Julia Deng is an all-platform, all-terrain reporter with a passion for advocacy journalism and resourceful storytelling. She has a decade of experience writing, shooting and editing stories for television, radio, print and digital news outlets. Julia has walked through tear gas to document social justice protests and waded through oil patch sludge to secure exclusives. Her stories have led to swift corrective action at public agencies, school districts, companies and a public utility.
As communications director for the Los Angeles County Business Federation, widely known as "BizFed," Julia leads a media operation serving business organization members representing 420,000 employers with 5 million employees. Her around-the-clock news alerts and rapid-fire responses to local, state and federal policy developments have helped drive advocacy victories tied to housing, homelessness, pandemic recovery, education, health care, energy, water and transportation. Op-eds and letters to editors penned by Julia for BizFed members have appeared in CalMatters, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News and The Wall Street Journal.
During her time at WISH-TV in Indianapolis, Julia led coverage of regional and national stories for Nexstar stations, spotlighting humanity and hope in the wake of deadly tornadoes and delivering hours of live field reports following the Dayton mass shooting in 2019. As a member of WISH-TV's investigative unit, Julia tracked the rise of violent extremist groups, identified gaps in eviction protection and uncovered an issue in Indiana's unemployment insurance system that caused payment delays for more than 20,000 people.
Julia is proudest of her stories that have opened hearts and minds, and righted wrongs. After she aired a story about a kindergarten student's "lunch shaming" ordeal, school administrators suspended the district's cold sandwich policy. Her reporting in Indianapolis also prompted a public utility to acknowledge and address a mistake that left a local couple without running water for 20 months.
During her time at KWES-TV in Texas, Julia spent months researching local hospital records and aired a series of stories about alleged medication errors at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, the region's only full-service hospital. She tracked down and interviewed whistleblowers who claimed they were fired for speaking out about dosage mistakes that could have killed patients, then tracked down and spoke with those patients about how they felt they were silenced.
Julia is at home in newsrooms and courtrooms. In 2015, her coverage of a weekslong murder trial in Sierra Blanca was featured in National Geographic's "Badlands" series. She made case developments come alive for viewers by introducing new characters daily: relatives watching with bated breath, a courtroom artist sketching the unfolding drama and attorneys struggling to connect with jurors. She reported from the front lines of numerous legal battles in Texas, including a Union Pacific negligence case stemming from a deadly parade float accident.
Julia credits her internships with shaping her news philosophy and storytelling techniques. She worked closely with NBC News producers and correspondents during college, contributing to NBC Nightly News, TODAY Show, NBCNews.com and NBC Latino stories. She received Assistant Producer credit for Dateline NBC's 2012 season premiere, "The Plot Thickens." At CBS Los Angeles, she field produced DWP and Caltrans investigations for reporter David Goldstein, conducting dusk-to-dawn stakeouts and shooting footage on hidden cameras to expose corruption.
Julia was awarded the Leslie Miller Scholarship in 2013 for her "commitment to telling stories that make a positive and meaningful difference." She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California, where she double-majored in journalism and political science. She was executive producer of USC's award-winning Annenberg TV News. Fight on!
Julia hung up her broadcaster hat and joined the Los Angeles County Business Federation in 2021, doubling down on her fact-finding discipline and finding new ways to enterprise overlooked stories. She amplifies the voice of business with a multiplatform and multilingual approach. As communications director for the federation, known as "BizFed," Julia has secured coverage of business issues in more than 50 local and national news outlets spanning print, broadcast, radio and digital media in languages including English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and German.
So what exactly is BizFed? The grassroots alliance unites chambers of commerce, business improvement districts, economic development organizations, trade associations, minority business groups and other business associations to advocate for policies and projects that spur job creation and economic vitality. BizFed launched in 2008 and now unites more than 240 business organization members. BizFed's nearly 150 investing members include iconic brands, teams and institutions — including the Los Angeles Dodgers!
Julia and her team are proud to break down barriers to civic engagement. Their day-to-day work involves mobilizing BizFed members to testify at meetings, craft advocacy content, front media campaigns and engage directly with lawmakers and regulators. By equipping members to take swift action on issues across all policy areas, BizFed has helped put roofs over more heads, advance programs that fill gaps in mental health care, create good-paying jobs for all levels of educational attainment and secure funding for water, transportation, broadband, education and other vital investments.
Julia's communications operation also serves the 501(c)(3) BizFed Institute and BizFed PAC, the only business political action committee focused on local elections in all 88 cities across Los Angeles County. She volunteers as a media and communications advisor for the New California Coalition, a statewide civic movement focused on solving California's livability, affordability and sustainability issues with a common-sense approach.
Julia is still telling solution-focused stories. When BizFed announced its multiagency homelessness initiative, Julia moved quickly to set up interviews and develop day-of-air angles for reporters from FOX11 and ABC7.
Op-eds and letters to editors penned by Julia for BizFed leaders have been published by CalMatters, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News and The Wall Street Journal.
Julia interviewed small business owners and workers ahead of a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors vote on a minimum wage hike. The quick-turn social clips below (shot and edited by Julia using only her iPhone) helped humanize the business community's position on the hot-button issue. County supervisors ultimately withdrew the proposal. This Daily News story pointed to BizFed's work as a reason for the eleventh-hour pivot.
👆Click to enlarge video captions.