Archive for the ‘Tribune Company’ Tag

Jounalism, I Mourn For Thee (Part 3)   2 comments

Save The Newspaper

The Huffington Post is at it again … now they are trumpeting the cause of the anti-Koch brother factions that are lobbying to keep the non-left-leaning Kochs from buying the Tribune Company. They ran a copy of the above ad in a story this week, all a part of their coverage of the movement to make sure the Koch brothers are not allowed to purchase the eight newspapers owned by the Tribune Company.

Here’s what the Huffington Post had to say:

The fight is on against possible Koch Brothers ownership of the Tribune papers, which include the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

Unions and liberal advocacy groups are planning protests and running ads (see photo below) on the Los Angeles Times and New York Times websites starting Thursday, according to liberal groups Courage Campaign Institute and Forecast the Facts.

And they have the leaders of the California state legislature behind them. Darrell Steinberg, the California Senate President pro Tem, and John A. Pérez, the speaker of the California Assembly, said Wednesday that they would oppose the sale, the New York Times reports. Both men control seats on the boards of California’s major pension funds.

I oppose it,” Steinberg said of a possible sale to the Los Angeles Times. “I believe newspapers are a public trust. The Los Angeles Times has a long and respected tradition of community leadership and impartiality. The Koch brothers have a long and demonstrated history of a rigid political ideology.”

About one-quarter of the assets held by Oaktree Capital Management, the leading shareholder in the Tribune Company, comes from public pension funds, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. In a letter sent Thursday to Bruce Karsh, president of Oaktree and chairman of Tribune Company, ten public employee unions warned that a sale to the Koch brothers “would be adverse to the retirement security of public employees whose pension funds you are responsible for managing and investing.”

The letter said the Koch brothers are “anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-public education and anti-immigrant.”

My favorite, though, is their quote from an LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl:

Rosendahl also introduced a motion last week to pull city pension money from the investment firms that own the Los Angeles Times if they sell the publication to buyers who do not support “professional and objective journalism.” The motion was also signed by Councilman Dennis Zine and Councilman and mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti.

The statement that whoever owns the LA Times must be dedicated to “professional and objective journalism” … is just political-speak for they just can’t want journalism that conflicts with the interest groups running scared from a potential sale to the Libertarian, anti-government Koch brothers.

Nowhere in the Huffington Post do they offer any sort of contrary opinion. Nowhere in the article is there any attempt to give the opinion of the Koch brothers. Buried in the 14th paragraph is a quote from a spokesperson for the Kochs … that was addressed to the LA Times. The Huffington Post, apparently can’t be bothered to speak with the Kochs, and they certainly haven’t quoted anyone speaking to the advantages that might be gained through their ownership.

Current management of the LA Times seems to be on board, too. They’ve accepted an ad from the same CourageCampaign.org that created the above ad … here’s what LATimes.com looked like Friday morning:

LA-Times---Koch
Click through the ad to their website, and here’s the lead paragraph:

The Koch Brothers are the worst of the worst. Oil and gas billionaires, they’re known for buying elections, funding anti-science organizations, union busting, dodging taxes, and twisting democracy any way they can to promote their personal agenda.

The truth is, I’m totally neutral in this ownership controversy. I am a daily subscriber to the LA Times. I do want truthful, objective journalism. I have no faith I’m going to get that from the current management of the Times, when they’ll take ads with hyperbolic rhetoric fighting against their potential future employers. What are those people thinking?

Journalism, I mourn for thee.

More

Journalism, I Mourn For Thee (Part 2)

Journalism, I Mourn For Thee (Part 1)

Huffington Post

 

Posted May 11, 2013 by henrymowry in Media

Tagged with , , ,

Journalism, I Mourn For Thee (part 2)   1 comment

Los Angeles TimesLoved a piece in the Huffington Post this week. It reports that if the LA Times is sold to the “wrong people,” then half the staff will leave.

And “wrong,” in this case, is that if the new ownership smells like David and Charles Koch – firmly Libertarian – then the left-leaning staff doesn’t think they want to play anymore.

Chicago TribuneThe paper is a part of the Tribune Company, and the bankruptcy of that company has already had a severe impact on its eight papers: Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, Sun Sentinel (South Florida), Orlando Sentinel, Hartford Courant, The Morning Call and Daily Press. The Tribune Company appears to want to sell off those publications, however, and who buys them – and whether or not they break up the group – will have many old school tongues a-wagging. You know, old school … because who really cares about newspapers these days, anyway?

What fascinates me is that there’s no discussion, apparently, about how the paper is already representing a political viewpoint … that’s just accepted.  Well, OF COURSE the LA Times is left-leaning. And if new ownership wants to change that, the staff just won’t stand for it.

So here’s my old school view.  Shouldn’t the first priority be reporting the truth, instead of a political view? Since when do journalists get to use their job as a personal political platform?

Please note, I’m not advocating that ownership gets to use their buckets of ink to advance a political platform, either. Rather, I’m advocating that we have an independent, free press that keeps the rest of us honest. Investigative reporting is not done by our government, and it’s not done by our military. It’s not done effectively by the blogosphere, either. It’s not done by anyone other than our free press, which is important to the strength of our republic.

The current LA Times staff found a way to publicly announce a straw poll conducted by an editor on the newsroom floor.  Perhaps it was intended as a pre-emptive positioner, meant to discourage the Kochs or any other non-left-leaning ownership group from buying the publication. After all, if the staff won’t work for anyone not with a left-leaning view, then the new owners might end up with an empty shell of a company with not enough people filling the desks of this premiere journalistic enterprise in LA.

To which I say, good. Fire’em all. Hire journalists whose first question is not the political persuasion of the owner, but rather, will the ownership have the resources necessary to tell the stories of most interest and relevance to their readers? Tell those stories, tell them truthfully … and ownership’s political persuasion is not that important. The LA Times was owned for four generations by the Chandler family … and they were conservative. And they were revered in this rather liberal community. Why? Because the strength of the newspaper, and the impartiality of the newspaper, was more important than the political persuasion of the owner.

As it should be.

Journalism, I mourn for thee.

More

Journalism, I Mourn For Thee (part 1)

Huffington Post: Half Of Staff Will Leave IF…

New York Times: Conservative Koch Brothers Making Play for Tribune’s Newspapers

Reuters: Who’s Afraid Of The Koch Brothers?

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