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Reporters Kenan Draughorne and Steven Vargas join The Times’ culture team

The head shots of two people.
Kenan Draughorne, left, will cover music, focusing on hip-hop and R&B, local emerging talent and the city’s cultural scene. An arts reporter, Steven Vargas will be working on a forthcoming newsletter, social-first content and dispatches from across L.A. that will help guide local readers to the best shows, exhibitions, pop-ups, festivals and other events.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

The following announcement was sent on behalf of the Entertainment and Arts Department’s Deputy Managing Editor Julia Turner and Assistant Managing Editor Craig Nakano:

We’re pleased to announce that two reporters have joined the culture team.

Kenan Draughorne has transferred from the Fast Break Desk to the music team, where he’ll cover the music landscape with a particular focus on hip-hop and R&B; he’ll also keep an eye on emerging talent in Los Angeles and find ways to cover L.A.’s cultural scene. Draughorne is an idea machine with a wide range of interests, and he’s done wonderful features on musicians hyperlocal and far-flung. He was also recently the lead writer on “Behold,” The Times’ marvelous multimedia portrait of Black culture in Los Angeles.

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Before joining The Times in 2021 as an L.A. Times fellow, Draughorne had written for DJBooth, HipHopDX and Ones to Watch, and was a local editor at Patch. He grew up in San Diego before moving to L.A. in 2015 to study journalism at USC.

Steven Vargas has been hired as arts reporter for the culture team. Vargas, an intern with the arts desk this summer, quickly impressed his editors here with his smart ideas, versatility and work ethic. His focus in the new role will be a forthcoming newsletter, social-first content and dispatches from across L.A. — all of which will guide our local readers to the best shows, exhibitions, pop-ups, festivals and other events in Southern California.

Before joining The Times, Vargas had stints at E! News, USA Today and Entertainment Tonight/CBS Interactive. He majored in theater and journalism and minored in dance at USC, studied and practiced Shakespeare as part of a summer Fulbright program, and earned his master’s in USC’s arts journalism program. At USC Annenberg, he also co-founded and developed a Poynter-funded project: the Equity Board, which aimed to ensure respectful reporting of diverse communities.


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