Activist Sues LA County for Excessive Police Force

(LOS ANGELES) — When activist and veteran Christina Astorga attended the Sept. 8 “Justice for Dijon Kizzee” protest, she did not anticipate getting shot at with rubber bullets and being handcuffed and arrested — or having her phone taken from her. On Oct. 26 Astorga sued Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), and Sheriff Alex Villanueva for injunctive relief, deprivation of property, and unreasonable seizures under the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

Choosing Process over Policy: The Unavoidability of Horserace Journalism

Photo edited by Lilian Manansala. Race track photo by Suwatwongkham [iStock Getty Images] and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion during 2020 general elections [Lilian Manansala] During the 2016 presidential campaigns, the news stations of television’s biggest networks — ABC, NBC, and CBS — spent a total of 32 minutes on policy issues. The rest of the coverage? Devoted to horserace journalism, a type of reporting that focuses on the game strategy of campaigns and elections. Some scholars, citizens, and

A Sea That Never Was and the Community That's Paying for It

(SALTON SEA, Calif.)—Once a popular tourist attraction and vacation destination for Hollywood elites like Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, and Bing Crosby, the Salton Sea is now known for the stench of dead fish on its shores, eerie stretches of abandoned buildings and desolate beaches, and a photographer’s paradise at funky arts enclaves like East Jesus and Salvation Mountain. During its heyday in the 1950s and 60s, the “Miracle in the Desert” at times drew more visitors to its resorts and recrea

California Says No to Voting for 17-year-olds

(LOS ANGELES) — California residents rejected Proposition 18, the ballot measure that would have allowed 17-year-olds to vote in the primary and special elections if they turn 18 by the next general election, with 55.2% of Golden State voters disapproving the proposal, according to the California Secretary of State website. Had it passed, the state would have joined 18 other states and Washington, D.C. in allowing eligible 17-year-olds to vote in the primary elections. Current California law ma

Expecting Long Lines to Vote in L.A. and Finding None

(LOS ANGELES) — On a cloudy Saturday in late October, I filled my backpack with snacks and filming equipment, anticipating a long afternoon of reporting. I was heading over to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center, a preeminent cultural hub and one of several performing and sports venues throughout Los Angeles that opened up as voting centers. After reading stories about people waiting in line for more than 10 hours in certain U.S. states, I anticipated serpentine queues. I was shoc

'Name, Shame, and Jail:' The signature of the most renowned journalist in Africa

In Sept. 2015 when Anas Aremeyaw Anas was ready to premiere his film “Ghana in the Eyes of God” on national television, there was already backlash from the release of the documentary’s trailers. Television stations that would have broadcast the film were threatened with lawsuits. As a response, Anas offered complimentary screenings in the capital city of Accra and throughout Ghana because, he said, “justice is for the people, let them see what justice means in this country.” Crowds of Ghanian c

Same Street, Different World

(LOS ANGELES) — A chain link fence circles the Silver Lake reservoir. Around it are hundreds of names of African American citizens killed by police. Woven in the galvanized steel along this 2.2 mile circumference, the Say Their Names: Silver Lake Memorial went up shortly after George Floyd’s death in honor of the Black Lives Matter movement. Some of the material has deteriorated from exposure to the elements, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power issued a statement in August saying i

Hope Amid Destruction for Oregon Families

(ASHLAND, Ore. ) — Just days before Talent Phoenix School District was set to start the unprecedented 2020 school year, Laura Millette and her fellow teachers were about to distribute Chromebooks for low-income students. The sky was dark from smoke from fires nearby. Millette went into the principal’s office as she was concerned for some of the teachers who had asthma. With the strong winds and 103-degree heat, they decided to cancel the event. Four hours later, the Almeda fire, one of several t

when the bully isn’t there anymore but you’re still being beaten

I am assuming most people go through life having had someone bully, belittle, besmirch them. It’s not unusual, it’s not even new. History is full of the antagonist, the nemesis, the meanie if you will. Without the villain, can heroes in the classic narrative and social reality exist? But what if your bullies past still haunt you? And worse, what if you don’t realize you are keeping them in power? I don’t mean to dismiss any one’s pain, trauma or experience — healing has timetables and journeys

It’s Not Always Who You Know, Debunking Hollywood Myth №1

As a choreographer and someone who stills auditions as a performer, I am in a really cool, if not unique, position experiencing both sides of the casting world. I have also taught audition classes for dancers, a class I have developed based on my own experiences along with a combination of ideas and techniques I have learned from Commercial Acting Coach Bill Coelius ( and Executive Director of TAMJAMS Tamara Squires ( (More on auditioning