The Los Angeles Times has a thick book of style conventions that seem more and more to be ignored, especially online — same with past work by in-house committees to clarify the borders of L.A. neighborhoods. (Most recently, Times blogs — including the one written by city editor Shelby Grad — have embraced the hipster coinage "Eastside" for neighborhoods west and north of downtown such as Silver Lake and Echo Park.) Downtown activist Brady Westwater recently railed at a Times story for botching the labeling of Pico-Union and Westlake, and got a note from California Editor David Lauter promising a new, computerized effort to map which streets fit in which named neighborhoods — all of them. Even City Hall doesn't have an official guide like that.
The Times' work won't be official either, but it's a worthy effort. The underlying data units will be census tracts, with some decisions on what goes where necessarily based on anecdote and local custom. The paper's judgments will be offered for public input, which could help refine things — or lead to outsized influence for the online-osphere, which the Times sometimes fails to realize isn't representative of Los Angeles. Lauter offers more details in an email to Curbed LA.
Add style rules: Times blogs, including L.A. Now, also now repeat stories directly off City News Service, which the print paper has long been formally discouraged from doing out of concern for accuracy. Good enough for online seems to be the new ethic.
Creeping Eastside-ism: The new restaurant guide Eat LA is the most unorthodox yet, placing the entirety of downtown — the city center by tradition, if not cartography — in "the Eastside."