Smaller LA Times does just fine on San Bernardino coverage


If you were looking for a sign that the post-buyout Los Angeles Times would have trouble with a big story like the San Bernardino shootings, I didn't see it. The Times flooded the zone and kept a steady stream of news updates coming online Wednesday. On social media, Times staffers also were able to direct readers to the recent series on poverty in San Bernardino, a backgrounder to the locale that no one else had. Fortuitous timing. My main source of news during the afternoon was TV and media outlets on Twitter, so I can't compare how the Times did with any comprehensiveness, but every time I looked at the website they were right there with an updated package.

This was the clincher for me. After I watched the live televised news conference last night in which the police chief gave the names but basically no other info about the two suspects, I opened a story on the Times website that quoted several co-workers, including Syed Rizwan Farook's cubicle mate in the county health department, and said he had traveled to Saudi Arabia recently, came home married to Tashfeen Malik, and was "living the American dream." Good detail in the story.

The question I heard from ex-Timespeople yesterday was, how would the San Bernardino story be handled in this morning's print paper given the 5:30 p.m. deadline for the A section, which allows the Times' printing plant in LA to print the newspapers of paying customers. The Times got around the deadline by renaming the California section as Times Extra and moving all of the shootings news there. That re-named section and Sports were then wrapped in front of the usual front page. There is a little bit of California and local news in the section, but it's heavily devoted to the shootings. Seven stories and a total of 29 different contributors and bylines, including Washington reporter Richard Serrano, who is taking the buyout. Serrano weighed in with the view from federal officials about the shooters.

By the way, Al Jazeera has a story on misinformation about possible terrorist links to the shooters and says Serrano fell for a Twitter hoax. His tweet about a Qatari national by the name of Tayyeep Bin Ardogan has since been deleted, Al Jazeera reports.

Also noted: Martha Groves, a reporter who took the buyout last month after 30+ years at the Times, showed up today in the Washington Post as a stringer on that paper's San Bernardino stories. She is friends with Post editor Martin Baron.

From The Onion: ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

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