Here's a 7-minute interview with the utterly charming and geekworthy Alexia Tsotsis, the tech and business reporter for the LA Weekly newspaper.

The bangin', off-the-hook tech columnist talks about how how the LA tech scene is completely different than that of Silicon Valley: It's about the digital side of scores of entertainment companies in LA as well as bloggers, content providers and others who work in the industry.

LA Weekly uses Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, widgets, Digg -- "we're one of the best practices sites that I've seen," she says.

I'm fascinated by talented young media professionals like Alexia who don't have a traditional j-school background — they'll be making up an increasing part of the journalism profession in the years ahead.

"I've never been a by-the-book journalist -- that's why I have a lot of books, in case I wanted to reference them," she says. "Right now, the idea of what a journalist is is being restructured. It's really a ripe, fertile time for anyone who has a different idea of what reporting the world of news is -- to get their foot in the door and try to change things."

Alexia was a blogger first, print journalist second. "Hang in there is my advice," she says. She cites a Wall Street Journal survey that suggested 40 percent of newsroom journalists are "headed out," and says, "I think the ones who survive will be the ones with an exceptional voice."

And she offers this wise admonition: "I'm trying to make sure that online retains its human aspect, retains the IRL beauty of sharing content and joining the conversation."

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