If the Tribune Company wishes to cut the Los Angeles Times' newsroom into irrelevance, that ought to be the Tribune's right as the LAT's owner. Johnson and Baquet deserve credit for fighting for their newsroom. But there's no need for those who have expressed interest in buying The Times to keep their money in their pockets, should Tribune continue to refuse to sell.
Want to protect and improve the quality of local journalism in Southern California? Great. Then go hire some of those folks that Tribune's about to lay off and start up your own newsroom. Worried about the high cost of starting up a new print newspaper, in an era when print's losing readers to the Web? Why bother? Simply start a Web newsroom instead. Worried about the loss of influence publishing online instead of in print? Um, didn't we just say that print was losing readers to the Web?
Many local journalists already have made the switch to online publishing. Just scan the dozens listed on Kevin Roderick's LAObserved.com, under the headings "Media In or About Los Angeles" and "Selected Blogs and Websites." Contrary to the attitude of some within the Times building, many blogs and independent websites feature smart, original reporting. And many more would if they could cash a check from the likes of Eli Broad to support their efforts.
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