Media Moves

LA Times adds three to its investigations team

September 7, 2022

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

The following excerpt was sent on behalf of the Los Angeles Times executive editor Kevin Merida, editor at large Scott Kraft, senior editor of investigations Jack Leonard and deputy editor for investigations Carla Rivera:

We are thrilled to announce that Melody Gutierrez, Robert J. Lopez and Alene Tchekmedyian will be joining the Investigations team, enhancing our newsroom-wide commitment to high-impact accountability reporting.

Melody Gutierrez

Gutierrez joined The Times as a state politics and government reporter in 2018. Before joining the newsroom, she was Sacramento bureau chief for the San Francisco Chronicle. She also covered politics, education and sports

during her 10 years at the Sacramento Bee.

Her first reporting job was for the newspaper in her hometown of Twentynine Palms while she was in high school.

Robert J. Lopez

Lopez returned to The Times in 2021 as an accountability reporter for Metro, focusing on underserved communities. Before that, he worked at Cal State Los Angeles, where he rose to the position of associate vice president and directed the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

In his previous two-decade career at The Times, Lopez was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for stories that uncovered corruption in the city of Bell. He also led award-winning coverage of the California energy crisis and the rise of gang violence.

A Los Angeles native, Lopez has taught journalism and social media to reporters, students and academics in Latin America, the Caribbean and Middle East and has mentored several early career journalists at The Times.

Alene Tchekmedyian

Tchekmedyian, who grew up in Huntington Beach, joined The Times in 2016 from the Glendale News-Press and  Burbank Leader, which were part of Times Community News. She covered breaking news and criminal courts before taking over the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department beat in 2019.

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