‘Hear Me Out’ Video Series Expands on Letters to the Editor
At the end of September, L.A. Times Studios launched “Hear Me Out,” a new video series that spotlights recent letters to the editor and lets the writers tell their stories in greater depth, in collaboration with the Opinion section.
“We wanted to create a series that expands on the personal experiences shared by our letter writers,” said Karen Foshay, senior producer at L.A. Times Studios.
In an introduction to the series, Letters Editor Paul Thornton writes, “In ‘Hear Me Out,’ letter writers talk about their views and the personal experiences that shape their opinions.”
The first video featured Jura Adams, a psychiatrist who wrote to The Times hoping to get help for a homeless man who assaulted her pastor.
One of the biggest challenges of the project, according to Thornton, is finding a letter that tells a personal story compelling enough to feature in a video. “Plenty of readers submit to us thoughtful, engaging opinions,” he said. “What makes a letter special enough for this project is when a writer relates a personal tale that expands on our journalism – for example, the spouse of someone who took advantage of California’s aid-in-dying law, or a Southern California resident bearing the health consequences of living near a major polluter.” Both were the subjects of recent videos from letter writers.
In the future, viewers can expect video letters on a variety of newsworthy subjects, including climate change and the environment. “Those seem to be topics that a lot of readers have stories about,” Thornton said.
To watch the videos featured in the “Hear Me Out” series, visit latimes.com/letters.