Patterico's Pontifications

7/8/2008

Patterico on “Which Way, L.A.” Tonight

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:53 pm

You can listen in a few minutes at 7 p.m. on KCRW, 89.9 FM in Los Angeles. Or listen at this link, which will feature an archived version shortly after the program ends.

Other guests include Russ Stanton, editor of the L.A. Times; Marc Cooper, with whom I have been debating online at the L.A. Times website; and public affairs consultant Emma Schafer.

27 Responses to “Patterico on “Which Way, L.A.” Tonight”

  1. If you are the “competition” that the LA Times now faces for the first time, as you so ignorantly stated on WWLA (Olney caught you on that), I guess the Times can relax. Anyone who thinks even the best bloggers (which would not describe you, I dare say) are any substitute for the salaried hard work, reporting, investigation and experience of newspaper journalists is just a fool. How much of the real news on the internet comes from bloggers? By the way, that’s a rhetorical question. I can’t believe Olney had someone as naive as you on the show.

    Sean Mitchell (5a3036)

  2. Comment by Sean Mitchell — 7/8/2008 @ 7:45 pm

    Michael Hiltzik is alive! ALIIIIVE! :-)

    qdpsteve (cd214a)

  3. Sean – to where would a reader first go when, say, a SCOTUS decision comes down? Here, or the LAT?

    How about the Judge Kazinski story as it developed?

    Every eye ball this site took from the LAT cost the LAT cash. How can you claim that this does not represent “competition?”

    Anyone who takes market share, by definition, is competing in that market. Seeing the ever-increasing page views on this site, one would have to be a liar, a moron, or both to not acknowledge the problem presented to the LAT and other traditional media.

    Ed (d17ceb)

  4. I listened to the show and my impression was the opposite of Sean’s. I thought Patrick made two basic points in a succinct and straightforward manner:

    1. The internet has changed the way information is delivered to consumers and has significantly lessened the influence of newspapers, including the LA Times.

    2. Newspapers like the LA Times that once benefited from an effective monopoly in their local/regional markets are now forced to compete for readers. As a result, they will have to improve their product and get more efficient – a difficult task in any industry.

    I noticed the rest of the panel, and at times even the moderator, primarily responded to Patrick’s comments. I think that happened because his comments went to the heart of the issue and made sense. I hope Editor Russ Stanton in particular thinks about what Patrick said.

    Well done, Patrick.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  5. Sean Mitchell,

    Many cities in this country have become one-newspaper towns for economic reasons. The barriers to entry for the print model have traditionally been too high to sustain two newspapers in most cities for any length of time. The Internet changes all that. Anyone can publish — and that creates new competition that never existed before.

    Sure, the L.A. Times has had competition. No kidding. But nothing that ever seriously threatened its natural monopoly — for economic reasons, as Olney noted. Just as there are other newspapers in the L.A. area now — none of which, again, individually create much of a challenge.

    But the Internet as a whole — the whole selection of different outlets and sites — does provide *intense* competition. And you bet that, in niche areas, bloggers can have more expertise than general assignment reporters. If you don’t believe me, I’ll be happy to school you on fundamental errors in sentencing law that you salaried journalists have made, and had to correct at the behest of people like me who have expertise in our area.

    I was trying to make that point in one of a couple of chances I had to speak in a 30-minute show. I think most people understand what I meant, and Olney didn’t “catch me” on anything — I think he just helpfully clarified things.

    It’s not always possible to speak as precisely as you like — even when (like you) you’re a journalist with the time to compose a comment, as opposed to someone speaking extemporaneously on a radio show. For example, you claim that I said that bloggers are a substitute for journalists like you. I haven’t gone back and listened to the show, but I don’t think I said that, sir.

    I think you heard what you wanted to hear.

    Feel free to provide a direct quote and refute me. But keep in mind that the “Internet” is bigger than just bloggers. If you need a reminder, talk to your former colleagues Ornstein and Weber, who are leaving the paper to join a Web-based startup. And the stuff they’ve written is way better than the rather pedestrian stuff of yours that I see published at the L.A. Times.

    As a Los Angeles based journalist who regularly publishes pieces in the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Mitchell, I can understand why you might get your dander up when I call people like you on your arrogance, so amply displayed by your comment above. But I “dare say” you don’t read my blog and have no idea how good a blogger I am. You’re content to form your judgments on scant evidence and leftist prejudices. You’ll go far with this newspaper.

    I genuinely appreciate your comment, because without it, I wouldn’t have such an obvious example of Big Media arrogance to point to.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  6. Obviously Sean Mitchell is on the LAT payroll… whatever.

    Patterico, this radio concersation as well as the Marc Cooper debate has been insightful and interesting. I was impressed with your strident last two paragraphs in toay’s entry reminding the LAT that the readers are smarter than they are. Obviously they’ve been operating on an incorrect assumption for some time.

    Perhaps I missed it but would you tell us how the LAT chose you for the debate? Was it an editor? Whoever it is apparently knows of your regular takedowns of the paper yet instead of ignoring your work they instead put you front and center where your criticisms can reach a wider audience. Therefore I’m optimistic someone there wants an informed opinion and constructive criticism in order to produce a better paper.

    Dana (764cb2)

  7. I just assumed Sean Mitchell was on the payroll! Heh.

    Dana (764cb2)

  8. Perhaps I missed it but would you tell us how the LAT chose you for the debate?

    I’m not sure I want to dime the guy out. Let’s see how well they take the final three installments, and then he can take credit if he wants — or hide his head in shame, as the case may be.

    Suffice it to say that there are some stand-up people at the paper. I suspect there always have been.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  9. If Sean Mitchell does not understand why the internet is the competition for the LAT, and is too arrogant to understand how it happened in terms of news aggregation / reporting ( what little the LAT does of the latter ), then maybe it would profit him to learn the history of Craig’s List and how it is eating the lunch of newspapers in the classified market.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  10. Sean Mitchell asked,

    How much of the real news on the internet comes from bloggers? By the way, that’s a rhetorical question.

    I suspect that it’s the accurate parts.

    Labcatcher (fd5986)

  11. Sean Mitchell says Anyone who thinks even the best bloggers (which would not describe you, I dare say) are any substitute for the salaried hard work, reporting, investigation and experience of newspaper journalists is just a fool.

    Count me a fool–and gladly so. Every now and then I get a real case of the stupids and read 50 to 60% of a Tim Rutten piece (product of a salaried hard work, reporting, investigation and experienced “journalist”) and realize that I was a schmuck for wasting my time reading beyond the first paragraph. And from Tim Rutten it generally goes downhill (although it’s hard to believe that Rutten respresents the top of the hill of anything unless it’s Mt. Bandini) from there.

    All of those hard working journalists have produced plummeting circulation figures that look like a WW II Fleet Boat in full crash dive. So Sean Mitchell/Michael Hiltzike/Hardworking SalaryMan on the Times–enjoy the ride to the bottom of the ocean.

    Mike Myers (31af82)

  12. LA Times’ supporters are tilting at windmills when they fight the proliferation of the internet, and input from people like Patterico can help the Times make the transition. Patterico spends a lot of time offering thoughtful ideas and constructive criticism – for free, no less – that can help the LA Times be a better, more successful newspaper.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  13. All of those hard working journalists have produced plummeting circulation figures that look like a WW II Fleet Boat in full crash dive.

    Crush depth isn’t that far down and their depth meter is already broken.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  14. Anyone else notice when Cooper was damning Frey with faint praise by attacking his readers?

    aunursa (09c81f)

  15. You mean the part about the conservative redneck commenters who rant about the liberal bias at the LA Times and hope for its demise?

    No, I didn’t notice.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  16. Hey! I use sunscreen, I’ll have you know.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. After a while, it doesn’t turn red anymore, and you become officially “of color”.

    I guess that makes the relative worth of your opinion shift from “cheapest propaganda” to “absolute moral authority”.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  18. OK, this is a little off-topic. But I am a long time reader, and listening to this clip was the first time I had heard your voice, Patrick. I am not sure what I was expecting, but it was not what I heard. DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU SOUND LIKE WHEN YOU SPEAK? David Cook, born in Houston, raised in Missouri. Not completely Texas like you, but sorta close. Can you sing? Play guitar? BTW David and his friends were great at Staples Center last night.

    Autodidact (9c6835)

  19. I sing and play guitar. I do both badly.

    I’m pleased that you detect the traces of a Texas accent in my speech. Most don’t.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  20. How much of the real news comes from bloggers? Ask a brilliant talking heads legend like Dan Rather who disputed his TANG story and proved it was total BS. I guess that’s why he and Mary Mapes are still in denial.

    From the blogs I’ve read, Patterico is a standout. Head and shoulders above the other legal people as far as getting to the bottom of a story and many of his contributors are also first rate.

    You people on the left coast are blessed to have someone to keep the likes of the LAT somewhat honest.

    madmax333 (d3ade6)

  21. Anyone who thinks even the best bloggers (which would not describe you, I dare say) are any substitute for the salaried hard work, reporting, investigation and experience of newspaper journalists is just a fool.

    Don’t forget the layers of fact checking! He’s got you there, Crabby!

    Pablo (99243e)

  22. You want proof that blogs are a waste of time? Try this one.

    Pablo (99243e)

  23. Comment by Pablo – 7/9/08:

    “Don’t forget the layers of fact checking! He’s got you there, Crabby!”

    Yes! I think that this is the Internet’s curse upon the print media. The Internet processes the print media’s news and opinion and detects the errors, deliberate fabrications and hubris before press time the next day. The Internet is an auto-immune response to the germ of falsehood and bias in the print (and broadcast media). A cure for yellow and pinko journalism alike.

    C. Norris (0e7c83)

  24. Sean Mitchell really is an idiot. If he actually thinks that then he hasn’t been reading your blog, or anyone else’s. Mitchell fails to realize that facts are stubborn things….making ad hominem attacks won’t change that. It also shows his thinking: attack the man, ignore the argument.

    And I know exactly what Mitchell is doing right now. Covering his ears and shouting, “La la la la la la la la…..”

    Jack (d9cbc5)

  25. A newspaper needs a public transportation system and to be tabloid sized so it can be more easily handled on the subway or the bus, and to have a morning edition and an evening edition (sports/markets). I was making good money selling the Chicago Today and the Sun Times at my subway newsstand when they were only 15 cents. My cut was 3 cents.

    I am not at all gleeful at what Zell is doing to the Tribune Company. I have friends who work there, the operations side not the writing side, and they are in danger of losing their livelihood.

    But this is not unprecedented. Remember when printers (I mean the people who set type) were made obsolete about 25 years ago?

    nk (4212e6)

  26. Sean Mitchell, talk about proving the point. Heh.

    “Listen to your readers. Stop assuming you’re the smartest people around. You’re smart. So is the competition. But you can beat the competition if you recognize that your readers are smarter than you and the competition combined.”

    Dana (764cb2)

  27. Mitchell’s commentary certainly demonstrates that the very last thing that journalists are entitled to is the label of “professionals”.

    SPQR (26be8b)


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