Dec 8, 2013
Ailing Journalism in Ailing Times
Posted on Jul 5, 2010
By T.L. Caswell
When Boyarsky mentions the message from Otis Chandler he is speaking of a letter that the esteemed publisher, then retired, sent to the employees of the Times during the Staples crisis. Boyarsky told me that the Chandler communication was “the most eloquent statement I have ever seen on the need for editorial independence and freedom from advertising pressures.” Chandler, who died in 2006, wrote, in part:
A fitting coda for this article can be found in the Times itself, in the July 2 edition of the Readers’ Representative Journal blog. Reacting to the fake-news section promoting the King Kong ride, reader Bob Niccum wrote, “In the original ‘King Kong’ film, a promoter sought to make his fortune by bringing a monster into the city. But he didn’t foresee the damage that the monster would cause. …” I hope that registers at the Los Angeles Times. The newspaper’s deliberate failures of ethics are releasing a monster that will destroy the newspaper faster and more surely than any industrywide financial decline.
T.L. Caswell was on the Los Angeles Times editing staff for more than 25 years and now edits and writes for Truthdig.
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