Monday, May 26, 2008

Back To L.A. Times After Trip, And Glad Of It

When I got back home from my cruise around Africa, there were 74 days of the L.A. Times waiting for me, and I've begun wading into them. Just this morning, I was happy to see John Johnson's comprehensive coverage of the latest Mars exploratory landing, and to note that it was far lengthier and far more prominently played than the New York Times coverage of the same event.

Of course, the L.A. Times has a three hour time advantage. The New York Times ran no picture, because apparently none was in when they went to press. but the L.A. Times had fine photographs from the scene, one showing the lay of the land around where the spacecraft put down.

Altogether it's good to get back to he newspaper. On the cruise ship Prinzsendam, I received an electronic copy of the International Herald Tribune six days a week, and this paper was not bad. Its foreign coverage is as good as any paper's and it has the use not only of New York Times articles, but of a few of its own correspondents. The net effect is an entirely professional operation.

But the L.A. Times has a broader view, is bigger in size by far. More in the days ahead about any changes I've noticed in the paper.

One change I've noticed in the New York Times already is that for reasons which may indicate the design editors of the NYT have gone crazy, it has now introduced summaries on Pages 2 and 3 of the main news section of what is to be found in the rest of the paper.

These annoyed me when such summaries appeared in the L.A. Times, because (1) it is fun to turn the paper page by page and sometimes be surprised with what is on on the inside pages, and (2) it effectly reduces the news hole.

Finally, after getting rid of Joe Hutchinson, the L.A. Times dropped its summary pages and was the better for it. Foreign news was soon moved into those pages.

Now, what has happened? Has Hutchinson gone to work for the New York Times?



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