The day after President Donald Trump's 2018 State of the Union address, I appeared on KCRW public radio with Jonathan Blitzer of the New Yorker magazine to talk about the MS-13 street gang. During his Jan. 30 address, Trump mentioned MS-13 four times, talking about a heinous slaying of two teenage girls by gang members on Long Island and claiming that the group has taken advantage of loopholes in the immigration system.

(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.

I learned about the challenges facing journalists and bloggers in Palestine during a teaching trip to the West Bank. I had been invited to Ramallah to talk about the latest trends in social media and citizen reporting at a conference called Pal Connect.

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.

I was part of a team of Los Angeles Times reporters and editors that was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service for a series of stories exposing alleged government corruption in the City of Bell. PHOTO: 2011 Pulitzer Prize Winners Our articles detailed how top officials in Bell, one of the poorest cities in Los Angeles County, enriched themselves with extraordinary salaries and benefits while illegally raising taxes on residents and resorting to other legally questionable schemes to raise revenue.