Julie Westfall to lead L.A. Times' new online desk

Julie Westfall to lead L.A. Times' new online desk
The "RealTime news desk" will focus on coverage for (Los Angeles Times)

The Times has hired an editor to lead a newly created desk that will focus on online news coverage.

Julie Westfall will be the first editor of the "RealTime news desk."


Deputy Managing Editor Megan Garvey announced the hire in this memo to the newsroom:

"I'm delighted to announce that Julie Westfall, who has been a leader in breaking news across digital platforms, is joining The Times as the first RealTime news desk editor.

"She comes to us with a great track record of building digital teams that work well with traditional newsrooms. Julie was the breaking news editor for Digital First Media, where she headed a team focused on covering news as it happened and finding creative ways to present that coverage. She helped KPCC shift priorities toward publishing online beginning in 2011. She also was part of the team that launched, a local news startup covering the Washington metro area, where she ran daily breaking news coverage.

"Before moving into digital journalism full-time, Julie was the managing editor of the Voice of the Hill in Washington, D.C., where she directed print and web redesigns.

"Julie grew up in Sarasota, Fla., and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years in Mali. She says she is looking forward to taking long walks back in L.A. And luckily we have Charles Fleming to help her with that. Julie starts next month and will report to me."

Garvey also announced the addition of Ryan Parker, who is joining the RealTime news desk from the Denver Post.

The announcement:

"Ryan was a member of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize breaking news team that covered the Aurora theater shooting and was among the first reporters on the scene. He has been a leader in the use of social media as a way to report stories in real time.

"He's also shown a knack for using social media as a tip sheet for his own original reporting, particularly on breaking news. As he explains: "I find my strength in gathering news is wanting to know what is going on and wanting to report it is as soon as possible – accurately, of course. I have no time to waste when it comes to breaking news and getting a story, and I attack each day as such."

"A native of Colorado, he began his career at Denver metro-area weeklies when he was still a student. Ryan has a bachelor's degree in journalism and history from the Metropolitan State University of Denver.

"He starts this month and will report to RealTime editor Julie Westfall."