Upside to the downside at newspapers

Author Frances Dinkelspiel has noticed that ever since the San Francisco Chronicle laid off dozens of reporters, the number of author and artist features in the paper has gone up. She figures it's because the axed writers are freelancing short pieces to the Chronicle, and quick mini-profiles are fairly easy to turn around. Dinkelspiel is the author of "Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California," the story of her great-great-grandfather and early L.A. figure.

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