A Reporter’s Blog is written by author and journalist Sam Quinones, formerly a reporter at the LA Times.

It’s intended to be a an informal look at his activities as a reporter, including interviews, photos, vignettes of people he’s met and discussions of topics that most interest him: Los Angeles, Mexico, immigration, drug trafficking, neighborhood tales, and above all, good storytelling..

He welcomes critiques, comments, suggestions. Contact him at samquinones7@yahoo.com.

He has been a working reporter for 27 years, including 10 years at the LA Times and 10 years before that in Mexico as a freelance writer. He is the author of  two books, and many stories about immigrants, gangs, drug trafficking and more. His third book of narrative nonfiction, Dreamland; The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, will be released in April, 2015 by Bloomsbury Press.

He also edits, and welcomes contributions to, the storytelling website, Tell Your True Tale, and teaches writing workshops of the same name.

South Central Christmas Tree


10 Responses to About

  1. Hello:

    I just finished reading your recent article in the New York Times about the rise of heroin use in the US and the mechanism for the spread of black tar heroin.

    When I read Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari, I get a very different picture explaining the increase in heroine use. It’s more connected to the fact that it’s prohibited and the context of the user.

    Are you aware of Hari’s book and if so have you read it. And if you have read it, do you disagree with his explanation?


    tel. +1 415 722-5584

    • samquinones


      I have not read Johann’s book, but my very strong feeling is that the increase in heroin addiction is directly related to the rising tide of prescription painkillers that has been part of US life for two decades now….Heroin has been illegal for a long time, but it’s only since the rise of these pills and doctors prescribing them for everything, and in very large numbers, that it’s become a problem again….Interviews with too many addicts, their families, drug counselors and others lead me to this conclusion.

  2. Hey Sam,

    Do you know what happen with the Jose Luis “Joe” Saenz case? I haven’t heard anything about it.


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