I sent Los Angeles Times video game and music journalist Alex Pham an email this morning after reading a one-sentence item on LAObserved.com about her resignation. I asked if she’d tell Romenesko readers more about her plans. (LAObserved.com: “Company Town staff writer Alex Pham announced to the newsroom that she is leaving the LA Times after 12 years ‘to pursue another opportunity that will give me more flexibility.’”)
“I can’t share details on my next gig just yet because it hasn’t been announced (soon, though),” Pham wrote. “I can, however, say that it is a full-time job with an employer who is very much influenced by the work ethics recommended in this article.” (It’s “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” from the July/August Atlantic.)
She adds in her email:
There are plenty of women who succeed and rise to the top of news organizations. They sometimes make great personal sacrifices to do so. This was always true, but it’s even more so now with the brutal demands of the 24/7 news cycle.
I believe it is possible to succeed on the Web, be on the forefront of news driving the conversation and still have a work environment conducive to that “elusive work-life balance” journalists wistfully talk about. But it would take a radical rethinking of how our newsrooms operate (otherwise, it wouldn’t be so elusive). And right now, traditional news organizations have more urgent, pressing matters.
Pham’s memo to staffers is after the jump. (She jokes: “It’s NOT true that a certain high-level video game executive who shall be nameless has finally managed to get me fired.”)
From: Pham, Alex
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 3:06 PM
Subject: The Rumors
There have been some rumors circulating around the newsroom, and I just want to take a moment to address them.
1. It is true that I am leaving the Times, after more than 12 amazing years here, to pursue another opportunity that will give me more flexibility. It’s NOT true that a certain high-level video game executive who shall be nameless has finally managed to get me fired.
2. It is absolutely true that part of the opportunity will include being able to take my kid to soccer practice more often, finishing up the Harry Potter books we started reading out loud last year, and helping my kid beat the pod racing level in Lego Star Wars, Ep. 1. Contrary to the innuendos on Facebook and my Google+ circles, however, I will not be checking myself into rehab to treat a video game addiction.
3. It’s also true that John Corrigan made a valiant effort to persuade me to stay. It’s not true that he offered to sweeten my pay with free Farmers Market kettle corn and cafeteria chili every Thursday, because if he had, I would have stayed.
Speaking of John, I very much want to thank him and an army of editors at the Times, past and present, who have made me a better reporter. Claudia Eller, Lorraine Ali, Mark Duvoisin, Jim Granelli, John Lippman, Sallie Hofmeister, Russ Stanton, Chris Gaither, Aaron Curtiss — I owe you guys an ocean of beer (or in John Lippman’s case, coffee, preferably black and in plain white paper cups). A massive tankard of gratitude also goes out to the Copy Desk and its Super Hero team of editors who save my butt each and every day, often several times a day. Along with the reporters here, the Times has more talent per square inch than any publication on the planet.
See you at the Redwood!