To the editor: Steve Lopez writes about the sad, serious demise of newspapers, citing his experience with a number of small daily newspapers that are disappearing. Far more dramatic is the demise of large daily metropolitan newspapers in Los Angeles. ("The staggering body count as California newspapers founder, and democracy loses," April 14)
When I entered the workforce in 1952 as a public information professional with the county of Los Angeles, this city had five daily newspapers: the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Examiner in the morning, and the Los Angeles Daily News, the Los Angeles Herald and the Los Angeles Mirror in the afternoon. Not only were all of these newspapers looking to keep the city, the county, the state and business interests in general in the spotlight, they were competing among themselves to be the first to uncover wrongdoing.
Now we are down to one daily newspaper covering the whole region, the Los Angeles Times. We put our trust in soon-to-be owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong to guide The Times as it endeavors to do the job of five strong dailies.
Oh how we pray for his success.
Martin A. Brower, Corona del Mar
To the editor: Lopez is to be congratulated for having the knowledge to understand what is happening to our newspaper reporting staffs generally and the courage to point out what is happening to the news staff of our beloved Los Angeles Times.
It should be emphasized that a large, independent and active news staff, continually investigating and reporting on the functions of our government and its citizens, is a vital part of our democracy.
Let us hope that the new owner of The Times understands and appreciates this vital function and serves the citizens of Los Angeles rather than slowly destroying these important functions for his own personal profit.
Michael Hachigian, Canoga Park
To the editor: Lopez's article on the lack of depth and comprehensiveness of local reporting reminded me that I was ruminating on the lack of reporting on a critical race in our upcoming primary election.
As a former school board member, I am very aware of the role the state superintendent of public instruction plays in setting policy and overseeing the direction of public education in California. There are five candidates for this important office, and I have yet to see any solid reporting or analysis on the race.
Now that the California State Board of Education has submitted a plan to meet the federal standards set by the Every Student Succeeds Act, it is vital that we have solid information to make an informed choice for the person who will oversee the implementation. Where else will we get this information except from comprehensive reporting and thoughtful analysis from The Times?
Julia Springer, Santa Barbara