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A Spring Street in their steps

January 25, 2007 |  7:34 pm

So, how did yesterday's whole L.A. Times web-refocus announcement go over in the community? Here's a sampling:

Ken Reich:

A Load Of Crap From James O'Shea [...]

Loada_crap A greater load of crap has seldom been unloaded on the L.A. Times staff than came this week from "editor" James O'Shea in an address to Times employees.

It was a dishonest speech, replete with misjudgments and failures to see things as they are, or to give the real reasons for things that have been happening, and it proves that O'Shea is unfit and ought to return home to Chicago. [...]

The prospect that everyone in the newsroom will now be expected to put the website first also is depressingly similar to the "synergy" that Tribune Co. said would mark the relationship between the L.A. Times and KTLA (Channel 5) when it first came to town after the purchase of the Times-Mirror papers in 2000. It never came to fruition, and without investment and much better skills, the website reforms won't take place either.

Howard Owens:

[T]he LA Times sounds like it's finally moving forward with its digital efforts.

My friend Rob Barrett gets a big promotion. This is great for Rob, of course, but even better for the Times.

More reviews after the jump.

Patrick "Patterico" Frey:

Deputy_da I'm happy to see the paper is taking my advice about focusing on the Web (I use the phrase "taking my advice" loosely, as I assume it's only coincidence). But I'm underwhelmed by the specific improvements suggested. The article talks about things like poor staffing, creaky technology, and the paper's inability to get stories up quickly. There is much discussion of the alleged need for multimedia presentation.

While those may be valid issues, I suggest that the paper take a couple of immediate steps.

One is easy: when you have a story that refers to source documentation, post that documentation in full on the Web site. If you're discussing a speech, memo, court decision, transcript of an LAPD Board of Rights decision, or other document, post the whole thing on the Web.

My other suggestion is tougher and riskier, but it's critical: open up all pieces to comments and trackbacks. Every last one.

Jamie Court:


Time to Unionize the LA Times To Save It [...]

The Tribune Co.'s Chicago managers at the Los Angeles Times have decided to blame the Times' reporters and editors for six years of Tribune's complete neglect of latimes.com. It's about like the mortician blaming the corpse for getting murdered. [...]

That won't have the paper's best veteran reporters clambering aboard the Tribune's new bandwagon. It's more likely to intensify their job searches, which may be just what the Tribune wants. It's a lot easier to get newly hired 20-somethings to work the midnight shift in the online newsroom.

The new web coverage can only come at the expense of deep local reporting, the very thing that Hiller and O'Shea had vowed to focus on.

FishbowlLA's Kate Coe:

FBLA hopes that the new web regime at the Los Angeles Times makes good use of the vast amount of [video] talent here in the city. [...]

[C]'mon, LATimes. com--this is the home of film--ditch those KTLA clowns and get some real shooters and producers.

Ed Padgett:

[I]ts about time, is all I can say about the much needed changes about to take place.

The Times blogs were brought to my attention by Matt Welch, and I'm elated I was able to see the blogs before the changes were made. And as a direct result of the Times blogs, I made a $250 purchase from one of the advertisers, that's really the bottom-line, generating sales though the blogs.

For what at least some L.A. Times employees think about the move, click here.

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