As part of the rebuilding of the Los Angeles Times, Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine and Senior Vice President and General Manager Chris Argentieri made the following announcement.
To pay for investments in our journalism, the Los Angeles Times needs to become an audience-centered newsroom with many more digital subscribers than it now has. That means rapidly improving our digital products (website, mobile app, newsletters, e-newspaper), expanding the reach of our journalism (through search and social media), and using insights from data to guide — but not dictate — editorial decisions, from beat coverage to story selection.
We’ve searched far and wide for a newsroom data analyst, who will sit at the intersection of reader analytics and journalistic decision-making. On the strong recommendation of Alejandro Cantarero, VP/Data, and Sewell Chan, Deputy Managing Editor, we’re delighted to announce that Kim Janssen will join us in this role on March 11.
A native of London, Kim began his journalism career freelancing for Fleet Street gossip columns. He grew up fascinated by America: While a student at the University of East Anglia, where he focused on film and American studies, he spent a year as an exchange student at San Francisco State University.
Kim has spent the last 13 years in Chicago. He first worked at the suburban Daily Southtown. In 2009, he joined the Chicago Sun-Times as a general assignment reporter, and then covered federal courts before joining the metro desk as an editor. His 2012 obituary of a Mexican immigrant who was beaten to death by gang members was cited for its compassion and depth. In 2015, he joined the Chicago Tribune as a business reporter. He later wrote a daily metro gossip column before becoming the Tribune’s newsroom data analyst last year.
While reporting and editing, Kim studied part time at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He received his MBA, with a concentration in econometrics and statistics, in 2017.
“I believe that understanding audience data is key to building a sustainable business model, and that data analysis is most effective when editorial staff use it to hone — not replace — their news judgment,” Kim tells us. “That message is best delivered by someone who has a deep understanding of what journalists do and of who they are.”