Saturday, June 04, 2005

An Able New Deputy Business Editor, Davan Maharaj, Is Appointed At L.A. Times

Davan Maharaj, who has proved himself a talented newspaperman at the Los Angeles Times in several different capacities, has been appointed the paper's new Deputy Business Editor.

This is good news for the Business Section and its new editor, Russ Stanton. Business has in the past been a comparatively weak section of the Times. Maharaj, a former Nairobi correspondent for the paper, will bring to his new job an international perspective the section can well use at a time when so many of its most important stories, such as oil, airplanes and automobiles, are international in scope..

There have already been a few signs, mainly in the play of stories, that Business under Stanton will be a better section. Now, he has made an outstanding choice as his deputy.

Maharaj, who worked in Business as a reporter from 1998 to 2001, and has been assigned to the Foreign Desk the last two years, has a Yale Master's Degree in law and an undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee. He is a pleasant colleague, much liked and respected.

The Times has many outstanding deputy editors in various capacities, not always formally called deputies, such as Frank Clifford in Metro environment, Tim Rutten in Calendar and Andres Martinez on the editorial pages. Hopefully, when the days of Tribune ownership are over, and the paper can make a new start under California control, these folks can become the leaders of tomorrow.

I was downtown for a TV appearance last week and ran into a Times reporter who remarked that feelings about the paper's future are fairly somber these days. I told him of my confidence that in the long run the paper's prospects are good.

We see in the splendid handling this past week of such stories as the Laguna Beach landslide and the Ventura County murders that the Times has great reservoirs of talent.

Certainly, there are weak spots, as demonstrated again this morning on the paper's Op Ed Page, with its foolish column downplaying the earthquake danger, but they can be overcome.

It's a question of finding new local ownership that believes in the paper, and then the Times will have sunlit days ahead.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know Maharaj, met him in Nairobi when I was a correspondent for a local paper. He's a really nice guy whose work was so colourful I would read hois stories again and again. He was always so encouraging. Mostly I remember his series Living on Pennies, which were a shocking, yet truthful narration of life among the poorest in Africa. I wish him well in his new duties!

11/20/2005 11:00 PM  

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