There's been some grousing about the news summaries the Los Angeles Times began running on the second and third pages in April (or was it March?) Some complain that the Briefing blurbs run too long and push national and foreign news deeper in the paper. Others say the format gives short-shrift to the day's corrections. Internally, though, the editors hope to make duty on A2/A3 attractive to writers. Andrew Malcolm, a 26-year veteran of the New York Times, became the lead writer after leaving the editorial board last year. Now, in a memo that sells the capsules as a "major Times readership initiative," staffers are encouraged to spell Malcolm and co-writer Brian Hanrahan. Here's the memo:
Sent: Friday, June 02, 2006 1:52 PM
Subject: Occasional A2/A3 Writers Sought
Need a break from that long-term project or a little change of pace from desk work?
The A2/A3 desk is looking for people to take occasional writing shifts. Writers prepare the summaries on these two new pages. We need folks who can distill a 40-inch story into three grafs and give it a little verve. The hours are 11 to 7, the days vary, but generally no weekends. We're setting up a pool of people so we can work it around your schedule. We call, and if you can't make it, we'll try again some other time. The best part: no commitment, just like in life.
So, if you'd like to be part of a major Times readership initiative, please contact: Mike Young, A2/A3 editor, at Ext. xxxxx; or John Arthur, Assistant Managing Editor, at Ext. xxxxx.