Award-winning journalist Nancy Cleeland ended her employment at the Los Angeles Times last month, along with 56 newsroom colleagues who also accepted the latest round of boyout offers from the Tribune company which owns the the paper.
Cleeland is troubled by the move. She explains why on Huffington Post.
The Los Angeles region is defined by gaping income disparities and an enormous pool of low-wage immigrant workers, many of whom are pulled north by lousy, unstable jobs. It’s also home to one of the most active and creative labor federations in the country. But you wouldn’t know any of that from reading a typical issue of the L.A. Times, in print or online. Increasingly anti-union in its editorial policy, and celebrity — and crime-focused in its news coverage, it ignores the economic discontent that is clearly reflected in ethnic publications such as La Opinion.
Of course, I realize that revenues are plummeting and newsroom staffs are being cut across the country. But even in these tough financial times, it’s possible to shift priorities to make Southern California’s largest newspaper more relevant to the bulk of people who live here. Here’s one idea: Instead of hiring a “celebrity justice reporter,” now being sought for the Times website, why not develop a beat on economic justice? It might interest some of the millions of workers who draw hourly wages and are being squeezed by soaring rents, health care costs and debt loads.
With the Los Angeles Economic Roundtable, Cleeland is exploring the development of a nonprofit online site to chronicle the regional economy from a full range of perspectives.
[via Counter Spin]