Lauren Giella

As a journalist, I will help people navigate complex politics and understand the important policy and legal decisions through accurate, straightforward, fact-based analysis. I will remain curious, fair, hardworking and tough in my reporting to best serve my audience. I am interested in long-form narrative nonfiction writing as well as deep analysis on legal and policy issues in politics.

Graduating from college is never easy. Let alone in the midst of a global pandemic.

In the nearly two years since I've graduated from The University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, I went from covering local Los Angeles news to major national and international events.

While working in a pandemic, being flexible and adaptable are essential. I never shy away from a challenge and I am not afraid to step outside of my comfort zone to cover any topic with a fresh angle. I excel in environments with a learn-as-you-go attitude.

At Newsweek, I pioneered both the Fact-Checking and Live Blog teams where I worked in both long-form storytelling and breaking news.

California could lead the way for a new voting reality

Elections are about choice. At a basic level, a choice between the Democratic or Republican parties, one candidate or the other. But there are many barriers people face that add another layer of choice. Have to work on election day? It’s a choice between your income or your vote. This year, voters face a new choice. As the COVID-19 pandemic forces social distancing, in-person voting is a health risk. The question becomes: Your vote or your life? Before this pandemic interrupted life and disrup

What Makes a Generation Tik? My journey, as a college student and journalist, to understand TikTok and its young user base

My first experience with TikTok - the newest and most popular social media platform that has become the epicenter of Gen Z culture and humor - was last Spring. I participated in a survey for my friend's marketing class, where I explored an early version of the app and answered a series of questions. I remember I hated the interface: the constant scrolling with multiple videos responding to one another. It was not quite the TikTok we know today. And, frankly, it made me feel old at 22. Then, months later, I was forced to download the app for a journalism class. Forced might be too strong, but it was part of the assignment and I was not too thrilled about it. My friend Maya, a fellow journalism student, was a huge TikTok fan. She was always telling me how fun the app is and how it is a great way to understand young people (or people younger than me). In the class, we learned about branding and storytelling on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Then I wondered, how could TikTok fit into journalism? To see if I could use the app, I had to first understand it.

Conversational English class in Monterey Park brings different generations of immigrants together…

In a small library study room, a group of Monterey Park residents was discussing a fender bender that struck one of their peer’s car that morning. Nancy Cheung was walking to her parked car when a driver pulled out of the spot behind her without checking oncoming traffic. That’s when another car struck the driver, who then slammed into Cheung’s back bumper. “Nancy did not have a good day,” said instructor Daisy Lui, who then asked another student, Tony, to recap what had just happened to Cheun

Community fights back against the oil drill next door

The rain was coming down hard on the roadways. Each drop echoing in the floor-to-ceiling marble meeting room in city hall. Traffic was more of a mess than usual. Still, the rows of seats in the room were nearly filled. A little bit of precipitation couldn’t stop these folks from having their voices heard. Rain in Los Angeles is an unusual occurrence. But so was this hearing. Never before has an oil drill site in LA closed due to this strong of a push from a concerned and dedicated community.

A Conversation with my Father: Doctor, Friend, Regretful Trump Voter

A lot of preparation goes into the long-anticipated Thanksgiving dinner. Preparing the table, preparing the food and preparing yourself mentally to deal with that certain family member with some less-than-agreeable political views. At Thanksgiving this year, we had two rules: Don’t get seconds until your plate is clean, and don’t talk about politics. It is a common rule that one should never engage in politics in mixed company. For me, every family holiday dinner is usually mixed company. I am

Seven Ways Leah Gilliam and Girls Who Code Are Lowering the Glass Ceiling —

It should come as no surprise that across most career fields, there are major disparities in the opportunities, statuses, and attitudes between men and women (hello! I’m sure we all hear the gender gap more than a few times per week). In some careers, the gap is shrinking, as the number of female employees and their achievements in their fields have greatly improved. In the world of technology and computing, however, the situation has been getting much worse. The gap in computing has grown sinc

A Few More Thoughts About Google —

Most of us have already been inundated with the story of Google's HR nightmare, where engineer James Damore distributed an internal document condemning the “leftist” environment, wherein he felt his conservative view must be hidden out of fear of harassment. But the most astonishing point of the memo was Damore's suggestion that there is a biological difference between men and women that is to blame for the persistent gender representation gap in the tech world. He also denounced Google's divers

Two USG senators are appealing USC to allow the use of discretionary dollars in the Village restaurants

“You come into USC with a dining plan, thinking you can use it at the Village because it is part of USC,” Garland said. “But you get there and are turned away. Businesses don’t want to turn away any students. I think they were all misinformed in a way. There was a line outside Greenleaf on move-in day and people tried to pay with dining dollars and couldn’t.”

Starting November, Uber and Lyft will no longer be available at terminal curbs at LAX

LAX said passengers can walk or take a free shuttle to LAX-it, a lot adjacent to Terminal 1. FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, file photo shows travelers leaving a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. At the end of the month, travelers will not be able to hail a rideshare or taxi outside terminals at Los Angeles International Airport. LAX announced Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, that travelers will instead have to take shuttles or walk to a special location outside the central terminal

USC Center for Sustainability Solutions takes an interdisciplinary approach to climate change and environmental justice

“I definitely don't think we should be talking about individual sacrifice in terms of the type of straw you use,” Professor Sinatra said. “That's not going to solve this. And by putting the emphasis on that you make everyone feel guilty about their individual lives and that is not a mobilization for action. We need to talk about sacrifice in terms of reconstructing our system to create more public transit so that people can use it and it won't be a sacrifice anymore. I have an electric car and h

“Refuse Fascism” harnesses frustration to send political message against President Trump

Across Los Angeles, cries for change can be heard blasting through megaphones from the anti-Trump group Refuse Fascism vowing to protest every day until the president is removed from office. Protests like these are not unique to Southern California. Since the election last November, the nation has seen a resurgence in political activism against President Donald Trump. Angry citizens have taken to the streets to rally against policies they believe to be unjust and dangerous to society. But just

South Pasadena makes arts education a priority in schools and throughout the community

As support for arts education across the country has declined, one school district is shifting the narrative to make art an essential part of learning. “We focus of arts integration in schools by using arts to teach other disciplines,” said Howard Spector, CEO of The South Pasadena Arts Council “It’s helpful for students with multiple intelligence and who learn differently than just the traditional methods.” Arts integration is learning that is active, experiential, reflective, collaborative a

Taking the Helm at Kartemquin: A Conversation with Jolene Pinder

Taking the Helm at Kartemquin: A Conversation with Jolene Pinder For over 50 years, Chicago-based Kartemquin Films has been a leading voice for social justice in the documentary field. Founder/Artistic Director Gordon Quinn works to develop filmmakers, produce films and advocate for the field of documentary. This collaborative group of socially responsible filmmakers is dedicated to promoting dialogue and seeking justice as they examine and critique society through stories of real people. Kart

The Feedback: Bridgette Auger and Itab Azzam's 'We Are Not Princesses'

The Feedback: Bridgette Auger and Itab Azzam's 'We Are Not Princesses' Since IDA's DocuClub was relaunched in 2016 as a forum for sharing and soliciting feedback about works-in-progress, many DocuClub alums have since premiered their works on the festival circuit and beyond. In an effort to both monitor and celebrate the evolution of these films to premiere-ready status, we reached out to the filmmakers as they were either winding their way through the festival circuit, or gearing up for it. I

Daniella Mohazab is showing that behind every scandal, there are real people with real stories

This USC graduate looks to empower others with her TEDx Talk about sexual abuse Daniella Mohazab is not just a victim. She is a sister, a friends, a masters student, CEO, and now, an advocate. After graduating USC last spring with degrees in Communications and Media, Economics & Entrepreneurship, she is continuing a progressive masters degree in Communications and Management at Annenberg. In 2017, she founded Happy Pill, a platform of support for women suffering from mental illness. Happy

What Exactly is Prop 10?

Housing in South L.A. has been a major ongoing issue. Nearby tenants have been evicted, complexes are planned for demolition to make way for mixed-use development and advocacy across the state has been ramping up for and against Proposition 10 — a measure that could make it easier for California cities to enact rent control policies. The Intersections South LA team conducted a pop-up newsroom on Oct. 17 by setting up a table with recording equipment on Vermont and Slauson avenues to document w

How USC's facade of activism sabotages individual justice for sexual assault victims

In the past year, USC has hosted a series of events concerned with ending sexual assault and rape on campus. The Consent Carnival, Take Back the Night and Denim Day were all sponsored by student organizations and focused on building awareness of the issue. But for all of the university’s focus on social justice, the question remains how successful the administration has been at achieving justice for survivors of sexual assault. The recent arrest of a USC student for alleged rape is seen as a T