Melissa M. Daniels




I’m a longtime journalist fresh off a contract with the Associated Press covering politics and government in Phoenix. I live and work in downtown Los Angeles.

Previously, I covered state and federal courts in Los Angeles plus national legal news for Law360, a paywalled news site for lawyers and law firms.

My reporting strengths include diving into complex issues, like unwieldy litigation, budget negotiations and controversial legislation.  I’ve covered political campaigns from start to finish, filed breaking news from crime scenes, and explored places as varied as airfields, mountains, vacant lots, museum archives and highway construction sites. I’ve interviewed commuters pumping gas, voters casting ballots and protestors shouting out chants in order to tell stories about the intersection of government and 21st century American life, where it both collides and succeeds.

I’m also an experienced arts & culture writer who loves geeking out about music, gear and sales cycles. I’ve interviewed musicians, visual artists and business owners about their efforts in cities across the country and focused on the intersection of technology and music while freelancing for Forbes.

In addition to print and digital reporting,  I’ve served as the occasional guest on podcasts, talk radio or public affairs broadcasts. I’ve assisted on multimedia projects, shot and edited video of public events and captured wire-worthy photos off my iPhone.

Prior to moving to Los Angeles, I spent four years covering government and politics in Pennsylvania. I worked at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where I covered transportation and urban policy — plus state election cycles in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

I also tracked the run-up to the state legalizing medical marijuana with a series of stories about the grassroots lobbying efforts, largely led by the parents of sick children and other patients, and the science behind the plant.

Before exploring Pittsburgh, I covered the Pennsylvania legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration. There, I was a member of the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents Association, the nation’s oldest press corps.

While my career has brought me to the West Coast, I am a native of New York State. I also attended journalism school at Syracuse University and spent the early years of my career at The Daily Messenger in Canandaigua, New York.