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Julie Makinen

20: December 2017

Julie Makinen is a veteran reporter and editor for publications including the Los Angeles Times, the International New York Times and the Washington Post. She has reported from countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, China, Nepal, Mongolia, Myanmar, Japan and Malaysia. From 2014-16, she was Beijing Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times and served on the board of the Foreign Correspondents Club of China, heading its Media Freedoms Committee. She has also been a reporting fellow with the Japan Center for International Exchange and the Foreign Press Center of Japan.


Prior to that, Julie was the film editor for the L.A. Times, spearheading a ground-breaking examination of the Motion Picture Academy that set in motion the recent #OscarsSoWhite debate about the academy’s lack of diversity. During the global financial crisis, she was deputy business editor for the International New York Times in Hong Kong. In 2004, she served as a journalism trainer in Afghanistan for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.


Though Julie grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and loves traveling the world, at heart she is a Californian. She graduated from Stanford University (B.A. in Human Biology) and UCLA (M.A., East Asian Studies) and is the co-author of a downtown Los Angeles travel app, DTLA Explorer. Julie was a JSK (Knight) Journalism Fellow at Stanford University in 2016-17, and is now working on creating a journalism startup, California One. Video- and visuals-driven, California One aims to tell Golden State stories of national and international impact.



Julie participated in the December 2017 MediaStorm Methodology Master Class. She had the following to say about his experience:


MediaStorm’s 5-day Methodology Workshop is a brilliant mix of thought-provoking lessons and tactics for storytelling AND creating the financial foundation to nourish and sustain that storytelling. I previously attended MediaStorm’s 1-day One Day Master Class and while there is a little overlap with the the week-long experience, the extended experience was definitely worth it. These days, anyone aspiring to create the kind of substantive, purpose-driven films that MediaStorm specializes in needs to have some grounding in the business of filmmaking and strategies for reaching audiences and finding financial support. This workshop offers a wealth of tips from marketing to distribution and encourages participants to think about different lines of business that could sustain their work. As someone who is working on launching my own company, I really appreciate how honest, generous and forthright Brian and the MediaStorm team are in sharing their “lessons learned” both creatively and business-wise. Highly recommend!!


-- Julie Makinen, founder, California 1