Meet Pam Kragen, the Union-Tribune’s new Arts & Entertainment Editor


Pam Kragen, a longtime critic and writer for the Union-Tribune, […]

Pam Kragen, a longtime critic and writer for the Union-Tribune, has been named the new Arts & Enjoyment Editor, getting around the part previously held by Michael James Rocha, who is turning out to be the newspaper’s Electronic Artistic Director.

In announcing her marketing, Union-Tribune Editor and Publisher Jeff Light said: “Pam has been a valued and prolific critic and attribute author for the U-T for a 10 years and was arts editor at the North County Periods for 15 a long time right before that. A longtime resident of Vista, she has a qualifications as a reporter, duplicate editor, organization editor and assistant city editor.”

At the U-T, Pam has written about theater, opera and eating, and has been the paper’s theater critic and dining critic in the last couple decades. She also has been just one of the most prolific characteristic-story writers at the paper. In addition, she has labored as a metro editor on the weekends and has jumped in to create breaking information. She took some time to reply some issues about her enthusiasm for journalism, especially arts journalism.

Q: When did you know that you appreciate the arts, primarily theater?

A: As a San Diego teen in the early 1970s, I identified a enjoy for operas, ballets and symphony live shows through university arts enrichment courses. I later on found a deep passion for theater in higher college drama club, but realized speedily — thanks to stage fright — I was a lot happier in the audience than onstage.

Q: Where did you attend university and what was your diploma in?

A: I attended San Diego Point out College, in which I tested out majors in geography and oceanography, but wasn’t excellent enough at math or physics to realize success in both profession. Then a close friend proposed I take into account journalism, for the reason that I normally examine the San Diego Union include to cover just about every morning, and I acquired higher grades in English and literature. Soon after joining the university’s Every day Aztec newspaper staff members in 1982, I realized quickly I’d uncovered my vocation and my tribe as a journalist.

Q: When did you understand that you could do two issues you really like — journalism and the arts?

A: I was at the very least 10 decades into my news and business journalism job at the former North County Instances newspaper in Escondido when the paper’s 75-calendar year-old arts critic, Bill Fark, made the decision to educate a replacement so he could retire. He selected me since we beloved talking about theater and the arts. In a few many years, I was not only the paper’s theater and eating critic, but also its arts and amusement editor.

Pam Kragen

Q: What is just one of the most obvious alter you have viewed in the arts landscape in the last couple of many years?

A: Arts businesses right now are fighting to get well from pandemic-similar shutdowns and reduced ticket product sales. They are also working tough to address historic imbalances in varied and inclusive selecting and programming.

Q: In your new role, you’ll have the opportunity to drive coverage in a region that is brimming with arts and cultural action. What are you most on the lookout forward to in this new part?

A: I’m thrilled to carry on Michael Rocha’s legacy. For the earlier two many years, the U-T arts section has been rated No. 1 in the nation by the Society for Features Journalism. We will still address the arts in excellent depth, but I have some ideas on expanding our dining protection and also carrying out additional picture essays on artists at get the job done, since we have on employees some of the very best photojournalists in the nation and I’d like to showcase additional of their operate.

Q: You’re acknowledged in the newsroom as getting just one of the most effective writers. How are you able to crank out so quite a few tales and write so fast?

A: Which is a talent I honed at the North County Moments, which went through quite a few waves of layoffs before it was offered and absorbed into the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2012. With an ever-dwindling personnel at the NCT, I created a system for composing 8 to 12 stories a 7 days, on leading of serving as an editor. I try to have the initially paragraph of every story composed in my head before I start out typing. Generally I come up with the notion when I’m driving property from an interview or a play. Just after that initially paragraph or two is typed out, the rest just flows out of me by natural means and promptly leading to base with hardly ever any key rewrites. The for a longer period human curiosity options and arts cover tales just take me about 3 to 4 hours to publish. The arts previews and evaluations just take about an hour. I would estimate in my 40 years as a qualified journalist I have penned somewhere all-around 20,000 content.

Q: Will we however see your byline in the paper and on the internet?

A: Yes! Producing continues to be my 1st like, so I will proceed serving as the paper’s main eating and theater critic, with other writers and contributors carrying the heavy load of arts and amusement capabilities. I’ll just have the possibility to pick and decide on. The a person detail I will miss most is writing human desire news tales about interesting San Diego folks. But do not be stunned if an occasional news element pops up less than my byline. There are a few loose story threads out there that I’d like to end up in the upcoming several months.

Q: What are some jobs or story ideas you have cooking for the arts?

A: I’m placing the finishing touches on a protect tale for Friday’s difficulty of Night time & Day about the most anticipated new eating places that will open up in San Diego County in 2023. All those stories are constantly one particular of the most-read through parts I write each and every 12 months, and this year there are at minimum 40 new spots on the listing.

Pam Kragen can be achieved at [email protected]

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