Jim Newton

Columnist

Jim Newton is editor at large of the Los Angeles Times and writes a weekly column for the Op-Ed page on the policy and politics of Southern California. 

Newton came to the Los Angeles Times in 1989, having previously worked as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and as a clerk at the New York Times, where he served as columnist James Reston's assistant from 1985-86. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the recipient of numerous local and national awards. He was part of the Los Angeles Times' coverage of the Los Angeles riots in 1992 and the earthquake of 1994, both of which were awarded Pulitzer Prizes to the staff. 

Newton also is the author of two critically acclaimed, best-selling biographies, "Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made," and "Eisenhower: The White House Years."

Recent Articles

  • A journalist's recipe for fixing L.A.
    A journalist's recipe for fixing L.A.

    Efforts to improve local government and the services it provides have come and gone over the 22 years I have covered Los Angeles for this newspaper. Some have been successful: The Christopher Commission reset the accountability systems at the LAPD, and two charter reform commissions joined...

  • Drones and the LAPD
    Drones and the LAPD

    A narrow debate over the LAPD's proposed, limited use of a pair of unmanned aircraft — popularly known as drones — is prompting a broader community conversation about the tension between technology and privacy in a city where police have not always traversed that boundary well.

  • Thanks to the election, big opportunities arise for L.A.
    Thanks to the election, big opportunities arise for L.A.

    In the aftermath of last week's elections, most commentary naturally focused on the changing balance in the U.S. Senate. But the effect of that shift on the lives of most people is likely to be negligible: A body where a minority of Republicans could thwart progress now becomes a body where a...

  • Gridlock in Congress? Act locally
    Gridlock in Congress? Act locally

    The voters casting ballots in Tuesday's election will disagree on many things. But on one thing, at least, Americans are in agreement: They're frustrated with gridlock.

  • A mighty big spender illustrates campaign finance problems
    A mighty big spender illustrates campaign finance problems

    Anyone who closely follows American politics runs the risk of becoming inured to the role that money plays in the process. Even before the Supreme Court's infamous —and somewhat misunderstood — ruling in Citizens United, the amount of money in elections was soaring, breaking records...

  • No winners in this MTA train wreck
    No winners in this MTA train wreck

    It's hard to find winners in the meltdown that occurred last week at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. A Japanese rail car manufacturing company trying to build a plant in Palmdale announced it was tired of fighting a union-supported environmental challenge and instead would build...

  • Can the California GOP craft a winning campaign strategy?
    Can the California GOP craft a winning campaign strategy?

    As California's Republican Party contemplates its way out of the political wilderness, most of the public debate has focused on questions of ideology: Can social conservatives stomach moderation on issues such as abortion or gay marriage in exchange for election victories?

  • Mayor Garcetti's 'back to basics' approach is working
    Mayor Garcetti's 'back to basics' approach is working

    There was a little snickering when Mayor Eric Garcetti framed his ambition as getting Los Angeles government “back to basics.” It seemed to some — including me — that this approach, while important, also allowed him to duck larger challenges of leadership in favor of...

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