A journalist with more than three decades experience, Ron Olsen, built his website, workingreporter.com, while covering the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. At the time, not even the nation’s major newspapers had websites. For Ron, the need for a comprehensive website for journalists seemed obvious, so he taught himself html programming and built one. He’s been hooked on the Internet ever since.
A number of colleges and universities, including Columbia, Rutgers and the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School For Communications recommend Olsen’s website as a reliable resource. It has also received recommendations from the Poynter Institute and the American Press Institute.
Ron Olsen, grew up in Minnesota, where he studied communications and theater arts at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. It was at the U of M that Olsen first became interested in broadcasting, with a job as a disc jockey at the student-run radio station, WMMR (now called “Radio K”).
While still in college, Ron landed a job as Production Facilities Coordinator at KSTP-TV in Minneapolis. At the NBC affiliate, Olsen was responsible for scheduling and staffing studio facilities while interfacing with producers and directors and supervising a staff of a half-dozen floor directors.
From there, he made the jump to being a reporter at KELO-TV in Sioux Falls, eventually moving on to WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio, KDKA-TV, in Pittsuburgh, PA, WMAR-TV in Baltimore and KABC-TV/ABC Radio Network, KHJ-TV and finally KTLA-TV, all in Los Angeles.
His work has received numerous awards and accolades, including three Emmys, an Edward R. Murrow Award, a first-place award from the Greater Los Angeles Press Club, Associated Press awards for breaking news coverage and a Peabody Award for breaking the story and then continuing coverage of the Rodney King beating incident.
In April of 2002, KTLA, asked Ron to head up the Tribune Company’s efforts at establishing “synergy” between the tv station and the company’s newly acquired property, the Los Angeles Times. Ron took a desk at the Times and spent the next five years working with a staff of around 1,200 editors and reporters at the paper. His job was to establish and then nurture a relationship between print and broadcast journalists. He was also assigned to find a way to achieve product sharing between the two entities. He did this, by turning newspaper stories and series the newspaper was working on, into stories for tv news and the Internet. His work at the Times, made Ron one of the first “cross-platform” journalists in the country. He was privileged to be associated with the paper. At the time Ron was there, the Times won multiple Pulitzers, year after year.
Olsen left KTLA and the Tribune Company in March of 2009, to pursue his interest in writing. He currently continues to maintain his website and blog, while working on a book about his youth in Minnesota, and writing editorials for the Valley News Group newspapers in the San Fernando Valley.