He started at the paper in 1971 as a copy editor in the View section. His positions in subsequent years included city bureau chief, metro reporter, editorial writer, assistant national editor, Opinion editor and assistant editor for the Editorial Page. He was laid off from his position as an Op Ed contributor in a staff cutback in 2011.[dead link] He attributed his dismissal to ageism; responding to this, former colleagues in the Times newsroom attributed it to errors in his reporting.
Rutten won a 1991 award from the Greater Los Angeles Press Club for editorial writing.[dead link] He wrote about the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which won him a share of a 1995 Pulitzer Prize awarded to the staff of the Times for Breaking News Reporting. In 2007, he was honored by the Anti-Defamation League for advancing the ideals of the First Amendment.
- Kaufman, Alexander C. (December 14, 2012). "Ex-LA Times Columnist Tim Rutten Hired by LA Daily News". The Wrap: Covering Hollywood. The Wrap News, Inc. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
- "Tim Rutten Bio". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Shaw, Lucas (Jul 28, 2011). "L.A. Times Cuts Veteran Writers Tim Rutten, Mark Heisler, Jerry Crowe". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
- Story and audio of ex-columnist Tim Rutten telling of his layoff and predicting the future of the Times, September 14, 2011]
- Lang, Brent (August 9, 2011). "Tim Rutten: Did Errors, Not Ageism, Contribute to His L.A. Times Pink Slip?". The Wrap: Covering Hollywood. The Wrap News, Inc. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
- "ADL Honors L.A. Times Columnist Tim Rutten For Advancing Ideals Of First Amendment". Anti-Defamation League. November 14, 2008. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
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