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A letter from Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong to La Jolla Light readers

A letter from Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong to La Jolla Light readers
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong (Eduardo Contreras)

GUEST COMMENTARY:

I am pleased to announce the completed acquisition of The San Diego Union-Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and publications across the California News Group, which includes the La Jolla Light. My family and I are honored and privileged to now assume stewardship of these storied institutions and return them to local ownership.

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Many of you have asked why we bought these publications, especially at a time when the news industry is facing an existential crisis. We purchased the California News Group in large part because of this crisis and our desire to contribute our resources and technology. We want to preserve the integrity, honesty and fairness of the newspaper we've observed in our decades as avid readers.

We fervently believe The San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times and our other titles must continue to serve as beacons of truth, hope and inspiration for our communities. These news outlets are public trusts. They are the voice for our state, the nation and the world and must be preserved.

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We believe the California News Group must be run as a business to innovate and thrive in the digital age. We will encourage and enable our journalists and business-side colleagues to collaborate without compromising our core principles of strong journalism and editorial independence.

As a private, locally-owned enterprise, we are able to make much-needed investments in the group's future. We are confident our print publications will remain viable by serving those treasured readers who enjoy the tactile experience of the physical paper.

We will also introduce new products that will inform, delight, engage and inspire local and global audiences. We must provide our readers content of interest where they want it, when they want it and however they consume it, including on mobile devices.

As I shared with many of you at town hall meetings in Los Angeles and San Diego two months ago, my desire to purchase the California News Group is deeply personal. Growing up "non-white" under apartheid in South Africa, I learned through reading newspapers about the essential role journalism plays in fostering and sustaining democracy.

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America and, more particularly, Southern California, has given me unimaginable opportunities. Here is where I deepened my education, built a family, found ways to contribute to advances in medicine and science, and took inspiration from sports, entertainment and the arts.

I grew up believing the best newspapers speak on behalf of the people. We will strive to be that voice of truth, fairness, compassion and inspiration.

My family and I are also committed to fostering diversity in our workplaces so that they better reflect the diversity of the communities and audiences we seek to serve.

California — and the West — is where the world comes to see its future. We pledge to make sure the California News Group remains a vital element of that future for generations to come.

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