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L.A. doesn't care why we're in Iraq, says stakeholder in L.A .Times; give 'em a cheaper paper

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 02:24 PM
Original message
L.A. doesn't care why we're in Iraq, says stakeholder in L.A .Times; give 'em a cheaper paper
Edited on Mon Mar-05-07 02:39 PM by DeepModem Mom
Latest in the battle between the L.A. Times and its owner, The Tribune Company --

LAT: Tim Rutten
Regarding Media
About 'Frontline': The world of The Times
March 3, 2007

THE Public Broadcasting Service's long-running documentary series "Frontline" currently is airing a multi-part exploration of the financial, technological and conceptual turmoil through which the American news media is passing.

It's called "News War," and a substantial part of this week's installment was devoted to the situation here at the Los Angeles Times. As anybody who cares to know already knows, this newspaper has been gripped by uncertainty and unrest for much of the time since its purchase by the Chicago-based Tribune Co. The paper's editorial and business staffs have been substantially reduced, as has the amount of space allocated to journalism. Two publishers (John Puerner and Jeffrey M. Johnson) and two editors (John Carroll and Dean Baquet) have come and gone over the last five years because they felt the demands for cuts had gone too far. Johnson and Baquet, in fact, lost their jobs after going public with their objections.

Johnson, Carroll and Baquet were all prominent voices in the "Frontline" piece, sympathetically interviewed by veteran investigative journalist Lowell Bergman. All three men came across on camera pretty much as those of us who worked with them believe they are: accomplished, highly intelligent, thoughtful professional journalists, passionately committed to the principle that newspapers have an irreducible obligation to serve the public interest.

The documentary also introduced its viewers to a guy who pretty much personifies the forces that are undermining American newspapers owned by publicly traded corporations. In this case, the voice belonged to Charles K. Bobrinskoy, vice chairman and director of research for Ariel Capital Management, a Chicago-based money management firm whose 6% stake in Tribune makes it the company's fourth-largest stockholder.

According to the transcript of Bobrinskoy's interview, which is posted on "Frontline's" website, he believes the "problem" with the Los Angeles Times is that its editors and writers only care about being read by their "peers across the country, by politicians in New York and Washington, by people who give away Pulitzer Prizes." The Times' editors, he told Bergman, have "decided that they have to be a national newspaper with international coverage. They've got over 20 foreign bureaus, including bureaus in Istanbul and Cairo. Nobody is reading the L.A. Times wanting to find out what's happening in Istanbul.

Worst of all, according to Bobrinskoy, the Los Angeles Times has been wasting its time trying to explain to you "why Bush went to war in Iraq," when all you wanted to know was what to wear to the next premiere and how many points Kobe scored last night....

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-rutten3...
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BellaLuna Donating Member (215 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. This is a nationwide problem, not just L.A.
.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. The article is actually making the point that a corporate owner of the L.A. Times...
is demeaning the city, and saying it doesn't deserve a world-class newspaper. His interest is in cost-cutting and making money for shareholders, not journalism's serving the public interest.
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BellaLuna Donating Member (215 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. well, he would be wrong
while there are plenty of National Enquirer type idiots all over the country..not just L.A. and on some levels he is right, But, there is a huge demand for real news which the news media has neglected to provide the masses - not because we don't want it but because the right wing doesn't want the truth out. Integrity in journalism is a rarity these days and the likes of guys like him are happy with that. They do NOT want the masses really knowing what is going on in the world or their neocons buddies would be out of power in a flash.

the L.A.Times has gone downhill for some time now and it's a shame. It used to be a great newspaper.
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KingofNewOrleans Donating Member (650 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
2. For a moment I thought Kobe was
coming out with a line of baskets, which I thought odd, but did pique my curosity. Uh, what was the rest of the article about?
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I edited to read Kobe's "points." nt
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. In fact, I edited the whole subject line. nt
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KingofNewOrleans Donating Member (650 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. I was just having a little fun
I kind of like the idea of Kobe's baskets. And while I agree that the media can devote too much time/space to less important topics (like Anna Nicole) I think it is possible to pay attention to Kobe, the lastest premier, and still be an informed responsible citizen.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. In all honesty, the subject line was a mess.
B-)
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. -- groan --
"Worst of all, according to Bobrinskoy, the Los Angeles Times has been wasting its time trying to explain to you "why Bush went to war in Iraq," when all you wanted to know was what to wear to the next premiere and how many points Kobe scored last night...."

And he's sure of this because that's all he ever thinks about, right?

Elitist bastard...
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melody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
7. LA Times hasn't been worth reading in years
If I want to read infomercials for Bush (like, if my brain suddenly froze up), I'll subscribe to the Quarterly.

Everyone I know in LA gets their news from various sources on the net.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. They've actually won a load of Pulitzers, and, IMO, in the category....
of major MSM newspapers, they measure up pretty well. Since the firing of Baquet, however, and the new editor directly from Chicago, I've noticed a change in news coverage and editorials.

I spend a lot of time in LA, and I fear a takeover of the Times by Gannett, or even Murdoch.
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melody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I've never cared for them ... but I agree, Murdoch is probably poaching for them
Gannett, too.
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
9. nicely written article..
he's a keeper! I noticed this from one of his other articles...
The late Murray Kempton once described editorial writers as "the people who come down from the hill after the battle to shoot the wounded." Nowadays, media analysts are the guys who follow behind them, going through the pockets of the dead looking for loose change.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Great find -- thank you! I know a little about...
what goes on at the Times. There's a lot of criticism here, as there is of any major MSM paper, but the section editors and reporters at the Times have gone through hell since it was bought by the Tribune Company. When Baquet was fired, there was open crying all over the building, and continuing depression. These people take pride in their profession, and want the paper to be a good one. And just between you and me, I don't think any of them are fans of GW Bush.
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. His writing impresses me..
thought provoking but not heated, which lends itself to a simple, clean picture. Considering the environment that seems quite the feat.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. You're right -- especially considering his probable emotional investment in all this. nt
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
13. Yes, corporations buying newspapers and then squeezing as much profit from them
while spending as little $ as possible.

It's so easy when the Bush White House and GOP thinktanks just spoonfeed you the news/
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 12:07 AM
Response to Original message
18. This is so sick. I have to subscribe because Wendy McCaw wrecked my local paper
Just google her name for the gory details.

Regarding our local situation, a retired County official recently said to me that this is a terrific time to be a corrupt politician or a corrupt anything in public life, because it is simply not being reported. At all.
:-(

These days I get most of my news from DU's busy reporters.

Hekate

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