Patterico's Pontifications


LA Times Readers’ Rep Journal: We’re Great!

Filed under: Dog Trainer — DRJ @ 1:49 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I apologize for invading the host’s turf but I was browsing through the LA Times Readers’ Representative Journal to see if a response had been posted to my question about a late November immigration story. I didn’t find anything on that but I did notice this entry posted December 19:

A roundup of kudos

Some recent coverage that has brought plaudits:

The Dec. 9 investigative report on runaway trailers, which reported the deadly results when trailers for hauling boats, horses, gardening equipment, household goods and autos come unhooked on the highways, prompted more than 20 e-mails and calls of praise. A number of readers described their own harrowing experiences or called for greater enforcement and government regulation in response to the front-page story by Myron Levin and Alan C. Miller. Wrote emergency medical technician Tracy L. Hannah: “This should be required reading for ANYONE who tows a trailer. I have responded to far too many accidents that involve operator error.” Wrote Harvey Steele of Lancaster, “I think you have made an impact for a safer highway in California.”

The Dec. 7 Column One focused on one man, Reny Cabral, to illustrate what is happening as the state’s prisons are increasingly overwhelmed by inmates in psychiatric crisis. The article by Scott Gold and Lee Romney — one in a series on California’s troubled mental health system — moved social workers and others involved in the issue to thank The Times for shedding light on the subject. Said Tamara Odisho Benjamin of San Francisco: “Excellent article. Although it was very hard to read in one sitting without crying. It’s terrible to know so many people are in Cabral’s situation. Here in San Francisco there are all too many mentally ill people on our streets.” Michelle Robinson of Simi Valley was moved, too: “I was wondering if you had any idea how people can prevent these things from happening again. I want to take some sort of action.”

One of several for David Willman’s front-page piece (and inside article) reporting how lobbying trumped the competition for a better anthrax vaccine (Dec. 2): “Great article. I’m glad to see that this kind of reporting hasn’t completely vanished at The Times.” (From Mark Stegeman, associate professor of economics at the University of Arizona.)

The Dec. 12 story reporting that the Humane Society of the United States had accused a Westside pet store of selling puppies obtained from puppy mills brought numerous notes of concern. While a few readers defended the store that Carla Hall reported on, most readers expressed the sentiments of Barbara Davilman of Studio City: “Thank you for putting this on the front page. It’s unconscionable that, given what we do know about puppy mills and how they operate, we still allow pet stores to sell dogs. If someone wants a dog they can contact one of several hundred rescue organizations, go to the shelters or contact a reputable breeder. If you ask me, puppy millers come in a close second to the Michael Vicks of the world.”

Finally, because the story was mentioned in this journal last week for a grammar goof in the caption, it’s worth noting that Judy Pasternak has won the 2007 John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism for for “Blighted Homeland,” the series more than a year ago that detailed the deadly effects on Navajo reservations of uranium mining during the Cold War. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has held hearings as a result of the Nov. 2006 articles; more than 1,000 readers have praised it and requests continue to come in for more coverage of the issue. (Readers had reacted to the Dec. 7 story to point out a grammatical gaffe inserted by the editor who wrote the caption — “have drank” instead of “have drunk.”)”

The Readers’ Rep Journal lists recent comments in the sidebar and I noticed the last comment was posted December 14, 2007, by “rukidding” (great online name, by the way). Before that, the last comment was from Jamie Gold, the Readers’ Rep, on November 29 in response to a comment from JD.

Must be a slow month for the Readers’ Rep.


6 Responses to “LA Times Readers’ Rep Journal: We’re Great!”

  1. Before that, the last comment was from Jamie Gold, the Readers’ Rep, on November 29

    Well then, someone needs to inquire as to why the Assistant Reader’s Rep, Kent Zelas, isn’t doing his part in the comments section.

    driver (faae10)

  2. DRJ,

    Great stuff.

    You *know* you don’t want to quit . . .

    Patterico (e4c039)

  3. It was good — the blockquote was a bit eye glazing (thanks for the bolding or it would have been insufferable)… but, yeah, it was okay. If only she wasn’t so incredibly nice.

    Good observation at the end about those comment dates. To call that a “blog” is laughable.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  4. Well, it’s not so much of a blog, it’s more of a forum…

    See-Dubya (1fc18b)

  5. I took note of the LAT’s self-stroking post on Dec. 21.
    The old Times leadership doesn’t want to discuss the anonymous sourcing issue. I found that out after complaining that its (happily) former opiner on media ethics Tim Rutten, used anonymous sources to defend his liberal friends at The New Republic. An unethical writer on media ethics — how droll!
    To briefly recap, the Times’ “Readers’ Representative”, Jamie Gold, at first agreed to consider anonymous sources and Rutten’s use of them in her new blog. Its’ subhead: “A Conversation on Newsroom Practices and Standards”. But later Gold said Times editors didn’t think Tim Rutten had done anything wrong. So much for that “conversation”. . . .
    In her blog, Gold has not written a word about anonymous sources, saving her attention for such weighty topics as Al Martinez’ vacation and the appointment of a new assistant managing editor for design. Also, a $250 pizza and kudos for Times reporters. Gold must be terribly unpopular amongst her peers, what with all those hard-hitting revelations.

    Bradley J. Fikes (1c6fc4)

  6. DRJ, you had not even be thinking of quitin!

    At least providing content and support for pattarico and this blog!

    I mean I might have to call somebody to provide an offer you can’t refuse! (sorry the GodFather was just on), I was sorta forced to watch it again after 20 + yrs).

    Though I could understand the desire, face it, you’re in too deep! Vito….

    DRJ, ignore Vito, he aint a made man, just a wannabe.

    But you do bring something to this blog and it’s valuable. I’m sure it’s tough as hell at times, but don’t give it up. Remember it’s Patts blog, and he bears the reputation of whatever others may bring here. Sounds as though he continues to support your and the content you bring as well.

    Most of the stuff you bring is super!

    All that aside, if it was easy, Patt would not ask you to help out!

    I can’t thank you enough for the light you shed upon the Compean/Ramos case, if Bush had read so much as single post, Johnny S. would be in jail and our BP agents would be free!

    Slow down, if desired, and don’t feel compelled to fill the space all the time. It aint your blog! But your contributions are valuable.

    Oh and don’t ever get down about the times crap, as much of it is just that, crap! They know it, we know it, and evidently their past subscribers as well know it.

    The printed press, is on it’s way out, but still needed for now. The best we can hope for is that some real integrity is being returned to them, via Blogging! (I’m not going to hold my breath either), But change they will or die a much quicker death.

    TC (1cf350)

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