Michael Parks

Michael ParksMichael Parks is a journalist and educator whose assignments have taken him around the globe, and whose “balanced and comprehensive” coverage of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa earned him the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. From 1997-2000, Parks served as editor of the Los Angeles Times, a period during which the LAT garnered four additional Pulitzer Prizes.

Parks joined the USC Annenberg faculty in fall 2000. In fall 2001, he became interim director of the School of Journalism. He was named director of the school in March 2002 and finished his term June 30, 2008. From his first overseas assignment covering the war in Vietnam as The Baltimore Sun’s Saigon correspondent, Parks has reported on major international news events from a variety of international capitals, including Beijing, Moscow, Hong Kong, Johannesburg and Jerusalem. He joined the Los Angeles Times in 1980 and in 1995 was promoted to deputy foreign editor and later managing editor, before taking the helm as editor in 1997.

As editor of the Los Angeles Times, Parks was responsible for news coverage and editorial page positions of the largest metropolitan newspaper in the United States. He managed an editorial staff of 1,350 and a budget of more than $120 million. Under his direction, the Times’ circulation increased 16 percent to 1,170,000 and also developed an enhanced online news site, www.latimes.com.

At USC Annenberg, Parks guided the creation and adoption of an innovative core curriculum that trains students to report stories for print, broadcast and new media. Under his direction, the school expanded its international reporting programs and its focus on developing expertise in covering diverse communities. The School of Journalism also deepened its commitment to mid-career training for journalists through the work of the Online Journalism Program, the Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, the Institute for Justice and Journalism, the USC Annenberg Getty Arts Journalism Fellowship program and Strategic Public Relations Center.

Contact Parks at mparks@usc.edu or (213) 743-5324.