New Chronicle and Big Red adviser Jim Burns has joined the Communications department this school year, replacing Melissa Wantz.
Initially intending to pursue broadcast journalism, Burns attended the University of Southern California and received his Masters of Arts for Broadcast Journalism with a focus on ethnographic film. He gradually switched into print journalism, working in positions such as senior syndicate editor at the Los Angeles Times.
For the past five years, Burns has worked as the adviser for Occidental College’s The Occidental Weekly and now looks forward to the shift from his previous work to advising high school students.
“Younger students are certainly more flexible than a lot of reporters,” Burns said. “Reporters can be set in their ways. They don’t want to change. I know the Chronicle staff is eager to try new things, so I can’t wait to be a part of that.”
Former Editor-in-Chief of The Occidental Weekly and new Chronicle layout assistant Juliet Suess believes that Burns’ experience and personality will allow him to be a good fit for the school.
“Mr. Burns is so friendly and outgoing, and he’s willing to put in the work no matter where he’s at,” Suess said. “I really think his experience and background will give Harvard-Westlake students an inside on how to run their paper in a way that will prepare them for the future.”
Burns hopes to accomplish his goals for staff relations and groundwork for this year.