When FishbowlLA tweeted out an LA Weekly-themed #FF group last Friday, one friend-follower handle was conspicuously absent (@simone_electra). That’s because Simone Wilson, for several years a tireless shotgun partner on the LA news beat with Dennis Romero, is now living and working in Israel.
“I actually quit my job at LA Weekly at the beginning of October, but because I still had a couple print stories in the tubes, it took readers a while to notice I was gone,” Wilson tells FishbowlLA via email. “It was 100% my decision to leave. Management at the paper made it clear that they would have loved to have me stay.”
“But for health reasons (I have cystic fibrosis, and the 24/7 news grind was rough on me) and wanting-to-see-the-world reasons, it just felt like the right time to move on,” she adds. Another reason Wilson chose Tel Aviv is that her boyfriend’s family owns an apartment building there, making it very cost-efficient for them to relocate.
Last week, Wilson had a solid piece in the Jewish Journal about Israeli Army conscientious objector Natan Blanc. She plans to do more freelancing for the SoCal paper and has other outlets in her sights as well.
“I actually just spent about a month writing a story involving the recent Israel-Gaza conflict for a major U.S. magazine, but I’d rather not say who until it runs,” Wilson teases. “I’ll also be pitching stories to alternative magazines and other U.S./international outlets.”