For my first few years out of college, I was a reporter at a regional newspaper 25 miles east of Downtown L.A. in West Covina. You might know it from the TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend or, if you are of a certain age and were paying extremely close attention, the movie Good Burger. Technically, this job made me an L.A. journalist, but not really. To understand this dual journalistic citizenship, one must understand the difference between the city of L.A. and the county. Even more, one must understand the difference between the county and the five counties most people outside of SoCal group together in their mind when they say “L.A.”
The vastness of L.A. makes some of these mistakes forgivable. But the truth is still this: while Malibu and The City of Industry exist within the artificial lines that delineate L.A. County, they are nothing alike. And saying I was an L.A. reporter is both true and false unless you weight the four stories that took me to downtown while I was in the business much more heavily than I do.