Lois Beckett is a senior reporter covering gun policy, criminal justice, and the far right in the United States for the Guardian. Before moderating the Zócalo/California Wellness Foundation panel “Can California Help America Reduce Gun Violence?,” she talked ice cream, her fake British accent, and her love of romance novels in the virtual Zócalo green room.
What do you do to unwind?
I really love reading romance novels, to be honest. I’ve written about the romance novel industry as a journalist, but that came out of being a lifelong romance novel reader. I do have to say, a good romance novel in a bad world is very key.
What is the most interesting thing about working for a British publication in the U.S.?
It’s really powerful to have a global perspective on your own country and to have colleagues who are looking at the same things you’re looking at with that outsider’s eyes.
What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
I think strawberry Häagen-Dazs is probably where it is. Also that purple yam [ube ice cream] from Trader Joe’s. That is great.
Where would you like to travel to next?
Ireland. I’ve never been to Ireland, and I have Irish heritage. My dream is to take long walks in the rain.
How do you procrastinate?
Where would we find you at 10 a.m. on a typical Sunday morning?
Listening to KCRW on the way to the beach.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What recent story are you most proud of covering?
I’m really proud of the investigation my colleague Sam Levin and I did into this cycle of misinformation that led to violence in the streets outside of Wi Spa in Koreatown.
What’s your hidden talent?
A really bad British accent—I try to hide that one.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in covering the far right?
The constant threat of violence and harassment against yourself and most of the people you know.