Adam Nagourney, Los Angeles bureau chief for the New York Times and co-author of Out for Good spoke at Cal State Fullerton’s Pollak Library on Saturday.
Out for Good is a commentary on the rise of the modern gay rights movement in America.
Nagourney, who has worked for the New York Times since 1996, spoke about the importance of covering and understanding politics and why he feels California’s politics and economy deserve the attention.
The born-and-raised New Yorker left his eight-year post as one of the top political reporters in the country to lead the New York Times bureau in Los Angeles.
Nagourney said leaving the east coast two and a half years ago has taken some adjustment.
“I love living here. I love the stories I am covering here, I love the people here, I love the environment … even the fact that it took me an hour and a half to get here from LA, I don’t even care, I just love it,” he said.
Nagourney said the importance of his job and California are reflected when editors at the New York Times choose stories about the Golden State for the front page, validating his belief that the world wants to know what is going on in the nation’s most populous state.
Although Nagourney now covers all things “news” in California, his expertise is politics.
As a political reporter for several publications over his career, Nagourney has covered every presidential campaign since 1988.
Suzanna Surbin, “Patrons of the Library” coordinator, said she had seen Nagourney on PBS and was impressed by his knowledge.
“We were delighted when we learned that he was out here now, and so we thought well, ‘we’ll give it a shot and try and get him,’” said Surbin.
Nagourney also spoke about why newspapers and reporters have an obligation to cover politics: so that people can better make informed decisions.
“I think newspapers have a real obligation to cover politics to help people understand what’s going on, to help people understand who the candidates are, to help people get above the back-and-forth of the you know the sort of trivialities of politics,” Nagourney said.
Nagourney also said other than reading the New York Times, it is important that people seek out information in order to understand politics.
“I think you become an expert on politics by doing it, reading it, reading history, going on campaigns, talking to people, learning; just absorb, absorb, absorb,” Nagourney said.