, nearly 300 people were arrested and the grassy park was cleared. I was one of a number of Los Angeles Times reporters who witnessed the events unfold as we blogged, Tweeted and shot photos and video footage at the scene. During the course of the night, I produced three videos that were published on L.A. Now, the L.A. Times breaking-news site. My colleagues and I stayed on the streets until police quashed the protest in the early morning hours on Nov. 30.