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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: The end of print newspapers is coming, with or without AB 5

Printing press
A newspaper goes through the production process at the Los Angeles Times Olympic printing facility in 2014.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I’m an avid newspaper reader. I trace my obsession to eagerly awakening as a 5-year-old and being the first to the Sunday morning comics section. That was the L.A. Times, and the year was 1955. (“Newspapers are already struggling. California might make things even worse,” editorial, Sept. 5)

I also can remember, although they were already being phased out, elevator operators and gas station attendants.

Until two years ago I had the feel of newsprint in my hands, but the paper was getting smaller and the price was getting higher. I called to cancel my subscription and was gratefully talked into trying the electronic version of the paper. I now receive my paper as early as 3:30 a.m. and have more hours to peruse it and no longer miss the feel of holding it in my hands.

Whether or not Assembly Bill 5 is enacted and newspapers are forced to give costly employee protections and benefits to the contractors who deliver their products, it’s only a matter of time until print goes the way of other anachronisms.

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The Times is still the finest newspaper in the land and should concentrate on its electronic version and stop trying to block progress.

Ron Garber, Duarte

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To the editor: Please, state lawmakers, do not enact any legislation that will curtail newspaper deliveries.

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One of the best parts of my day is reading the L.A. Times at breakfast. I read all sections (except Sports) every day and have done so for many years. I don’t want to read my paper online; I want the actual newspaper with pages to turn and stories to read and reread.

I also remember my brother delivering the newspaper from his bike when we were children. I sometimes rode my bike along with him.

I do not want to hurt the delivery people or the newspaper business. I simply want my daily paper along with my daily coffee.

Marlene Bronson, Los Angeles

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To the editor: The Times’ Business columnists have criticized large companies that employ independent contractors versus regular employees to avoid paying benefits and livable wages. It’s now hypocritical for The Times’ Editorial Board to want to avoid paying the delivery people as employees and to compare them with paperboys on bicycles.

I realize that newspapers are dealing with financial difficulties, as many of us are. But you can’t have it both ways, criticizing businesses that hire independent contractors while also relying on those contractors.

Alan Yamashiro, San Juan Capistrano


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