Sunday, February 06, 2005

Even New York Times and Time Magazine Have Made Some Cutbacks

The New York Times recently cut out an entire daily section devoted to World Business. It stuck these reports in the regular business section.

And Time magazine used to close on Sunday for major stories. But last week, it deferred coverage of the landmark Iraqi elections. It had done a cover the previous week on when the U.S. might be able to get out of Iraq and I suppose it felt it could wait with more coverage..

So, with advertising and profits a problem throughout the news media, it is not only the Los Angeles Times that has cut back some of its presentations. It's important to recognize that.

And just as the NYT moved World Business into regular business, the LAT has been moving more and more big sports stories, after managing editor Dean Baquet cut the number of pages in the sports section, onto Page 1 of the A section. That was true both with recent stories on the lack of pro football in Los Angeles and the resignation of the Lakers coach. Sometimes, as with Scott Gold's story on National Football League machinations, it is not even left to a sportswriter any more; a regular correspondent is used.

I used to feel years ago that the LAT had created so many new sections that the paper was becoming an ordeal to read, and that paring a few from time to time wasn't a bad thing. However, now some of the cuts, such as in the television guide and the sports letters have hurt. It seems the paper is giving us less. This is particularly true with Science. The LAT was a better paper when it had a weekly science page.

Will the Internet replace whole publications one day? I hope not, because the Internet is not as easy to read as a newspaper or magazine. Newspapers are particularly good for detailed analysis, and assessing reliability is more difficult on the Internet.

The Internet is also fairly impersonal, while newspapers do react to reader sentiment. Just this morning, Feb. 6, the LAT's Opinion section may have absorbed that many readers don't like these full page presentations of cartoons it has been featuring, and it has two articles instead of just cartoons on Page 1 of Opinion, which is a welcome alteration.

Some cutbacks definitely do hurt more than others. I was kind of taken aback this week when Time had nothing on the Iraqi election.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spot on, as you often seem to be. After a career to be proud of this blog is an important project that needs to be done.
Hopefully, as you shed light on the situation at the LAT, moves will be made making local ownership a reality once again.
Thanks for your efforts, your site is one of the first I check each day.

2/06/2005 8:42 PM  
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