Sunday, September 11, 2005

Publisher Note To L.A. Times Staff Strikes Right Tone

Written from Ashland, Oregon--

There is reason to be encouraged by the tone struck in new L.A. Times Publisher Jeff Johnson's note to the staff last Friday, reporting that coverage of the hurricane led to an upturn in Times sales.

Johnson indicates street sales mounted by nearly 10,000 daily and pays tribute to the staff who worked on the hurricane coverage.

That's what is needed from the publisher, and also he should make more of a public mark in Los Angeles, getting out more, putting the view of the paper before the public.

This is the way to reverse the circulation declines, and it is something that recent publishers have not done. Johnson has made some good opening moves.

On another matter, this is the fourth anniversary of 9-11, and it is marked today by two long articles in the New York Times Magazine on the status of the war -- what is happening in Iraq and why the U.S. did not capture Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora in 2001.

Both articles are well worth reading, although in the first, the author fails to make explicit at this point what would win the war. As I've contended before, it must be stepped up. The Sunni civilians need to be convinced by an all out campaign that they will suffer less if they back us than if they back the insurgents.

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