Oral Histories

Interview of James R. Wrightson

Journalist from 1950 to 1985 with a focus on politics in California at local and state levels.
James R. Wrightson
California State Archives State Government Oral History Program
Politics and Government
Biographical Note:
Journalist from 1950 to 1985 with a focus on politics in California at local and state levels.
Vasquez, Carlos
Wrightson, James R.
Persons Present:
Wrightson and Vasquez.
Place Conducted:
Wrightson's home in Pasadena, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Carlos Vasquez, Director, UCLA State Government Interview Series, UCLA Oral History Program; B.A., Political Science, UCLA; M.A., Political Science, Stanford University; Ph.D. candidate, History, UCLA.There exist no private papers which the interviewer was able to consult for this interview.
Processing of Interview:
Vasquez checked the verbatim manuscript of the interview against the original tape recordings, edited for punctuation, paragraphing, and spellings, and verified proper names. Insertions by the editor are bracketed. The interviewer also prepared the introductory materials.Wrightson reviewed the edited transcript and made a number of changes, none of which altered the content of the interview, but which extracted repetitive or extraneous material.
Series Statement:
Interviews in this series were undertaken by the UCLA Oral History Program under the auspices of the California State Archives and in conjunction with the California State University, Fullerton, Oral History Program; California State University, Sacramento, Center for California Studies Oral History Program; Claremont Graduate School Oral History Program; and the University of California, Berkeley, Regional Oral History Office. Funds were allocated to the state archives after Governor George Deukmejian signed into law Assembly Bill 2104 (Chapter 965 of the Statutes of 1985), establishing a state government oral history program "to provide through the use of oral history a continuing documentation of state policy development as reflected in California's legislative and executive history." All interviews in the series are available at the California State Archives in Sacramento.
Family and educational background in Maryland; service in the Civil Public Service camps as a conscientious objector during World War II; postwar work with the National Farm Labor Union; works for the Altadenan, then the Delano Record; moves to the Taft Midway Driller and the Tulare Advance Register; works as the Fresno Bee's Sacramento correspondent; covers the state legislature; becomes Los Angeles correspondent for the Sacramento Bee; in 1982 opens the Sacramento Bee's Los Angeles Bureau; becomes associate editor of the Sacramento Bee; observations about the Sacramento press corps; effective legislators, influential lobbyists; impact of media on politicians, lobbyists, and state government.