The Los Angeles Times is a pretty sad place right now. And not because word on the street is that Paul Blart: Mall Cop is getting a sequel.
The news institution is merging its California section of state and local news with the rest of the paper, leaving less space for stories taking place in our own backyards. In other words, say goodbye to the very thing the LA Times can do better than anyone else—cover California. New media expert Jeff Jarvis once wrote that papers should “cover what they do best and link to the rest.” (insert mandatory journalist groans and eye rolls here.) But the man has a point.
If I must, I can go to ESPN for sports scores. CNN will brief me on what happened as I slept. No one paints a finer picture of our bleak economy than the Wall Street Journal. And when I want to be wowed by words, I’ll see what Tom Friedman has to say in the New York Times.
If its news from Capital Hill I seek, the Washington Post provides my solace. And in the days following Rod Blagojevich’s ousting, I trust the Chicago Tribune for reassurance that the crook and his shiny mane are really no more.
But as soon as wildfires break out in Orange County, the LA Times is my textbook. When I realize a friend may be on board a certain Metrolink train, it is my support. And after reading that a nearby murder wasn’t a random act of violence as I previously thought, my local newspaper is my sleeping pill.
Covering our home is what the Los Angeles Times does best. And it’s a shame—especially in a digital world where word counts can be infinite—to offer readers even less of what happens in our schools, on our streets and inside city hall.
But I guess it isn’t really that big of a deal. We have a shrinking newspaper, so what?
Image courtesy of the Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times
Maybe Paul Blart: Mall Cop has the answer.