Blogging the Times

That new L.A. Times newsroom anony-blogger who made it known that he or she would begin writing on Monday didn't wait. After my post on Thursday, a list of upcoming topics appeared at Third Floor View on Friday morning. Then late Sunday afternoon a post went up chiding LAT editors for worrying too much about what's on the front page of the New York Times.

At, former Times reporter Mack Reed writes "the blog could be a calculated buzz-builder to launch a disgruntled employee's planned escape into greater post-Velvet Coffin fame, or simply the cry of a desperate and frustrated scribe who truly cannot bear to see what's become of the place and just doesn't give a damn about the risk." My first impression is that the blogger probably overstates the top editors' concern with the NYT front page (unless things have really changed in four years), but makes a valid point that they should have more confidence. It will be interesting to see whether, ultimately, he or she sheds light or turns out to be a disgruntled copy pusher with a grudge.

Meanwhile, in a post praising columnist Steve Lopez, LAT reporter-turned-blogger Ken Reich signs on to the school of thought that political reporters should be more interpretive.

The objectivity to which the regular political writers are often compelled to adhere amounts to a straitjacket in which they are playing a game which prevents them from being straightforward and honest....Times political coverage now has become too bland. The regular writers are often held on too tight a leash, and the Sacramento bureau in particular has frequently been too rigidly supervised out of Los Angeles.

Reich writes that when he was a political writer for the Times in the 1970s and 80s, "we became more like the columnists and were often free to say quite a bit of what we thought in the news columns."

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