After reading that the current LA Weekly could not turn up an archive copy of the paper's first issue after the riots in 1992, Los Angeles magazine editor-in-chief Mary Melton dug out her copy and posted it in PDF form. She was an editor at the Weekly. Here's the first inside page, with an opener by editor Kit Rachlis.
She posts on the magazine's website:
The issue, under the guidance of then-editor-in-chief Kit Rachlis (who later became the editor of Los Angeles and hired me here), combined first-person essays (by Michael Ventura, Lynell George), analysis (Harold Meyerson, Tom Carson, Joe Domanick), and reportage (Ruben Martinez, Richard Rothstein, Kateri Butler); there was also a timeline, compelling documentary photography, and a series of statistics (that I feverishly compiled with Amy Waldman and Paul Malcolm) to help frame the conversation. The issue was a thoughtful, impressive undertaking, featuring some of the finest journalists L.A. has known.
The Weekly has since amended the post and regrets the error, stating: “Somewhere between the archive room and our own muddled organization, we lost an issue in there.” That worries me. So as a public service, I fished out the issue from my own archive (of course I kept it) and scanned the entire package, available below as a PDF. I was a history major, after all, and know that the only way to avoid history repeating itself is to understand how we got there in the first place. This issue of the Weekly does that, capturing an ugly moment in the city’s history that would be dangerous to forget.
From the LA Observed archive, here might be an explanation of why the new LA Weekly couldn't locate the old LA Weekly's archive. In 2008, when the paper moved from the Hollywood area to Culver City, they threw out a lot of their history. This was sitting in the parking lot one day.
I posted then:
Staffers began complaining a couple of weeks ago that the LA Weekly's history was being dumped in the parking lot. I don't know if this stuff is valuable or refuse, but here's a shot of the parking lot today. Good thing it hasn't rained.
* Oh by the way: The May 8, 1992 issue of the LA Weekly — a special issue in the Los Angeles riots — is on microfilm at the Los Angeles Public Library, a senior librarian just confirmed.
Previously on LA Observed:
LA Weekly's executive editor in '92 details riot coverage
When LA Weekly (did) cover the riots *