Jim Rainey

Los Angeles Times

Jim Rainey has been a professional journalist for four decades, covering government, politics, media, the environment and the life and times of his 100-year-old swim teammates, among a host of other subjects.

He has spent most of his career at the Los Angeles Times, but also worked for the San Ramon Valley Herald in Danville, CA., the South Bay Daily Breeze in Torrance, NBCNews.com, national digital platform of NBC News) and Variety, the Hollywood entertainment industry rag.

Jim won past awards for his stories about emotionally disturbed teens, Shoshone Indian land claims, the abuse of prisoners at California Youth Authority prisons, the “Cassandras” who were the first to see the COVID pandemic coming and for “On the Media,” the twice-weekly column he wrote at the Los Angeles Times. He was part of Los Angeles Times teams that won three Pulitzer Prizes for breaking news–for coverage of the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles, Southern California wildfires and the 1997 North Hollywood bank robbery shootout.

Jim has covered parts of seven presidential campaigns and helped launch the Politics Now blog in 2012. He spent a month in Iraq in 2006, following the media, the U.S. military and the formation of Iraq’s first substantial “post-war” government.

Along the way, he covered five mayors of Los Angeles, a handful of governors, multiple disasters, a cult mass suicide, the O.J. Simpson murder case and much more. He served as Urban Affairs Editor and State Editor for the Los Angeles Times and was appointed media writer by then Los Angeles Times Managing Editor Dean Baquet.

His journalism career began at UC Berkeley, where he was Sports Editor of the Daily Californian and witnessed the greatest moment in college football history, “The Play.” He is a frequent guest on radio and television, speaking about the media, politics and other issues. And he is the proud parent of a next generation journalist, Libby Rainey, who has worked for KPCC, Democracy Now and the political video outlet, More Perfect Union.