The L.A. Times will return to local ownership for the first time in 18 years. Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong purchased the paper from parent company Tronc in a deal announced Wednesday. We asked readers what they want the new owner to know and heard from native Angelenos, immigrants and recent transplants. They shared their personal connections to The Times and their hopes for its future. Here are some excerpts from more than 200 responses, some of which were lightly edited for clarity and style.
“I believe in the power of journalism to ensure our democracy, to serve as a safeguard for honesty and truth, to educate the public and to provide an outlet for local news and entertainment. Los Angeles is a powerhouse at home and abroad. We need a powerhouse of a newspaper — top-notch reporting, commitment to investigative reporting, editorial leadership. Digging for the truth and the full story requires many. The L.A. Times needs to always be a part of the quest. And thank you for restoring local ownership to the L.A. Times.”
Debra Shrout, Los Angeles
“I read The Times to see the crucial issues that our community faces both in the public and private sector. I want thoroughly investigated reporting and balanced analysis of current events as they pertain to good policy and governance. I read this paper to participate in the Fourth Estate. My participation is as good as your reporting. Please handle with care.”
Pam Brennan, Newport Beach
“I’ve read The Times for 70 years. Let your reporters and editors do their jobs. Thank you for returning the paper to local control.”
S. Walker, Whittier
“The fact of the matter is, I read and subscribe to The Times because of the great journalism, no matter the section. [It] is worth every penny, and especially given the current administration’s war on facts, it is more important than ever to support quality journalism.
I only ask two things of your ownership of The Times: Expect every member of the staff, from journalists to the carriers to the copy editors to give their best effort every day in every edition and give them the resources necessary to reach that goal. The Times has long been a beacon for great journalism. Maintain and strengthen that great light.”
Andy Sorensen, Redwood Falls, Minn.
“I have been reading the newspaper since I was a child. I am now 38 years old. My parents did not know English when I was young, so my dad would buy it to practice his reading of the English language while taking English classes.
I am now a parent myself, and I do have an idea of what I would like to see in your paper, especially the print version. I still buy the actual paper for reading without distractions, but most importantly, to read with my daughter. She is 7, and we have been reading it together for two years.
I would like to see a section targeted to children. I don’t mean just the comics section, but a kid-friendly way to introduce current events from local to around the world, from science to technology to innovation, what other children are doing around the world. Imagine the possibilities.”
Elidet Bordon, Oxnard
“The fate of independent, local (yet global) journalism is, in my opinion, the most important thing to protect in a sea of so much bad. It’s the only thing saving our country right now (along with our judicial system). We stand with your journalists and thank you for having the fortitude to save the Fourth Estate.”
Leslie Pobst, Seattle
“I read the L.A. Times to understand how local, national and international issues affect me and my city. I’m a native Angeleno baby boomer, and I grew up with The Times. The Times helped teach me about every corner of this vibrant, diverse city.”
Cathy Kay, Sherman Oaks
“I’ve been reading the Los Angeles Times since I was 11 years old in my hometown of La Crescenta. I have watched the tumult since the Chandlers sold the paper, and it has been gut-wrenching and sad to watch. With this purchase, I hope that this will bring stability to the paper and allow it to remain a good paper and become better.”
Keith Malone, Los Angeles
“Thank you for supporting a free press. Please continue to provide accurate and unbiased information — it’s becoming so difficult to find in today’s environment.”
Michael Novak, Los Angeles
“I believe the L.A. Times has a huge potential to rebrand itself as an international newspaper. Los Angeles is the most diverse county in America. There are immigrant populations from nearly every country in the world, and I believe it’s important for the L.A. Times to cover those regions, seeing as so many of the county’s residents have roots elsewhere.”
Jesus Benitez Figueroa, Los Angeles
“I am a longtime subscriber to The Times, like my father before me. Collectively, my family has been reading The Times for the last 50 years, maybe more. I grew up reading The Times, and I want my children to grow up reading The Times. In the ’70s and ’80s, when the Cold War was still a dominant part of our lives, I became a ‘news junkie,’ and I craved those stories from around the world, not just in our backyard because I really felt that news stories from other countries affected us too. The Times helped make the world a smaller place, where the whole world was one interconnected community.”
Christopher Nieman, Simi Valley
“Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, if you can insist on fair, factual reporting and not rabid advocacy, you will restore the L.A. Times to its original greatness and will be doing a great service to the country.”
Sam Ranganath, San Jose
“I read the L.A. Times because of its legacy of helping define and uphold the highest standards of ethical, factual and aggressive news and feature reporting. I want the new publisher to know that legacy seems somewhat tarnished in recent years, but the institution feels poised to elevate that legacy to new heights if its new leader appreciates the societal- and community-enhancing value of aggressive, unintimidated, expansive, accurate and honest reporting on crucial issues, particularly those that expose injustice, unhealthful conditions, greed and fool-hardiness in government, business and leisure.”
David Ciaffardini, Oceano, Calif.
“While The Times has been the most important, powerful media organ in Los Angeles, it does not mean the people and institutions it covers get the ‘kid glove’ treatment. Holding people in power accountable no matter what role they play in the civic fabric of Los Angeles (including the very powerful political establishment) is what great and influential newspapers should strive to accomplish.”
Howard Cohen, North Hills
“We need more in-depth reporting on our own state as well as on local issues of importance.”
Barbara Christopher, Pasadena
“I have been a subscriber and daily reader of the L.A. Times since 1972. I was absolutely stunned when the Chandlers sold The Times to the Chicago Tribune. For Los Angeles, one of the world’s elite cities, not to have an elite locally owned newspaper seemed impossible to believe. Since then, the process of the paper’s slow death has been painful to watch, and I hope Dr. Soon-Shiong can bring to the table the resources necessary to arrest that decades-long slide.”
Ward Benshoof, Glendale
“The L.A. Times gives me the news from a perspective of the dynamic and diverse culture of Southern California. We are a mixed-race family, and this is important to me!”
Sharyn Hansen, Petoskey, Mich.
“All I ask for is honest, unbiased reporting.”
Robert Peebles, San Marcos, Calif.
“I look forward to factual objective journalism in a world full of unsubstantiated click-bait. Don’t perpetuate this terrible system that rewards the sensational above the actual.”
Keith, San Diego
“The Los Angeles Times is important not just to SoCal, but journalism as a whole. Journalists should be given the latitude they need in order to adhere to unbiased reporting.”
Sissy Tran, Alhambra
I read The Times because I just moved here from New York and I want to understand what makes my new home tick. The area is brand new to me, simultaneously beautiful, thrilling and overwhelming. The paper offers a window into the spirit of Angelenos, warts and all.
I hope that Mr. Soon-Shiong agrees that tough, honest and even confrontational journalism is so important to the soul of this country and that building a solid, quality newsroom is a worthy investment.
Victor P. Corona, Los Angeles
“I want the owner to know that this paper has been the rock of California and Los Angeles. Please don’t change it.”
Mark Barron, Fullerton
“I read a newspaper to understand what is going on in the world. I need more than one point of view, more than one side of an argument. If I can get a little bit deeper analysis, that is definitely a plus. Sources that just reinforce my point of view annoy me. I like the electronic format, but it is very important that you keep your ads clean. I don’t need to get malware from my newspaper. Oh, and the puzzles. I like them too.”
Pauline Breeden, Chatsworth