If the decline of Chicago’s newspapers is diminishing the city, our halls of government remain visibly unvexed by the diminishment. But other cities think differently.
LA, for one. The Tribune Company’s Los Angeles Times is being whittled away as relentlessly as the company’s Chicago Tribune. The other day the Times’s publisher canceled the paper’s local news section, and the reaction was swift. As you can read here at laobserved.com, the president of the city council and a council member not only sent letters to the Times but started a Facebook group called Save the L.A. Times California Section. Then a county supervisor wrote expressing his “deepest dismay and concern” and asking the publisher to reconsider.
The letter from Third District supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky told publisher Eddy Hartenstein that the California section “has held this community accountable as only a well-respected newspaper can do. The Times is in danger of throwing all of that away.” Yaroslavsky wondered why the Times “recently boosted its street price by 50% even as it was accelerating plans to further degrade its news product by eliminating sections and cutting additional staff,” and he told Hartenstein his paper’s “current trajectory can be described succinctly as follows: ‘We are going to save the newspaper by destroying it.'”