In most parts of the U.S., Long Beach would be recognized as a major city. Indeed, its population exceeds that of Miami, Minneapolis or New Orleans, each of which still has a daily newspaper. While identified with the aging Queen Mary, its harbor is one of the busiest in the world, and its airport has been home to both Douglas Aircraft and Boeing. Long Beach's neighborhoods run the gamut, from the WASPish affluence of Naples and Virginia Country Club to an inner city that produced Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. The highest concentration of Cambodians outside of Phnom Penh lives in Long Beach, as does a large Latino population. It is as cosmopolitan as any city in the nation, and news worth reporting happens there every day.
But as we know all too well in 2008, newspapers are a business -- and businesses fail.
As readers, we watch suburban dailies like the P-T wither and vanish at our collective peril. Blogs and weeklies simply can't fill the void because there's no substitute for local reporters covering local news every day in a local newspaper. When the call goes out to "stop the presses" these days, there's an increasing chance they won't ever start up again -- and we're all the lesser for it.
Southern California Media Guild workers at the Press-Telegram are planning a rally out front of the building at noon Monday to protest the latest contract offer and the cuts.