Andres Martinez Shows Someone On The LAT Editorial Pages Can Write A Good Column
Martinez has a nice touch in his column, "Next: The Google Street Journal," about the future of newspapers.
Although Martinez confesses that sometimes working at a metropolitan newspaper these days feels like serving on the East German Politburo in 1988 (the year before the Wall came down), he finds some rays of light in that future.
Maybe, he speculates, "It's only a matter of time before a Yahoo or a Google decides to buy an old media company in order to differentiate itself by offering high-quality, proprietary news." And, he says, he suspects "the L.A. Times owner, Tribune Co., can probably be had for about $15 billion."
There, I have to disagree with Martinez. Yahoo or Google wouldn't have to buy the whole Tribune Co. That would be pointless. It could buy the L.A. Times for less and get everything it would get by buying all the Tribune papers. After all, one plus zero is still one.
But the idea is tantalizing, and, I have to say, Martinez is a better writer than his usually-absent boss, Michael Kinsley, who I suggested just yesterday should either resign or be fired.
Martinez hazards the opinion this morning that "much of the angst here at the corner of 1st and Spring is overdone." Newspapers, he says, are in for change, but it's not exactly like selling "the equivalent of horse-drawn-buggy manufacturers at the dawn of the automobile era."
Certainly not. With American auto producers like General Motors and Ford in the business, even the horse-drawn-buggy manufacturers might be able to make a come back.
Still, the newspapers have a great deal to offer, as I never tire in pointing out. For their detailed analysis and reports, much more than television or Google can ever muster, they give something to American readers they can't get anywhere else.
Now, if only Martinez can prevail upon Kinsley and other higher-ups to follow through on their Feb. 20 endorsement of Antonio Villaraigosa for mayor without further ado, I might have something even nicer to say about him.