LA Times reporter stresses patience, dedication

Los Angeles Times reporter Kurt Streeter stressed the importance of patience and sensitivity in cultivating the trust of sources when he spoke to journalism students Nov. 13.
“Part of [being a journalist] is you are sort of like a social worker or a therapist,” Streeter said. You are really privy to people’s secrets.”
Every story should include complexity, conflict and a uniqueness or strangeness that makes the story intriguing, Streeter said.
Streeter referred to a profile he wrote in 2013 that allowed readers to experience the stress of being a low-income student at UC Berkeley.
The profile followed Kashawn Campbell, a straight A student in South Los Angeles who struggled during his freshman year at UC Berkeley.
“I was [thinking], ‘oh, I’ll just check in with him every few weeks,’ and pretty soon I’m calling him every other day,” Streeter said. “That’s how you come upon these kinds of stories.”
Streeter is a news feature writer at the Los Angeles Times but has written on a wide range of topics including sports and religion.
However, Streeter believes his forte is talking to people and finding dynamic characters to feature in long-form narrative stories.
“I thought it was really interesting and inspiring to hear his stories,” Sammi Handler ’17 said.
Streeter tries to find environments in which readers would never find themselves, and tries to transport readers there.
“It’s one of my goals to take readers to a place they’ve never been,” Streeter said.

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