LA Times Pulitzer: Happy Ending to the Paper's Sad Saga of Decline

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Yesterday, the LA Times won the much coveted Putlizer prize for public service reporting thanks to its expose of a web of public-sector corruption in the city of Bell. The award marks what many observers hope will be a reversal of fortune for the newspaper, which has seen a staggering decline in readership, circulation, pages--and most importantly, reporters--in recent years. The award caps an investigation by the newspaper that led to national outrage, firings, criminal charges and incarceration for several Bell city officials, most notably city manager and Surf City resident Robert Rizzo.

The Times beat out Bloomberg News, which exposed how some for-profit colleges and universities rip off low-income students, and the New York Times, which probed the epidemic of concussions in football and other sports. Although the award wasn't exactly a surprise to anyone who has followed the Bell scandal, it was in fact a rather unpredictable outcome of the sad decline of the LA Times, especially with regard to local coverage of Orange County.

To wit: The lead reporter on the Bell story, Jeff Gottlieb, used to be an assistant city editor at the Times' Orange County bureau. Shortly before the newspaper shuttered the bureau, Gottlieb agreed to what on paper looks like a demotion: move from the editor's desk back into field reporting. Gottlieb, though, tells the Weekly he had no complaints about the move.

"They offered me a job as the only reporter covering the South Bay, and I could work at home," he says. "How could I refuse? No commute, and I got to see my kid."

Kudos to Gottlieb and the Times for a well-deserved prize. Here's hoping that what he and the rest of the Bell investigation team achieved reminds the folks who run what's left of the Tribune Company that, ultimately, readers do care more about corruption and injustice than which celebrity landed in DUI court this week.

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Michael Lukash
Michael Lukash

Should the OC weekly be throwing stones at the LA Times about decline? I remember your paper being far larger and having cartoons in them. (Disclaimer: LA Times employee.)

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Ah, but we were a rag to begin with, and a rag we continue to be. Ustedes, on the other hand? Sad...but, hey: at least you're not the Reg!

Satish Chandra
Satish Chandra

The Indian press is full of headlines like "Indian-American wins Pulitzer prize for book on cancer". What is so great about a history of cancer? Has he found a cure for cancer? I have. I am India's expert in strategic defence, the father of India's strategic program including the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program and the world's greatest scientist and my blog titled 'Nuclear Supremacy For India Over U.S.' which can be found by a Yahoo/Google search with the title describes how C.I.A.-RAW keep India poor, weak and enslaved by suppressing the best and rewarding the mediocre: "India's greatest scientist and greatest living Indian publicly tortured in Harvard seminar, systematically and totally starved for up to 3 weeks at a time, made semi-starved and homeless and even blind for years, kept under 24-hour audio and video surveillance as well as surveillance of communications and electrical typewriter and computer use, document creation and photocopying, etc., by satellite for more than past 3 decades, systematically harassed and in poverty and neutralised and robbed of his work at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars per year, robbed of crores in his money and property in India by C.I.A.-RAW, forced back into exile in the U.S., all with full cooperation and participation of India's RAW and India's C.I.A.-RAW-controlled prime ministers, politicians and media" and how this means the nuclear destruction of New Delhi and then the coast-to-coast destruction of the United States. Within the above blog look for 'How India's Economy Can Grow 30% Per Year Or More' and 'What You Should Know About RAW'.

Satish Chandra

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