See Video Interview with Jessica Lum Below
The family of Jessica Lum would like all her friends to know that she has passed away peacefully.
We who were closest to her were by her side as her body gave up the long battle with cancer. We wish to celebrate her life with her friends at a memorial service to be announced. Thank you to all for being her support through the years. You have all meant a lot to her in different ways.
Jessica Lum’s Biography
In her own words:
“Journalist, photographer, huge nerd. Addicted to coffee and the Internet. And above all: human beings.
I’m a multimedia journalist working towards a masters degree at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
In recent years, I’ve worked with the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and PetaPixel.com, a blog about photography. My journalism endeavors have taken me abroad to Thailand and Seoul, but also close to home — I’m currently an assistant editor for MissionLocal.org, a community news website covering the Mission District in San Francisco.
Credentials aside, I love a great story, whether in a movie, video game (I’m a gaming geek), a book — anywhere that is inspired by imagination, and inspires imagination. That’s part of why I got into journalism — I get to talk to people who have fascinating stories.
I firmly believe the bright future of journalism is where it always has been: rooted in honest storytelling.
Jessica loved to photograph football “anywhere within the 20 yards along the sideline – and the end zone.” In recent years, her journalism travels brought her to Bangkok’s red-light district and a tired desert corner of California, Slab City.
She was an assistant editor for the community news website MissionLocal.org, wrote for PetaPixel and was a photo editor and blogger forHyphen Magazine. She was working towards a master’s degree at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. The California native had a degree in English and a minor in Geography/Environmental Science from UCLA.
She worked with social media for the Los Angeles Times and produced video for the Washington Post. In addition to photo and video journalism, she had experience designing and developing web sites and multimedia news pieces.
Read her resume here.
The piece she did on Slab City is what brought her to us, the residents of Slab City. Her sensitive engaging pictures and recounting of residents’ own stories endeared her to us. She earned our full respect. Respect that is not freely given to many media groups that enter our gates. She lived with us for weeks at a time more than once to truly get a feel for who we are. She was not like other media visitors that blasted in looking for a quick buck, taking quick shots, manipulating the “stories” into the director’s preconceived staged “documentary”.
As Jordan G. Teicher wrote in his article on NPR “The Picture Show”:
“she met a population that was seeking privacy but whose privacy was being consistently breached.”
Jessica was different. She was a true Journalist. Recording the event through pictures and words that showed the soul of her subjects. She stayed true to her statement that she was addicted to …” above all: human beings”.
We would like her family to know: She will be remembered as one of our kindred spirits.
Here is a filmed interview by Slab City Resident Ken Stone.
c/o Dj.Ken Stone and his wife, Sue.