Times' new 'RealTime Desk' to focus on breaking news online

latimes.com

The Times is taking a new approach to covering breaking news with the creation of a "RealTime news desk" that will focus on coverage for the relaunched latimes.com.

Deputy Managing Editor Megan Garvey, who is overseeing the effort, says the RealTime desk will cover news as it happens, around the clock.

"We are augmenting coverage, not replacing our existing efforts," Garvey said. "RealTime staffers will be charged with helping to extend our coverage of major and high-interest stories with smart follow-ups on running stories, and coordinating with the sections so we are improving our online report and not duplicating efforts."

Garvey will be working closely with Julie Westfall, who most recently was breaking news editor for Digital First Media. Westfall also worked for KPCC, where she helped the public radio station shift priorities toward publishing online. And she was part of the team that launched TBD.com, a local news startup covering the Washington metro area, where she ran daily breaking news coverage.

Ryan Parker, who covered the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting as a member of the Denver Post’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize breaking news team, will join The Times this month to work on the RealTime desk.

He'll be joined by James Queally, who is coming to The Times from the Newark Star-Ledger, where he has covered crime and courts in New Jersey. Additional reporters will be announced soon.

The team’s focus will be on the needs of the digital report, closely monitoring what people are reading and searching for on latimes.com, as well as news that is trending on social media.

"Readers of latimes.com expect us to tell them what’s important and why throughout the 24-hour news cycle," Garvey said. "The RealTime desk will help us craft a more vibrant online news report and also plan for and feature the best of our daily, enterprise and investigative journalism."