Linda Deutsch News
ASSOCIATED PRESS SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
In nearly a half century with The Associated Press, Linda Deutsch established herself as the nation’s leading expert in coverage of high profile trials. From Manson to O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Phil Spector and many others in between, she has become known for her fair and unbiased coverage.
A recent issue of “Current Biography,” summing up her career said, “She has been ranked among the foremost American courtroom journalists of modern times….She is best known for her detailed, objective reporting on some of the most sensational, newsworthy and influential trials of recent decades. ”
Linda has been the eyes and ears of the public at trials including those of: Sirhan Sirhan, Charles Manson, Patty Hearst, Angela Davis, Daniel Ellsberg, John Z. DeLorean, Exxon Valdez skipper Joseph Hazelwood, William Kennedy Smith and the Menendez Brothers.
She added an exclamation point to her career with her coverage of the O.J. Simpson criminal and civil trials and was a Pulitzer Prize nominee for her work on the case. The Simpson trial brought Linda’s face as well as her byline into millions of homes as she was called upon by TV news shows to share her expertise with their audiences. She continues to appear on numerous shows. She co-authored the book, “Verdict: The Chronicle of the O.J. Simpson Trial,” and is a contributor to the AP history: “Breaking news: How The Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace and Everything Else.”
In 2010 she received the American Judicature Society’s Toni House Journalism Award which cited her 45 years of “outstanding news reporting that enhances public understanding of the courts and significantly improves the administration of justice.”
The announcement said, “Deutsch ranks as one of the nation’s pre-eminent chroniclers of the legal system whose clear, concise reports have connected millions of readers around the world to the inner workings of American’s courtrooms.”
The award also noted, “Linda is a tireless champion of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
She is a frequent speaker to attorneys and judges’ organizations and journalism schools and organizations and has been profiled in many publications including Los Angeles Magazine, Editor and Publisher magazine and the Los Angeles Times magazine.
A lesser known fact about Linda’s career is at the age of 12 she launched an Elvis Presley Fan Club—one of the first—and published a fan newspaper that was distributed to 300 members around the world. She wrote, typed, mimeographed it, and licked the stamps to mail it. It was her first foray into writing for a mass audience, and it stuck, giving her a life-long love for journalism. So too did her devotion to Elvis; she continues to speak with Elvis fan clubs and at events dedicated to “the King” around the world.
Linda made news this year when she announced she would be retiring from the AP after 48 years with the news service. She plans to write a memoir of her journey through high profile trials and the American justice system.
Linda, who once aspired to be an entertainment journalist, wound up covering many celebrities but in a very different venue - the courtroom. She was at the trials of Michael Jackson, Robert Blake and Phil Spector, just to name a few. Following the death of Jackson, she covered the civil court proceedings over his estate and the trial of his doctor, Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
Linda is a native of New Jersey and a graduate of Monmouth University, West Long Branch, N.J. with a B.A. degree in English. Before joining the AP in Los Angeles, she was a reporter for the Perth Amboy (N.J.) News, the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press and the San Bernardino (Ca.) Sun.
She was honored by her alma mater with its Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996. She was also inducted into the Asbury Park High School Hall of Fame.
Linda is the recipient of numerous awards including the University of Missouri’s Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism and the Society of Professional Journalists national First Amendment Award. SPJ also honored her as a “Fellow of the Society,” the highest honor awarded for contributions to the journalism profession
Before moving into trial coverage full time, Linda covered two Presidents - Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan - at their Western White Houses and two assassination attempts on another president, Gerald Ford. From Guam, she covered the evacuation of Vietnam after the fall of Saigon.
“She’s just extremely ethical, extremely professional and very, very honest. If she tells you something is off the record, you can bet your life that it is. She also has a great belief in the importance of her profession as an honorable, valuable institution in society.”
Thomas Mesereau - High-Profile Defense Attorney
"For 48 years, Linda Deutsch held a bright candle for The Associated Press. She taught us what true reporting and journalism are truly about."
Judy Farah - KFBK Senior Editor
VERDICT: THE CHRONICLE of the OJ SIMPSON TRAIL
Illustrated highlights of the incredible Simpson criminal trial. Photos, graphics and stories by the reporters who covered the case. The Associated Press, 1996.