Michael Luo strolls through midtown Manhattan to a sushi lunch, musing about his latest apartment renovations and the New York Knicks. But when conversation turns to his work these days””reporting for The New York Times on loopholes in current gun laws””Luo turns serious. “My wife would much prefer it if I covered something else,” says Luo. “It has certainly led to some apprehension.” While working on a story about mental illness and guns, he had to notify his editor where he was going and when he left””similar to his reporting protocols while briefly working in The New York Times’s Baghdad bureau.
Yet it’s this kind of serious journalism that has earned Luo, 37, the George Polk Award for criminal justice reporting, the Livingston Award for Young Journalists while at the Associated Press, and a job at The New York Times, where he has worked since 2003. He has covered everything from the last two presidential campaigns to Hurricane Katrina to the war in Iraq. Most recently, Luo has zeroed in on the gun industry and the wide availability of firearms””earning him a Pulitzer Prize nomination and frequent spots on the paper’s front page.
Luo became a Christian as an undergraduate at Harvard University, and today attends Redeemer Presbyterian with his wife and daughter. He recently spoke with Paul Glader, a journalism professor at The King’s College and former staff writer at The Wall Street Journal, about his faith and his work.