Gil Durán has rejoined the newspaper industry as California opinion editor for The Sacramento Bee.
He’ll oversee strategy for McClatchy’s five California news organizations: The Sacramento Bee, The Fresno Bee, The Modesto Bee, The Merced Sun-Star and The Tribune in San Luis Obispo.
He started the new job this week.
“I got my first byline in the 5th grade and, for most of my life, only wanted to be one thing: a journalist,” Durán tells Media Moves. “I feel very lucky to be returning to newspapers after having gained so much knowledge and experience in the political field. My political career provided me with a broad education that I hope to put to use on behalf of our readers.”
A former San Jose Mercury News reporter, Durán spent the last 15 years in numerous communications roles. He was communications director for Sen. Dianne Feinstein and press secretary for Gov. Jerry Brown and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. He also worked with then-Attorney General Kamala Harris in 2013.
Durán went on to co-found communications firm FrameLab and launched a podcast with the same name that focused on language, politics and the brain. He disengaged from the firm to accept the Sacramento Bee position.
In a story published by the SacBee, Durán said the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi contributed to his decision to return to journalism.
“We live at a time when both democracy and the free press have come under sustained attack from powerful forces around the globe that have no respect for either institution,”Durán told the SacBee. “(Khashoggi’s death) reminded me that the pen is mightier than the sword, and it’s a journalist’s purpose to ‘print the news and raise hell’ — and hold the powerful to account. When I got the chance to return to newspapers, I didn’t hesitate.”