Sunday's New York Times published a letter to that newspaper's public editor from the publisher of L.A. Youth, the paper run here by teenagers, commenting on a column about how to pay for good journalism.
Nonprofit newspapers are not a new idea. L.A. Youth was started more than 20 years ago with support by foundations and corporations. There has never been a conflict of interest or pressure from any funding source regarding our investigative reporting.
In Los Angeles, we have reported fraud and abuse in group homes, we have reported illegal searches of backpacks by school security guards, and we have brought to the Legislature’s attention the plight of youths incarcerated in private mental hospitals without the right of due process. These stories were ignored by mainstream media even in the well-financed days of journalism.
Our paper is distributed free to more than 1,400 teachers and is used in classrooms for civics lessons in lieu of boring, dated textbooks. Philanthropy and journalism are an excellent partnership.
Los Angeles, July 20, 2009
The letter after hers, on another subject, is by former Los Angeles Times reporter David Smollar.