As told to Catherine Warmerdam:
I have been in the news business since I started on my dad’s weekly in Bay St. Louis, Miss., folding papers by hand at the age of 8. I fell in love with journalism then and have loved it ever since. That’s why, even at my age , I leaped at this chance.
Our goal is to do long-form explanatory stories: deeply reported narratives on policies and issues in California, many of which are essentially unknown and yet have major consequences for millions of people. We hope to provide more knowledge and more transparency around these issues so that citizens can get engaged.
In California, there are enormous issues; we’re never going to run out of them. We know about water because everybody is reporting about that. But if you look at climate change, immigration, prison realignment, benefits and pensions—our idea is to devote the time and resources to really dig deep into these issues and to report them on all platforms and try to reach as many people as possible.
We’re not a daily operation. We’re going to have a small staff, but our hope is that we can eloquently explain what happens here in the capital. I believe [the database we are building] will be the finest and most complete in the state, tracking legislators, bills, lobbyists, clients, money, results, etc. We will be hiring a columnist who will write off the data.
We’ve got a lot of unfettered, unedited information out there that tries to divide people. I hope people will know they can trust and have faith that what we do will be good, accurate, fair, balanced journalism, because that still counts.