Media News

Bloomberg Opinion hires Smith as a columnist

April 10, 2024

Posted by Chris Roush

Erika Smith

Bloomberg Opinion senior executive editor Timothy O’Brien sent out the following on Wednesday:

Victoria Benning and I are pleased to let you know that Erika Smith will be joining Opinion as a politics and policy columnist based in Los Angeles. She’ll start on April 29.
Prior to joining Opinion, Erika was a columnist with the Los Angeles Times, where she has worked since 2018. Before that she was a columnist and editorial board member with the Sacramento Bee. She’s also worked for other pillars of the US’ now ravaged local news landscape, including the Indianapolis Star and the Akron Beacon Journal.
During her tenure with the Times, Erika covered many facets of politics and society in California. She was a member of a Times team that won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News about city and union officials caught on tape using racist language to discuss their plans to shift local political power away from Black voters and toward Latino voters. That was familiar territory for her. She’d already been charting the realities of racial and ethnic political fissures in a state and region that routinely celebrated the ideals of diversity and inclusion.
Along the way, she also chronicled the downfall of a city councilmember and former state lawmaker, Mark Ridley-Thomas, who had been one of California’s most powerful politicians. More recently, she wrote about the fight over California’s representation in the US Senate — including battles over seats vacated by Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein. Both contests spurred Black and Latino politicians to press for more political power, which exposed deepening divisions in California’s liberal coalition.
While at the Sacramento Bee, Erika helped expand the editorial board’s coverage of California’s surge in homelessness amid an increasingly acute housing affordability crisis. All of that work was informed by Erika’s interviews with people trapped in homeless shelters and encampments as well as interviews with city, county and state leaders responsible for the policy failures feeding the crisis. One series she is particularly proud of (and for which she won a Sigma Delta Chi award) chronicled the plight of a homeless woman named Desiree whose infant son died homeless. A sheriff’s deputy who later found Desiree sleeping on a riverbank recognized her from Erika’s columns and helped her get into transitional housing. She hasn’t been homeless since.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.