This is me and I used to play the piano.

Hi there,

Let me tell you a little something about myself.

I’m a Chicago-based freelance writer working for several community newspapers, including The Austin Weekly News, Chicago Crusader and The Final Call. I did some public relations work for several grassroots political campaigns.

I worked for eight years with the Chicago Citizen Newspapers, a weekly chain covering Chicago’s Black community. I call myself a social and advocacy journalist, because I like writing stories on criminal justice, public housing and substance abuse treatment, an interest that carried over from my time working for Streetwise and The Chicago Reporter. Both papers report on race and poverty issues.

I’m also a community newspaper advocate, and truly live by the phrase: “Small newspapers can be great when they cover their communities well”. I have a passion for community news and leave corruption, crime and politricking (Ops, I mean) politicking for the big boy dailies.

That doesn’t mean I don’t compete with them or cover those issues. But real change and good stories are not found in City Hall, but on the streets, in churches, libraries and community centers that make up a thriving community.

Well anyway, after doing several public relations gigs, I landed my first newspaper job at the Chicago Defender. But (a big smile crosses my lips) my greatest accomplishment was being a finalist for the 2006 A. Phillip Randolph Messenger Award (that is like the Academy Awards for the Black Press-similar to a Pulitzer, which I do feel coming) for my investigative piece Commercializing the Dream: Are people forgetting King’s purpose while capitalizing on the dream? I also took home third place in the feature writing category for Book Tells Gripping Account of September 11 Terrorist Attacks.

I received the award from the National Newspaper Publishers Association (the Black Press). The story was about the Verizon telephone operator who took Todd Beamer’s call on that fateful day and the impact it had on her life.

Beside writing, hobbies include traveling, reading and reporting on Africa. Contact me at larisalynch@yahoo.com.

9 Comments on "About"

  1. Awh shucks you making me blush. But I do feel that Pulitzer coming some day soon. Thanks 😀

  2. Susan Blakes | March 7, 2012 at 8:51 am |

    La Risa,
    Let me update things a bit (smile). You know I am honored to have shared a byline with you years ago for an investigative piece we wrote while at StreetWise. So, in addition to all the awards you garner along the way, I’m going to really stick my chest out when you get that Pulitzer!

  3. Thanks for being one of our featured community writers!

    Shon L. Burns
    The Southeast Calumet Heights Homeowners Assoc.

  4. Crystal Gilchrist | February 27, 2011 at 9:14 pm |

    I enjoyed your video stories and I hope to see more in the future. I think it adds a personal touch while reading the stories. Keep up the good work.

  5. Dexter Tartt | February 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm |

    The new video story is great keep it up!!!!!!!

  6. Shaton Lynch-Wolverton | January 20, 2011 at 6:51 pm |

    La Risa,
    The site is awesome! I had no idea…now that I’ve found it, I will definetely visit often. Much success! Love ya!

  7. keep up the great work site looks awesome !!!!!!!

  8. dexter tartt | July 6, 2010 at 11:58 am |

    you have did a lot with the site since the last time I visited keep up the great work !!!!!!!

  9. dexter ray tartt | April 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm |

    you are very accomplished congratulations on all the awards

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