Journalists, as a rule, work hard to avoid becoming the story.
But when it comes to three LMU writers and editors, there’s no way around it: The accomplishments of Francesca Bermudez ’23, Emma Fox ’24, and Catherine Galanti ’25 are big news. Each spent the summer – at a minimum – affiliated with among the leading news outlets in the land.
Bermudez, a journalism major from Saratoga, California, with a minor in film, TV, and media studies, garnered a Dow Jones News Fund grant and was a multiplatform editing intern on the Los Angeles Times features desk.
Galanti, a journalism and communications studies double major from LMU-adjacent Marina del Rey, is receiving ongoing mentorship as an inaugural member of the New York Times Corps, a nationwide talent pipeline for a select number of students from groups underrepresented in the field.
The Times paired Galanti with deputy sports editor Oskar Garcia. “It’s been amazing,” Galanti says, “to have an ear to bend whenever I need it to say, ‘This is what I’m working on; what’s the best step from here? How do I get where I want to go in this business?’”
Galanti is the former sports editor of the Los Angeles Loyolan. Her piece, “For minor leaguers, playing professional baseball is not living the dream,” won multiple awards, including from the Society of Professional Journalists. Galanti also writes regularly for the prestigious Baseball Prospectus, and after the current major league baseball season ends, she’ll analyze Los Angeles Angels players for the Baseball Prospectus annual.
When she writes, what does Galanti hope comes through to readers? “The aspect of sports that reflects the human experience,” she said. “There’s so much more to sports than just the score, and being able to dig into the lives and stories of teams, athletes, and coaches has really been an honor.”
Through her long-term mentorship from the Times’ Garcia, Galanti has received interviewing tips, copy-editing skills, and more. “I’m always seeking to learn something new, no matter what it is,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the next two years.”
Galanti’s already paying forward being a mentee — she was a teaching assistant for a journalism workshop for high school students run by Kevin Curran, an LMU clinical assistant professor.
While Galanti plied her trade on the bluff for The Loyolan, Emma Fox did the same as arts and culture editor for The Lion, among a litany of her news industry achievements.
Fox is the president and founding member of LMU’s chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, as well as the president of a chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She has a music blog, and she’s interned and written for the San Diego Voice and Viewpoint.
That range of interest made her an ideal fit for the Los Angeles Times’ Utility Journalism team. “It’s like explainer journalism – things you need to know to navigate life in Southern California,” Fox said. In Fox’s first week on the job, she published three articles. “I never thought I would get this opportunity, at least this early on,” Fox said. And the pieces kept coming – in English and one in Spanish, about community gardens, hobbies, how to drive in a hurricane, and many more. The Times’ archives link fourteen of her pieces published over slightly more than two months.
Fox was undeclared when she enrolled at LMU. “I took a journalism class and fell in love so fast with the freedom of being able to write what I want, and know something about everything, and be passionate about something different week to week,” she said.
Fox cites faculty members whom she learned from, including Kate Pickert, Ky Henderson, Los Angeles Times editor Joel Rubin, and Evelyn McDonnell, whose experience writing about music was of particular interest.
McDonnell was an influential figure for Francesca Bermudez as well. Journalism is Bermudez’s career goal, and she’s worked at The Loyolan since her first year in various writing and editing roles. (Read her work here.) In addition to teaching her literary journalism course, McDonnell connected Bermudez with the Pasadena Weekly, where Bermudez published this cover story.
Like Fox, Bermudez spent the summer with the Los Angeles Times, where she was a copy editor on the features desk and occasionally helped on the news desk. “Everyone has been welcoming,” Bermudez said early into her assignment. “I’ve been talking a lot with the copy editors in my section, who have been doing this way longer than I have. They have great advice and have been super supportive.”
Building a newspaper takes a lot more work than people may think, Bermudez said. “Our job as copy editors is to make sure that the LA Times doesn’t publish anything inaccurate – we’re trying to keep readers engaged and gain their trust. Copy editor is a behind-the-scenes job, but it’s crucial to producing a newspaper that people respect.”
Added Bermudez: “I get to use my creative side while brainstorming headlines, decks, subheads, and captions. It’s exciting to open the paper in the morning and see the contributions I’ve made.”