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Steve Lopez
Journalism's eternal search for the outside savior, and why it fails
Journalism's eternal search for the outside savior, and why it fails

I was the first Los Angeles Times reporter to interview Sam Zell after he bought the newspaper's parent company, Tribune, in 2007. During our interview at the executive jet terminal at LAX, he was blunt, crude and profane. He started the meeting with an extended rant about Times columnist Steve Lopez, who wasn't present but had had the effrontery to drive up to Zell's Malibu hideaway when he wasn't there and do journalism by interviewing the housekeeper. But he also pledged to make the company bigger and stronger. For the moment, I was a believer, as were many of my colleagues. We took Zell at his word that he thought of newspapers as "extraordinary...

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