A lot of people are upset at the Times eliminating the California section but maybe they are overlooking the fact that local news is moving to the front of the paper.
Local news might be even make it to the front page more often.
The Times might even become the Los Angeles Times and take on as its mission providing a vision for the region and the journalism and commentary to back it up.
I’m a local newsman, or was for a very long time. I think that’s where a local newspaper can make a real difference. It’s what I tried to do at the Daily News during my 23 years there, to help make it the voice of the San Fernando Valley.
No one has been more critical of the Times than me for lacking a vision for Los Angeles, for so trying to be the New York Times West that the city, the region were of little importance to it — the world, Washington, the nation, arts, entertainment, sports, business were what mattered. Los Angeles was just another story.
The decline of newspapers and news media, so many friends and colleagues losing their jobs — it’s a terrible thing to see.
But the Times becoming a Los Angeles newspaper could be the best thing for the city. The community needs a powerful, credible voice to stand up for the common good, the greater good, to passionately tell the stories of who we are and how we could do better.
The staff of the Times can continue to wallow in the heartache of what is gone or going or they can see the possibility of what could become.
And for the audience of newspaper readers, take a second look. The California section was never very good, never really focused in any way. Newspapers everywhere are in serious financial trouble. Almost all of them can be bought for a small fraction of their price just five years ago so drastic measures have to be taken.
Some papers will survive and it’s my belief, the survivors for the most part will be those that serve their communities best by communicating the truth about what’s going on in the neighborhoods and cities and standing up for what’s right.
We need the Times, the Los Angeles Times, but we need it to serve us better than it has in the past..