Hi, I’m Lauren. I cover the California economy for the nonprofit newsroom at CalMatters, where I focus on the vastly different ways people live and work in the nation’s richest state. Stories I’ve written have been published by the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the L.A. Times, the Guardian and Slate. I’ve also worked as a stringer, a Spanish translator and a fixer for the BBC, Der Spiegel and New York Times housing reporter Conor Dougherty’s 2020 book ‘Golden Gates.’ In previous staff roles, I reported on housing, labor and tech for Protocol and the Silicon Valley Business Journal, and I juggled feature writing and editing as the managing editor of Santa Cruz alt-weekly Good Times. I’ve been interviewed about my reporting on national and local radio programs, documentaries and TV shows, and I have moderated a range of live events and panel discussions.
One brief ‘Law & Order’ phase aside, I’ve always known I wanted to be a reporter. I started out covering beauty pageants and village council meetings near my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, for community weeklies (RIP). I learned how to follow the money as an intern at OpenSecrets, Congressional Quarterly and the Columbus Dispatch. As an undergrad at George Washington University, I double-majored in the history of social movements and political journalism. From 2016-2018, I studied multimedia investigative reporting at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and won competitive reporting grants to cover stories in Mexico and the Navajo Nation.
Follow: @LAHepler | Connect: LinkedIn