LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives


SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives


SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE@LIST.UVM.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Home

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Home

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  April 2008

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE April 2008

Subject:

Re: Cuba walks tightrope of reforms

From:

Louis Proyect <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 29 Apr 2008 09:43:32 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (125 lines)

Michael Balter wrote:
> http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-glasnost29apr29,0,3127673.story?track=ntothtml
> 
> /From the Los Angeles Times/
> 
> 
>   Cuba walks tightrope of reforms
> 

It takes a lot of gall for the LA Times to adopt a superior attitude 
when it comes to the free flow of information.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-cleeland-/why-im-leaving-the-l_b_49697.html
Nancy Cleeland
Why I'm Leaving The L.A. Times
Posted May 28, 2007 | 09:35 PM (EST)

After 10 years, hundreds of bylines and some of the best experiences of 
my professional life, I'm leaving the Los Angeles Times at the end of 
this month, along with 56 newsroom colleagues. We each have our reasons 
for taking the latest buyout offer from Chicago-based Tribune Company. 
In my case, the decision grew out of frustration with the paper's 
coverage of working people and organized labor, and a sad realization 
that the situation won't change anytime soon.

It's awkward to criticize an old friend, which I still consider the 
Times to be, but I think the question of how mainstream journalists deal 
with the working class is important and deserves debate. There may be no 
better setting in which to examine the issue: The Los Angeles region is 
defined by gaping income disparities and an enormous pool of low-wage 
immigrant workers, many of whom are pulled north by lousy, unstable 
jobs. It's also home to one of the most active and creative labor 
federations in the country. But you wouldn't know any of that from 
reading a typical issue of the L.A. Times, in print or online. 
Increasingly anti-union in its editorial policy, and celebrity -- and 
crime-focused in its news coverage, it ignores the economic discontent 
that is clearly reflected in ethnic publications such as La Opinion.

     * Email
     * Print

Buzz up!on Yahoo!

Of course, I realize that revenues are plummeting and newsroom staffs 
are being cut across the country. But even in these tough financial 
times, it's possible to shift priorities to make Southern California's 
largest newspaper more relevant to the bulk of people who live here. 
Here's one idea: Instead of hiring a "celebrity justice reporter," now 
being sought for the Times website, why not develop a beat on economic 
justice? It might interest some of the millions of workers who draw 
hourly wages and are being squeezed by soaring rents, health care costs 
and debt loads.

In Los Angeles, the underground economy is growing faster than the 
legitimate one, which means more exploited workers, greater economic 
polarization, and a diminishing quality of life for everyone who lives 
here. True, it's harder to capture those kinds of stories than to scan 
divorce files and lawsuits. But over time, solid reporting on the 
economic life of Los Angeles could bring distinction and credibility to 
the Times. It also holds tremendous potential for interacting with 
readers. And, above all, it's important.

In a way, the Times created my obsession for economic and class issues 
by sending me into low-wage Los Angeles as part of a 1998 initiative to 
increase coverage of Latinos. I was a seasoned journalist with lots of 
experience in Third World countries. Still, the level of exploitation I 
saw shocked me. Illegal immigrants, in particular, had no rights. In a 
range of industries, including manufacturing and retail, they were 
routinely underpaid and fired after any attempt to assert rights or ask 
for higher wages.

That disregard for workers spread up the chain of regional jobs, just as 
a crash in subprime home loans eventually lowers the entire real estate 
market. The same is happening to various degrees across the country.

Rather than reverse those troubling trends, recent political leaders 
have done just the opposite. Enabled by a Milton Friedman-inspired 
belief in free markets and the idea that poverty is proof of personal 
failure, not systemic failure, federal trade and regulatory policies 
have consistently undermined workers. The inequities worsened under 
President George W. Bush, who wears his antipathy toward labor on his 
sleeve. But few alarms were sounded by the mainstream press, including 
the Los Angeles Times.

In the easy vernacular of modern journalism, the Times and other 
newspapers routinely cast business and labor as powerful competitors 
whose rivalries occasionally flare up in strikes and organizing 
campaigns. What I saw was that workers almost always lose. Eventually I 
left the labor beat and wrote about education and housing. Even there, 
however, I noted a lack of enthusiasm for anything having to do with the 
region's working poor.

Why? The senior editors are not bad people. Like most journalists, they 
are in the business for the noblest of reasons. But in a region of 
increasing polarization, where six figure incomes put them in the top 
tier of the economy, they may not see the inequities in their own backyard.

I couldn't stop seeing them. I remembered the workers who killed 
chickens, made bagged salads, packed frozen seafood, installed closet 
organizers, picked through recycled garbage, and manufactured foam cups 
and containers. They were injured from working too fast, fired for 
speaking up, powerless, invisible. I saw that their impact on all of us 
who live in the region is huge.

Now, like hundreds of other mid-career journalists who are walking away 
from media institutions across the country, I'm looking for other ways 
to tell the stories I care about. At the same time, the world of online 
news is maturing, looking for depth and context. I think the timing 
couldn't be better.

With the Los Angeles Economic Roundtable, a source of economic research 
for 15 years, I'm exploring the development of a nonprofit online site 
to chronicle the regional economy from a full range of perspectives. We 
want to tap into the wealth of economic research being generated by 
academic institutions, business groups, labor unions and others, as well 
as the vast experience of ordinary Angelenos. After all, the economy is 
nothing more than how we live, work and consume, all drawn together.

Leaving a newspaper that was once my journalistic ideal is harder than 
I'd expected. It feels, I suppose, like walking out of a long marriage 
that was once filled with love and hope, but grew stale. There is 
nostalgia and regret, along with relief and new energy. I know it's time 
to let go of the old dreams and move on to new ones. Already, the Los 
Angeles Times is becoming part of my past.

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
May 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LIST.UVM.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager