From the Publisher: Letter to readers about the new California section

Dear Readers,

Journalist Carey McWilliams, chronicler of the Progressive Era, stood in awe of California. Here was a state, among all others, whose growth and prosperity begged for an explanation. He called California “the great exception,” an observation as relevant today as it was in 1949.

California, the nation’s most vital melting pot, is where America comes to see its future. Here in Los Angeles, almost 200 languages and dialects are spoken every day. We stand on the edge of a continent, a window to Asia and Latin America, constantly pushing boundaries in art, science, politics and culture.

The Times is rededicating itself to this place we call home. Our new California section – in print and online – will be your destination for local and statewide analyses and feature stories, as well as commentary from our award-winning columnists.


No matter where the news is breaking – in Sacramento or just down the street – California will help frame your perspective on the latest trends and discoveries in your community and the state. It will present the news with the timeliness, insight, intelligence and balance that you deserve.

We believe our unique brand of journalism matters most to the region. It is gratifying to know that you share the same commitment to our community, evidenced by a recent report that shows almost nine out of 10 Times subscribers voted in the 2012 general election.

We are here to help you make informed choices and to hold institutions and governments accountable. Two months ago, when disgraced officials from the city of Bell were sentenced for their crimes, it was an occasion to look back on our in-depth coverage that began with the simple question: “Is a city manager worth $800,000?” Our stories ended with a stunning expose of unchecked corruption, resulting in the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and long-needed reforms in local governments.

The Times will continue to deliver the news that is essential to your life whether our reporters are keeping an eye on your communities, profiling business leaders or sharing the latest in sports, recipes or entertainment.

Even though Carey McWilliams believed that there was “too much noise and movement and turmoil” in our civic life for explanation, we believe that such robust debate works to our advantage.

In a world filled with dissent, debate and even wonder, The Times – and the new California section – will be there, keeping you informed, engaged and entertained.

California, the story begins here.

Austin Beutner

Los Angeles Times Publisher and Chief Executive Officer