It can’t be easy to be James Rainey, the L.A. Times meta/media-critic, who writes from the bunker on Spring Street. Today at USC Annenberg he said that despite the fact that the Times covers hardly any of the 88 cities in the county, the news in L.A. just doesn’t happen without the Times, as everyone, bloggers included just rip and read. Surprisingly — nobody stepped up to disagree to this demonstrably wrong sentiment.
A couple people defended mentioning LAObserved, one said a bunch of the hyperlocal blogs such as Gothamist (or LAist, to which I’m a contributor) as offering fresh and uncribbed content.
The nugget was his offbeat comment that the inside word from a Times researcher — not a scare tactic — is that in 3 years the newspaper’s profit would sink to ZERO. This cynicism from an actual staff writer on media? I guess the Internet really is killing newspapers then, or something, eh?
Rainey added that it’s regretful that the Times is pressured to appease Wall Street and therefore can only focus on short-term fixes as opposed to advanced content development and dedicated Web innovation. But this says nothing about how they blew a chance for major traffic this week when they mis-posted the Schwarzenegger audio (their Political Muscle blog was quick with the transcripts, but good luck finding the 20 or so blogs via the latimes.com homepage), or why when I check LAT on my cellphone in the middle of the night it still says USC leads UCLA at half when the game has been over for hours. Where’s the “quick fix” there?
Where’s some non-corporate skepticism from the likes of a Tim Rutten when you need it, as opposed to the extended bullhorn of the man — complacent in supposedly being the only real news source in town.
Elsewhere in broke and struggling Tribune Company news: Q4 Profits up 80% on same quarter last year. Fools. I don’t get it. Let’s take over!
When I noticed a link to a story titled “Electric vehicles generate buzz,” on the Times‘ front page, I fully expected to read about Little Radio’s new EV shop.
In the Times article, John O’Dell boasts about a couple super-sporty (and priced between $60,000 and $120,000 electric cars coming to market and made in California. You’d think he went for a test ride and never brought the car back.
The cars sold by Little Radio are neither made in America, nor are they especially fast. However, they can be yours for under $10,000. They may not go half as fast as O’Dell’s dream Tesla Roadster, but they’re ideal for city driving. So, was it an editorial decision to only mention up-and-coming, hi-priced, sporty electric vehicles, or is the Times not yet aware that you can buy inexpensive, highly practical EV’s in town today?
From Little Radio:
In pursuit of social and environmental responsibility, Little Radio has inked an agreement for the exclusive dealership rights to sell the only new and 100% electric cars available here, in Los Angeles.
Little Radio EV will be the sole retailer in Los Angeles for all ZAP (Zero Air Pollution) cars and other vehicles distributed through Voltage Vehicles. Little Radio EV looks to deliver the newest in electric vehicles and technology from manufacturers in the US and around the world.
UPDATE: CNET has more on Tesla’s nationwide grovel for state funds.
photo by Dave Bullock via flickr
Read my write-up and listen to the audio of David Hiller’s Q&A at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication, posted at LAist.
If you’re afeared to comment there, go ahead and lay it on down here.
Read the article.
I caught the State of the Union address with about 75 other people in Pasadena. Drinking Liberally hosted a SOTU-bingo game and personally, I still couldn’t sit or stand still as I listened to the ridiculous presidential moments (quoting Bin Laden… Baby Einstein… Library Tower hoax…)
I did a short radio piece on it. listen