Let’s Go Own the Times

The headline sounds facetious, but the past two times it has been brought up it makes quite a bit of sense.

Harry Chandler writes in the Sunday L.A. Times:

If 20% of Times readers invest $1,000, it could work. I’ll write the first check for the Los Angeles Times Community Owners LLC.

Chandler is the son of Otis — the man who MADE the Times. The Chandler Family Trust owns about 15% of Tribune Company — the largest single stake.

Calvin Naito opined in August, “If you, my fellow 10 million residents of Los Angeles County, each chip in $300, we can cough up the $3 billion needed to buy and collectively own the most powerful local institution — the Los Angeles Times.”

Steve Lopez has been begging the likes of Eli Broad to up and buy the paper for months. (Oddly, this column can no longer be found in the Times online despite being found in two alternate versions — “Free the Press From Corporate Profiteers” and “Finding a Benefactor Could Be Tall Order” in Lexis).

In Saturday’s paper, Tim Rutten made turning the Times back around sound like an impossible task: “the only way to reinvigorate local coverage and to establish the kind of strong online presence that will guarantee the paper’s future is to stop doing something we now do for readers or to do it less thoroughly and less well, hoping that those readers just won’t mind.”

But Chandler, whose two cents really count for something, has a more hopeful outlook — and I think I like it: “Publish only columnists with original, even provocative, perspectives. Pursue more investigative pieces and assign fewer reporters to a story that 75% of readers already saw on ESPN or CNN or Yahoo.”

Hope for a happy ending soon. Expect to hear about it first at LAObserved.

Modest Mouse — Always a Treat

Isaac Brock is pretty damn brilliant. MM was top notch at the Wiltern tonight — here are some rough sounding cuts from the new record, hopefully comin’ in EARLY next year.
isaac brock modest mouse

Fire it Up
We’ve Got Everything

Who’s got photos???

UPDATE: If I recall correctly, these two will also appear on the upcoming “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank,” – anyone know the titles on these?
Missed the Boat | Dashboard

L.A. Times article on Johnny Marr as modest mouse.

sheeyat… why not just check out the whole set.

photo at right from rolling stone

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Election Day Belongs to WE, the people.

Free and fair elections, as we’ve heard over and over recently (in re: iraq) are the linchpin of a true democracy.
vote November 7
My recommendations are: take off the right/left hat and abolish words like “partisan” and “bias” and re-register as “independent” or “upright caucasian.”

Listening to the mud-slinging and standing by while the media sits back enabling and magnifying the ridiculum, I realize that it’s important to not lose focus on the matters at hand. For one day, we’re in control (at least to some extent).

OK, I’ll leave it there. I’ll be roaming L.A. country documenting for Video the Vote — more on the grassroots, non-partisan efforts recently launched tomorrow…

Freshly launched NewAssignment.net lists Nine Ways Citizen Journalists Can Cover the Election

For all in CA, here is a proposition party-style breakdown of this year’s assortment of y/n legislation.

Know the issues, know the candidates and don’t answer the phone or check the mail during the 72 hours of shadiness.

Geffen Sells Painting for $140M, Will He Spring for LA Times?

Enquiring minds want to know!

David Geffen netted a record $140 million for the sale of Jackson Pollock’s “No. 5, 1948,” according to the New York Times.

Uber-wealthy Mexican, David Martinez laid down the biggest wad of cash ever paid for a painting in history.

So, as suggested in Crain’s Chicago Business, is Geffen gonna make a move to save the increasingly more affordable Los Angeles Times?

Hmmmm…

‘Democracy on Deadline’

The power of the media as a make-or-break element in a functioning democracy sets the foundation for a journalist’s struggle to seek out and report the honest truth. But how does the role of a free press factor into the vitality of a free society?

These concepts are examined vividly in the exceptional documentary, Democracy on Deadline by director Calvin Skaggs (Go Tell it On the Mountain) and co-producer Jed Rothstein. The documentary puts the audience in the position of several of the world’s finest journalists, complete with candid interviews and not-seen-before-in-America footage that is in one way reminiscent of Control Room, the 2004 documentary on the Arab-language satellite network, Al Jazeera International.

The filmmaking and production of “Democracy on Deadline” is outstanding, mixing uniquely regional experiences with candid exchanges and graphic footage over the course of two hours. In one memorable instance, the audience is literally in the back seat of a car driven by Ha’aretz correspondent Gideon Levy, delayed at a checkpoint at the West Bank border crossing. This is not business as usual, we’re assured, when Levy gets on his cell phone, enraged that the border guards were not previously notified and waiting for him to cross with American journalists in tow.

“Democracy on Deadline” examines issues and struggles regarding press freedom around the world through an examination of six unique (and high-profile) case studies in progress. The film profiles various journalists in different settings — all taking relatively radical approaches to reporting and exuding a vociferous enthusiasm for their responsibilities as guardians of democracy.

In one segment, Dana Priest of the Washington Post is followed by a camera as she works security insiders (watch quicktime video) at what appears to be a press event regarding the status of detainees in December 2004. We watch Priest at her desk taking notes as she digs deeper and deeper for dirt on her CIA black prisons article, nearly a year before she would publish the core piece in her package that landed her a Pulitzer.

Continue reading “‘Democracy on Deadline’”