LAT edit page in the news *

A To Our Readers note on Sunday from L.A. Times Editorial Page Editor Andrés Martinez introduces some upcoming changes to his page (and his former paper, the New York Times, writes about it and other recent moves—see below.) On the menu are a modest redesign, critiques of editorials in other newspapers, allowing editorial board members to publicly dissent once a year from the paper's position, an online wiki where readers of LATimes.com will get a chance to shape editorials, and other new stuff — including more notes from Martinez:

• On occasion, board members will write, under their byline, "A SoCal Life," articles that reflect on life in this region...

• Analytical editorials that grapple with fundamental principles underlying a policy debate will be labeled "Framework." These will be archived on our website (latimes.com/opinion) and also in a separate outline by subject matter that we hope, over the years, will evolve into a coherent and consistent political philosophy...

• "Thinking Out Loud" is an experiment in making up our minds in public. Starting with two national issues, immigration and traffic, that are especially important to us in Southern California, we will devote space in all of our precincts — editorials, Op-Eds, the Sunday Opinion section (and watch out for a redesign and name change there!) and our website — to exploring aspects and alternate views of these subjects. We don't have a solution, and there may not be a good one. But that is no excuse for failing to come up with the best one. We hope this process will help us do it...

• You may see more editor's notes like this one, where we step out from behind the curtain to update you on what we are doing, or comment on some of our past editorials.

As we have mentioned earlier, the editorial board itself is undergoing a rebuild, including the use of visiting writers and freelancers, and taking on ambitious projects.

Also in Sunday's LAT: Joel Kotkin Q-and-A'd by Abel Salas in the Magazine, with photo: "A lot of our so-called elites have what you might call a case of envy. 'Oh, we've got to look like Manhattan.' What is Los Angeles, chopped liver? We've managed to be a great city without a great downtown." And a review of LAT Buenos Aires correspondent Hector Tobar's book, Translation Nation.

Kinsley in NYT* Monday NYT on 'Upheaval on Los Angeles Times Editorial Pages': The East Coast Times runs a piece on all the changes we've been flagging at the LAT editorial board. The story credits Michael Kinsley with "the boldest attempt to make [editorials] more dynamic, argumentative and interactive with several innovations aimed squarely at online readers, while being less like an unseen voice of authority." But Jacob Heilbrunn, one of the departing editorial writers, said there's been "a good deal of disgruntlement and smashed crockery" at the Times over Kinsley's moves. The story notes that editorial writer Molly Selvin found out by email while in Europe that she was being transferred, retired Washington bureau chief Jack Nelson decries the use of outside freelancers to write editorials, and the story says Kinsley has a reputation at the LAT for being "distant and uncommunicative." But Jan Schaffer of the J-Lab at the University of Maryland says he is "creating new entry points for readers to weigh in with their collective wisdom and enrich the journalistic commentary." Times Editor John Carroll backs up Kinsley: "We are looking for outside voices in the editorial and op-ed pages from people who aren't necessarily professional journalists. California is full of Nobel Prize winners and brilliant people and we want to get their voices into the paper. One thing about editorial pages in general is many tend to not surprise people. I think you'll find many surprises in these pages."


More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent LAT stories on LA Observed:
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
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More recommended media coverage of the riots
Fiction does have a winner at LA Times Book Prizes
LA Times geography throws USC a curve
Previous story: Bit of a shake

Next story: Tour starts with a bang *

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