OLD Media Moves

LA Times hires new aerospace reporter

September 3, 2014

Posted by Chris Roush

Melody Petersen, an award-winning investigative reporter, has been hired by the Los Angeles Times to cover Southern California’s far-flung aerospace industry.

She started Aug. 26.

Nearly all the nation’s big aerospace companies have major facilities in the Southland – not to mention upstarts such as SpaceX, drone makers like AeroVironment and the ancillary space businesses around Mojave.

Petersen has spent her career reporting and explaining complicated topics. At the Orange County Register, she was a Loeb Award finalist this year for her story about a $22-million capital appreciation bond that cost taxpayers $280 million. Previously, she covered the pharmaceuticals business at the New York Times and wrote an investigative book on the drug industry, “Our Daily Meds.” She also worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer and the San Jose Mercury News, where she won a Loeb Award for an investigative series about a California power company.

Her past editors describe her as “a pro” who can “do anything.” Being a certified public accountant doesn’t hurt either. Petersen has a master’s in journalism from the University of Maryland in College Park and a bachelor’s of business administration degree in accounting from the University of Iowa.

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