Meet one of the members of our singles network: Lori Streifler, editor-in-chief at City News Service, always on the lookout for the next breaking news story.
Lori Streifler: I can’t be certain, but I think I saw the magazine in a display rack at a restaurant and decided to pick it up. I thought, a magazine for singles. What a novel idea!
Sm: You’re an L.A. native, right? Tell us a bit about how it was like when you were growing up versus how it is today.
LS: I am an L.A. area native, from Downey, home of the Carpenters and the Apollo moon missions, not to mention one of the first McDonald’s restaurants.
As to how it was like when I was growing up versus now … Not to sound like a fossil, but I grew up in a simple time, when public schools were good and safe, parents could let their kids go to the corner store by themselves on their bike without worry, and most of my friends’ moms weren’t working mothers.
We sat down for a home-cooked dinner every night, and went to the movies a few times a year — it was a big deal when a Disney movie came out! My dad also loved taking us on Sunday drives, and we hosted a lot of pool day/steak dinner barbecues for friends and family. Everyone wanted to come to our house because my dad was a wholesale meat distributor! It was actually a turbulent time — think Vietnam War — but our parents sheltered us from reality, which was easier to do in a pre-wired world.
Sm: Tell us about your job as the Editor-in-Chief at City News Service – do you like it? What does your average day look like?
LS: Do I like my job? Hmmm. No, seriously, the short answer is yes. Despite the turbulence of the journalism industry in recent years, it’s still a challenge to put the news out every day, and I like a challenge.
I also like to keep learning, and my job requires me to constantly familiarize myself with new subjects, technology and the like. And corny as it sounds, I got into this business because I believe in the public’s right to know, and the importance of an informed populace. Sometimes I could do without some of the administrative and staffing issues — it’s no small feat keeping a newsroom running 24/7, 365 days a year — but it goes with the territory.
My workday never truly ends — I’m always scrolling through email, Twitter, Facebook and the like, keeping my eye out for good stories and making sure we’re on top of breaking news, even on weekends. I guess you could say I’m always on call, because whenever a big story breaks, it’s all hands on deck.
Sm: What have been some of your most challenging moments as a journalist and now as a news bureau chief?
LS: Let’s see … When I was a very young reporter, I arrived at a company picnic and softball game after a long drive, only to be told to jump in the car and get to the scene of a plane crash. This was in pre-cell phone days, and word was just coming in — via a brick of a satellite phone that a bureau chief had brought along — of the 1986 mid-air collision of an Aeromexico jetliner and a small plane over a Cerritos neighborhood.
I spent the next 15 hours or so at the crash scene, where 67 people on both planes and 15 on the ground perished. Concerns were publicly voiced over the ensuing days by police and fire officials concerning the mental health of first-responders who had witnessed such a horrific scene, but journalists are supposed to tough it out. I remember my boss asking me if I was OK, admitting he hadn’t given it any thought, and I really hadn’t either. I just figured it went along with the job.
Other particularly challenging, or at least very intense, stories with which I’ve been involved during my career include the Los Angeles riots, Rodney King beating and resulting trials, the O.J. Simpson criminal and civil trials and any major disaster such as earthquakes, wildfires and the like.
Sm: What do you like to do for fun?
LS: Traveling is one of my passions — I have a list of places to see that’s a mile long. I recently made it to Machu Picchu and am about to explore Costa Rica.
I’m a big movie buff, and love to attend screenings in which the filmmaker and/or cast members appear to talk about a film. I’m also a voracious reader, and I really enjoy hiking in our local Santa Monica Mountains and going to hear live music.
I’m always looking for new things to try — a festival, new restaurant, parasailing over Marina del Rey — you name it! I also really enjoy entertaining friends and family and trying new recipes, though I admit I don’t have too much time to spend in the kitchen!
Sm: Tell us a bit about what it’s like to be single in Los Angeles?
LS: L.A. can be a bit isolating, in part because everyone is in their cars, so you have to work harder to cultivate relationships and create a sense of community, which is why SingularCity is so great. I’ve met some wonderful people through SingularCity, which also provides interesting and fun activities such as hikes, plays and parties.
Sm: What’s still on your bucket list?
LS: Many, many things, mostly travel related. I want to go everywhere! As a big fan of sunsets, I also hope to someday live in a place with a deck where I can sit and watch the sun rise and set. I’d also love to get back into gardening and horseback riding.