About Kevin Sablan

 

I started working in the news industry because I didn’t trust “the media.”

I was born and raised in Long Beach, California, wondering why gang fights and concealed weapons at my school didn’t make the evening news or the morning paper.

Back then, news took a back seat to friends, bikes, boards and video games. But I didn’t just like playing games, I wanted to make them.

My 3 years studying software engineering  at UC Irvine ended in April of 1992, when the L.A. riots helped me realize that other things were more important to me than algorithms and “Big O notation.”

I decided to leave school. My then-part-time job selling music and movies transformed into a surprisingly fulfilling 10-year mini-career of customer service and retail management.

During five of those years, I learned graphic design as I created print ads and brochures as part of my friends’ small firm. When a web presence became a necessity for our corporate clients, my techie experience made me the company’s default web department.

I spent nights recouping in Leimert Park, where I found kindred souls who loved jazz and hip hop. Those peers, and community elders like Richard Fulton, Billy Higgins, Juno Lewis and Horace Tapscott, helped shape my character. (Watch a video of Huell Howser visiting Leimert Park.)

When the internet bubble burst at the turn of the century, web business dried up and I was layed off … with a shiny new toddler and another baby on the way!

I took a job at a local newspaper, thinking I would finally get a front-row seat to a mainstream media conspiracy that blocked or skewed coverage of my ‘hood. Instead, I met many individuals — many with little firsthand experience with economically-disadvantaged communities and cultures — whose personal views did not necessarily align with the reputation of their organizations.

Now, I live in Orange County and work at The Orange County Register, a news and information company born out of the proud tradition of journalism.