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Times Staff Writer

Regarding the news that the Los Angeles Times sports section would begin referring to selected reporters from other papers as Times Staff Writers...

I'm hooked on your site, which is unfortunate for me because our section is sometimes mentioned in an unflattering light.

That's OK. I'm glad you care enough about the sports section to have an opinion about it and I certainly appreciate your comments on our diminished space.

But I do have a quarrel with one sentence in yesterday's posting. You wrote, "Tribune bean counters tried with little success under sports editor Bill Dwyre to force the Times to share sports stories writers with Tribune's smaller, lower-quality papers--to act more like a newspaper chain.''

I believe that, in the context of the rest of the article, the implication is that Ed Hinton and Phil Hersh are not worthy of appearing in the Los Angeles Times. I know your larger point is that they should not be identified as Times staff writers, and I appreciate that point of view. But I wouldn't want any of your readers to think that we are settling for lower quality writers and reporters for the sake of Tribune harmony when, in fact, the opposite is true.

Ed and Phil are recognized as among the best in the country in covering their respective beats and we are proud to have them now as regular contributers, no matter how they are identified. More importantly, our readers will benefit from the expertise and talent that Ed and Phil bring to the section.

Perhaps you didn't mean to disparage them. Perhaps I just read it that way. In any case, I wanted to make it clear that these are outstanding additions to our section.

Randy Harvey
Sports Editor
Los Angeles Times

It took years for L.A. Times reporters to earn our TSW bylines. For whatever reason, to save money or otherwise, why not simply give these outside writers a "Special to the Times" credit, no matter how great they may be?

It was done that way for years and it was a fair way to handle these contributors. I think the real TSWs would otherwise be somewhat resentful. Sorry, but that's human nature.

Evelyn De Wolfe
former LA Times Staff Writer

September 26, 2006 2:45 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor

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