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Lorraine Ali joins the L.A. Times Fast Break team as news and culture critic

Portrait of Lorraine Ali
Former Times television critic Lorraine Ali moves into a new role in which she will write sharply about topics in the news while also stepping back for more deeply reported pieces.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)
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Sent on behalf of Deputy Managing Editor Shelby Grad and Assistant Managing Editor B.J. Terhune:

We are thrilled to announce that Lorraine Ali has joined The Times’ Fast Break Desk as its news and culture critic.

This is an important new role that reflects our efforts to develop strong, authoritative voices to break through the news cycle and bring unique insights and thoughtful analysis to our readers. Ali will be pioneering a new skill set on the growing Fast Break Desk, delivering high-quality perspectives off the news in real time.

As the name implies, the news and culture critic will have a wide berth to write about the biggest stories of the day, ranging from politics and international affairs to pop culture and identity. This new marquee voice will write sharply and rapidly about topics in the news while also stepping back for more deeply reported pieces, helping us become even more dominant on the trending topics audiences care about.

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Ali is ideal for this job. She is an imaginative, fearless and always intriguing writer who in recent years as a TV critic has pushed boundaries, filtering television through a wide cultural lens, tackling such topics as the future of American democracy, overseas conflicts, racial reckoning and culture wars here at home. A Los Angeles native, Ali was a music writer and critic for Rolling Stone, Newsweek and several other high-profile publications. Before becoming TV critic, she served as our music editor and a general assignment writer.

Ali is also a leading voice on the changing role of the U.S. media as well as Muslim American affairs. She has written frequently about her own identity as an Iraqi American following the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. Ali frequently appears on panels and TV programs discussing everything from politics to pop culture. She started in her new role Monday.

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