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Zócalo Public Square Ramps Up Editorial Operations

There’s a lot going on these days with Zócalo Public Square’s web presence. In the past few months, a trio of very impressive journalists has come on board full-time and next week, the eight-year-old company will move to larger office space within its current Koreatown headquarters.

Joe Mathews, formerly a political reporter with the LA Times, came over to Zócalo in January to head up California coverage, while T.A. Frank segued from Washington Monthly to become ideas editor. A month ago, they were joined by managing editor Megan Greenwell, from the Washington Post. As if that weren’t enough, the group’s off-site editorial director since fall is Andrés Martinez, previously editorial page editor at the LA Times.

“We started on the ground,” executive director Gregory Rodriguez explains to FishbowlLA via telephone. “Most of our revenue is based on events. We began by partnering with foundations and other cultural institutions, who wanted us to convene events and create ancilliary materials.”

“We also work closely with the New America Foundation in Washington and Arizona State University,” he continues. “Zócalo came to content from the bottom up, instead of the top down. We know LA; we know how to attract a smart, diverse audience to intellectual events. Our website redesign and expansion is a continuation of what we’ve been doing on the ground.”

Zócalo Public Square’s bold content model has also benefited greatly from the accumulation of email addresses at its curated events. New features on the website include “Drinks with…”, which kicks off with a profile of longtime LA bartender to the stars Hank Sievers, and “The Voyage Home,” a showcase of stories about individuals returning their origins. To read more about Zócalo’s zooming ways, check out Rodriguez’s editorial statement.

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