Gorkana Meets...Lorraine Ali

Published:

Firstly, tell us a bit about your role and the team.

As the Music Editor, I’m in charge of conceptualizing, assigning and editing our pop and jazz coverage for print and digital. There are eight writers on my team, and between them we’ve covered everything from the oddity of Britney’s Las Vegas residency to the disturbing world of neo-Nazi punk rock.

I’m also the Gaming Editor, and work with critic Todd Martens curating our coverage of video game reviews and concept pieces. I was a Senior Writer with Newsweek before joining the Times, so I do miss the occasional byline. When I need to scratch that itch, I contribute book reviews or music pieces.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I spend the early morning looking for potential breaking stories and checking in with my team (who are excellent) to see what they plan to cover. By 10 I meet with other Calendar editors to plan our day in print and digital.

Back in my office I try and listen to new music suggested by our critics Randall Roberts, Mikael Wood and Chris Barton while I edit whatever stories we may have going that day. That usually means 1-3 print pieces and around 10-15 blog posts a day. If we have gaming stories, I’ll work on those as well. All this of course requires working in tandem with photo, copy and design.

Between editing and coordinating the day’s coverage, I navigate 500-plus emails a day, and look ahead to make sure we have enough quality pieces and ideas for the coming days. I also coordinate ideas and writers for whatever bigger events are on the horizon (the reopening of the Forum, Grammys, SXSW, Coachella, etc).

Oh, and I drink coffee, lots and lots of coffee.

What sort of content are you keen to feature?

A healthy mix of album reviews, live concert reviews, reported pieces, profiles and larger concept pieces.

What do you wish you were covering more of?

The music business underbelly, the effect of a shrinking industry on artists, music scenes around LA that point to larger, nationwide movements, the impact of gaming on broader culture, gender and gaming, and “Arab Idol”.

How can PRs help with content?

Approaching us first with scoops, keeping us informed about what you have coming up and giving us meaningful access. If you want a great story on your artist or event, access is key. And of course exclusives. Lots and lots of exclusives.

How and when is the best way for PRs to contact you and the team?

Email is the best way. We are on our iPhones/blackberries 24-7 (just ask the poor souls who live with us).

What should PRs bear in mind when pitching in story ideas?

Consider the outlet then ask if what you are pitching really makes sense there. It can save both parties a lot of time.

Do you think the relationship between journalists and PRs has changed from when you first started you career? If so, in which way?

Yes in that there are fewer of us on both sides due to the downsizing of the music business and print media. We’re all working more and with less. But essentially, it’s all based on the same thing—trust. If you say there’s an embargo, we won’t break it if you won’t leak it to other outlets. There are publicists I know to watch for, and others I know I can depend on.

What other industry publications do you read and respect for their content or style?

The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, The Guardian, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Al Jazeera America, Vice

Do you have any guilty pleasure reading?

Aside from Gawker, Chris Brown’s tweets and any given “Which Celebrity’s Had Plastic Surgery” site? No.

What is the best thing about doing your job?

Working with incredibly talented, decent people and helping create some of the best music and gaming coverage out there.

Firstly, tell us a bit about your role and the team.

As the Music Editor, I’m in charge of conceptualizing, assigning and editing our pop and jazz coverage for print and digital. There are eight writers on my team, and between them we’ve covered everything from the oddity of Britney’s Las Vegas residency to the disturbing world of neo-Nazi punk rock.

I’m also the Gaming Editor, and work with critic Todd Martens curating our coverage of video game reviews and concept pieces. I was a Senior Writer with Newsweek before joining the Times, so I do miss the occasional byline. When I need to scratch that itch, I contribute book reviews or music pieces.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I spend the early morning looking for potential breaking stories and checking in with my team (who are excellent) to see what they plan to cover. By 10 I meet with other Calendar editors to plan our day in print and digital.

Back in my office I try and listen to new music suggested by our critics Randall Roberts, Mikael Wood and Chris Barton while I edit whatever stories we may have going that day. That usually means 1-3 print pieces and around 10-15 blog posts a day. If we have gaming stories, I’ll work on those as well. All this of course requires working in tandem with photo, copy and design.

Between editing and coordinating the day’s coverage, I navigate 500-plus emails a day, and look ahead to make sure we have enough quality pieces and ideas for the coming days. I also coordinate ideas and writers for whatever bigger events are on the horizon (the reopening of the Forum, Grammys, SXSW, Coachella, etc).

Oh, and I drink coffee, lots and lots of coffee.

What sort of content are you keen to feature?

A healthy mix of album reviews, live concert reviews, reported pieces, profiles and larger concept pieces.

What do you wish you were covering more of?

The music business underbelly, the effect of a shrinking industry on artists, music scenes around LA that point to larger, nationwide movements, the impact of gaming on broader culture, gender and gaming, and “Arab Idol”.

How can PRs help with content?

Approaching us first with scoops, keeping us informed about what you have coming up and giving us meaningful access. If you want a great story on your artist or event, access is key. And of course exclusives. Lots and lots of exclusives.

How and when is the best way for PRs to contact you and the team?

Email is the best way. We are on our iPhones/blackberries 24-7 (just ask the poor souls who live with us).

What should PRs bear in mind when pitching in story ideas?

Consider the outlet then ask if what you are pitching really makes sense there. It can save both parties a lot of time.

Do you think the relationship between journalists and PRs has changed from when you first started you career? If so, in which way?

Yes in that there are fewer of us on both sides due to the downsizing of the music business and print media. We’re all working more and with less. But essentially, it’s all based on the same thing—trust. If you say there’s an embargo, we won’t break it if you won’t leak it to other outlets. There are publicists I know to watch for, and others I know I can depend on.

What other industry publications do you read and respect for their content or style?

The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, The Guardian, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Al Jazeera America, Vice

Do you have any guilty pleasure reading?

Aside from Gawker, Chris Brown’s tweets and any given “Which Celebrity’s Had Plastic Surgery” site? No.

What is the best thing about doing your job?

Working with incredibly talented, decent people and helping create some of the best music and gaming coverage out there.

- See more at: http://www.gorkana.us/news/all/gorkana-meets/gorkana-meetslorraine-ali/#sthash.PTVowonQ.dpuf

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