We are extremely grateful for Julie’s leadership and work shaping California Today over the past four years. As we bid him farewell, we asked him to share something about the experience.
Do you remember the first California Today edit you did? What were the big stories in the state at that time?
The first edition was published on September 6, 2016, calling on readers to tell us about the issues they care about most and want us to cover. Wildfire, housing and ballot measures were all top of mind – issues that are extremely relevant today.
The idea was to listen and talk to readers more directly, and to use all the incredible expertise of our journalists in California to help keep them informed. We wanted to highlight local journalism across the state at a time when many outlets were under threat. My favorite early editions relied heavily on our readers, helping us report the horrific Oakland Ghost Ship Warehouse fire, sharing opinions about midterms, and giving us tips on how to hide such hideouts from a reader in Napa. Where to find lost gems:
“Everyone comes to Napa Valley for wine. Very little is known about Robert Louis Stevenson State Park. The hiking is wonderful and the first mile, in a beautiful shady forest, ends at a plaque commemorating the site of the cabin where Stevenson honeymooned in 1880 with his new wife, Franny.
– Kathy Fowler, Napas
What do you think has changed the most about the state since then?
Looking back, it’s incredible to see how much hasn’t changed. Many of our earlier versions were about wildfires. We spent a large part of the year focused on homelessness and how the conditions in the camps in Oakland are similar to those in the developing world. The division of wealth has been a consistent theme and seems to have only gotten stronger.
Over the past year, it has been remarkable to see how the people of California have come together to fight the pandemic and it is reassuring to see how well the state is doing now. But it also feels like many problems have only gotten worse. I know people who are considering moving because they don’t want to risk losing their home in another fire.
As my colleague Adam Nagorny put it, “California’s sense of exceptionalism—why would anyone live anywhere else—is not as strong as it once was.” And as Conor Dougherty points out, over the years there has been a very collective recognition that the current path is unsustainable and that we need a serious course correction, but as always there is little consensus on what exactly to do. .
You’re still helping guide California coverage in your new role, but is there anything you want to continue reading about, in particular, as a Californian?
Read Original Article at www.nytimes.com