The following excerpt was sent out on behalf of the Los Angeles Times’ assistant managing editor for culture and talent Angel Jennings and deputy editor for culture and talent Joseph Serna:
This upcoming year marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Los Angeles Times’ in-house program to diversify journalism, Metpro, now known as the Los Angeles Times Fellowship.
We’re excited to introduce the latest class of fellows — a mix of writers, visual journalists and editors — to help fulfill that mission.
These fellows will receive six weeks of instruction on how to operate, navigate and succeed in a major newsroom, with training geared toward their specific interests. The next stage of their program includes multiweek rotations across the newsroom, where they will write, produce, edit, create visual projects and more, with coaching from seasoned members of The Times’ staff.
During that time, fellows will receive formal mentorship and frequent performance evaluations.
Please learn more about each of our fellows below:
Ashley Ahn is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she was the executive editor of the Daily Pennsylvanian. She previously covered the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for CNN’s health unit, breaking news for NPR and Asia for Foreign Policy Magazine. She also has bylines in USA Today and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She enjoys Pilates and visiting family in Atlanta, Georgia and South Korea. She joins The Times as a reporting fellow.
Michael Blackshire was born and raised in Louisville, Ky. Blackshire’s hometown developed his interest in storytelling as he explored the history of the city as a youth. He graduated from Western Kentucky University in the spring of 2020 and is finishing up his graduate studies at Ohio University. He originally majored in film, not joining the photojournalism program until his senior year of college. Blackshire will be working on the photo desk and is excited for the year ahead. He hopes to make new friends, have new adventures and maybe even go to a red carpet or two.
Anthony De Leon was born and raised in Fresno to a Chicano family. He pursued his higher education in his hometown, attended Fresno City College, earned an associate‘s degree in journalism, and then moved on to Fresno State, where he earned a bachelor’s in media, communications and journalism. Eventually, he finished his master’s in media innovation at the University of Nevada, Reno. Since starting in journalism in 2017, De Leon has worked in Los Angeles and New York. He interned as a business reporter at the Los Angeles Times in 2022 and, most recently, as a personal finance intern at the Wall Street Journal. His passion for storytelling and reporting has led him back to L.A. as a part of the 2024 Times fellowship class.
Jireh Deng (they/them) is a queer Asian American writer and filmmaker born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley. They are a recent graduate of Cal State Long Beach, where they double majored in international studies and economics. Previously they interned at In These Times Magazine, NPR and the Los Angeles Times. As a freelancer they’ve written for the Guardian, the Washington Post, Teen Vogue, the Huffington Post, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and more.
Defne Karabatur was born in Norwalk, Conn. At age 6, she moved to Istanbul, Turkey, where her parents are from, and lived there until coming back for college. In May, she graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s in applied mathematics with minors in English and political economy. Prior to joining The Times as an audience engagement fellow, she was the creative director of the Daily Californian, Berkeley’s independent, student-run newspaper.
Angie Orellana Hernandez was born in Guatemala and raised in Sacramento. She graduated from USC, where she combined her passions for news media and Latin American culture by studying journalism and Spanish. She previously covered entertainment, as well as human interest, legal and crime stories at E! News. She got her start in journalism at USC’s Daily Trojan, reporting on underrepresented communities before serving as managing editor. She later worked at The Times as an arts and entertainment intern. Her writing can also be found in USA Today, the Boston Globe, CNN and KCRA3.
Caroline Petrow-Cohen is a recent graduate of Duke University, where she studied journalism, English and environmental science and policy. She became hooked on journalism early in her college career and has previously written for the Charlotte Observer, the Los Angeles Times, the Tampa Bay Times, Politico and the Dallas Morning News. She enjoys writing about politics, breaking news and social justice issues. She’s excited to make the cross-country move to Los Angeles when she joins The Times as a reporting fellow.
Ananya Thyagarajan is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley, where she studied public health and environmental studies. In college, she worked for the Daily Californian, where she served as the head of the copy desk. She was The Times’ inaugural Henry Fuhrmann Multiplatform Editing intern in summer 2023 and is excited to continue her work on the copy desk as a fellow.