That's the link to my piece in the current LA Weekly about the L.A. Times, my former employer, and its "Latino problem." It's long, but jammed with facts, juicy tidbits and quotes, and lots of necessary historical context. The idea came after that infamous David Hiller memo, but, as I might have expected, questions begat questions, and interviews begat interviews. Then I was directed to the Frank Del Olmo archives at Cal State Northridge and made some thrilling finds. The story grew.
In several interviews for this piece, sources took questions I posed to them and asked them right back: Why did you leave? What was your experience like? How do you think the L.A. Times fails or succeeds in reaching out to Latinos? Although I obviously have a connection to the subject, I tried approaching the story as any open, curious reporter might. To do this effectively, I had to make sure personalities, personal connections, or professional considerations would not come into play. I was concerned primarily with telling a complex tale about an L.A. institution that pretty much forged the city as we know it. Basically, the piece is a channel for exploring topics that already fascinate me: the news media, the notion of a "Latino community," identity politics, L.A. culture and history.
I spent several weeks reporting this story, and it was delayed a couple times. The paper wanted to give the piece all the room it needed. It was edited very conscientiously by Laurie Ochoa, herself a former L.A. Times staffer. The hilarious and brilliant art is by Lalo Alcaraz.
I want to thank everyone that was open and cooperative, and give a shout to all my former colleagues in Metro, who work hard and faithfully under enormous outside pressures.
* Here are all my LA Weekly pieces from 2006.