When we think about the people who are contributing to the recovery of the California condor, it’s the scientists, veterinarians, keepers, and the like – working in the field, laboratories, and zoos – who usually come to mind. But many others are making essential contributions. In this post I consider journalists who reported on the California condor.

To get a handle on the number of journalists who have played a role in the condor-human story, I searched for items about the California condor in the Los Angeles Times. I limited my search to items dated 1900-1999 that had “condor” in the headline.

The result was a remarkable 152 named creators.

The names include authors of letters to the editor, a political cartoonist, book reviewers, and the like. But most of these were journalists who had written news reports. (I don’t include  the names of photographers and graphic artists here – perhaps in a future post.)

Besides my neglect of the authors of items that didn’t include “condor” in the title (and there were many), it’s important to note that nearly half of the items I found did not have named creators. It wasn’t until the 1930s that any of the articles had named creators.

Several Los Angeles Times journalists published 10 or more articles that met my criteria,  during anywhere from a year to a decade:

Robert Jones, 1976-1985
David Smollar, 1986-1987
Linda Monroe, 1988
Joanna Miller, 1992-1996

Another notable Los Angeles Times reporter is Ed Ainsworth, who has datelines from 1937 to 1966. Among his articles, some describing “expeditions” into condor habitat and all conveying positive regard for the condor, are:

Condors Come Back; Expert Tells Habits (28 March 1937)
Perpetual Sanctuary Created for Giant California Condors (29 January 1951)
Condors Arouse New Sympathy (12 March 1964)

(Ainsworth also published a substantial article about the California condor in the June 1954 issue of Field and Stream magazine.)

Together, the journalists brought the condor-human story to a wide audience, promoting concern for the California condor and support for protecting and restoring the species. These authors also left a historical record (“the first draft of history”) that can be studied now and in the future.

Of course, the news items also facilitated criticism of efforts and expenditures to protect and restore the condor. With their questions and criticisms, the journalists no doubt caused some consternation for scientists and others involved in the condor recovery effort. But all this is part of the process.

Journalists around the world have written about the California condor. So this Los Angeles Times-focused post is offering just a sense of the journalistic component of the condor-human relationship.

Finally, here is my “honor roll” of the 152 who created items about the California condor with “condor” in the title that were published in the Los Angeles Times during the years 1900-1999:

Abkin, I A
Ainsworth, Ed
Alger, Douglas
Alvarez, Fred
Battelle, John
Benedetti, James P
Blachley, Annie
Blakeslee, Sandra
Blunt, Frederick
Boettner, Jack
Borneman, John C
Boudreaux, Richard
Bunting, Kenneth F
Burgess, Thornton W
Burke, William A
Burtnett, Gerald B
Bustillo, Miguel
Catania, Sara
Connell, Sally Ann
Conrad, Paul
Cooper, Stephen
Darlington, David
Davidson, Keay
De Wolfe, Evelyn
Dietch, Robert
Dolan, Maura
Doll, Pancho
Downey, Terril
Estepa, Andrea
Ferrarone, Aida
Fields, Julie
Garcia, Kenneth J
Gaw, Jonathan
Gerstenzang, James
Glionna, John M
Gorman, Gary
Gorman, Tom
Gowenlock, Shanna
Graber, David M
Granberry, Michael
Greeley, Tom
Green, Nick
Hadly, Scott
Harris, Scott
Hehr, Frederick G
Hill, H M
Himmel, Nieson
Holbreich, Curt
Houston, Jim
Hulse, Jane
Jaye, Mike
Jones, Charisse
Jones, Jack
Jones, Robert A
Jones, William
Kaiser, Patricia
Kelley, Daryl
Kiff, Lloyd
King, Dale B
Lagomarsino, Robert J
Lee, John H
Levakis, Clarann
Levin, Carl M
Leyland, R C
Lima, Christina
Lindgren, Kristina
Locke, Robert
Loderhose, Mari
Long, William R
Loree, Brenda
Lowe, George
Lubas, Ken
Marino, Pamela
Martinez, Al
Maugh, Thomas H II
Maurice, Philip B
McDonald, Jeff
McDonnell, Patrick
McKinney, John
McKinnie-McCoy, Ruth
Merker, Sarita
Meyers, Jeff
Miller, Joanna M
Mitchell, J E
Monroe, Linda Roach
Mosqueda, John
Nachtigal, Jerry
Nelson, Bryce
Nevins, Ken
Norris, Michele L
O’Neill, Stephanie
O’Reilly, Richard
Paegel, Tom
Parachini, Allan
Parker, Paula
Polakovic, Gary
Pols, Mary F
Ramos, George
Ray, Nancy
Reed, Mack
Revkin, Andrew C
Reynolds, H R
Rhine, Larry
Riggio, Rosemary
Robinson, Cyril S
Russell, Egon
Ryder, Oliver A
Saillant, Catherine
Saillant, Kay
Saldana, Lupi
Sanders, Greg
Scala, A
Schenden, Laurie K
Scott, Janny
Shippey, Lee
Shogren, Elizabeth
Shuit, Doug
Silbiger, Dean L
Simon, Richard
Simon, Stephanie
Smith, Jack
Smith, Shawn Maree
Smollar, David
Soble, Ronald L
Sommer, Constance
Spear, Nancy L
Stammer, Larry B
Steepleton, Scott
Taylor, Ronald B
Tebeau, J Michele
Tennant, Bruce
Thackrey, Ted, Jr
Tienken, A C
Townsend, Dorothy
Turner, Kernan
Tyson, W B
Vafeades, Jean
Walker, Lewis W
Walp, Robert M
Ward, Marvin F
Weinstock, Matt
Weintraub, Boris
Weintraub, Daniel M
Weiss, Kenneth R
Williams, Laura
Wilson, Tracy
Wing, Joe
Wohlgemuth, Sanford
Wolcott, Holly J
Wolff, Jacqueline
Wolf, Leslie
Yasuda, Gene