Posted 34 days ago
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and other California Democrats want to save the struggling Los Angeles Times because "preserving democracy is contingent upon a free and robust press."
In a letter to the paper's ownership and union, the Democratic lawmakers said they were writing as members of Congress who represent constituents who rely on the "invaluable reporting" provided by the Los Angeles Times. The letter came after over 300 members of the Los Angeles Times Guild staged a one-day walkout last week following an announcement that the paper planned to lay off many of its journalists.
"We are concerned about reports of potential layoffs facing the LA Times newsroom and the impact this will have on all Angelenos, the availability of essential news and the strength of our democracy at large. The LA Times is an irreplaceable source for our constituents, and we commend the dedication of the journalists that have made the outlet a linchpin of information and expert opinion for our community," they wrote.
Reps. Pete Aguilar, Brad Sherman, Jimmy Gomez, Judy Chu, Tony Cardenas, Ted Lieu, Nanette Barragan, Sydney Kamlager-Dove and Robert Garcia, along with Schiff, signed the letter.
"With reports of layoffs affecting 20% or more of the LA Times newsroom, we urge all parties to reach a consensus to avoid a drastic measure that would harm the outlet’s ability to report on important news in our city and nationwide. We understand the need to balance the long-term financial stability of the paper with the need to support fair and adequate compensation for journalists," they continued.
"We understand that the Washington Post had some recent success cutting costs by offering voluntary buyouts in place of layoffs. In light of this, one possible path forward would be to consider a similar approach of voluntary buyouts for the LA Times," the letter added.
The Times’ own entertainment reporter recently wrote that the planned cuts are designed to "offset steep financial losses that owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and his family have absorbed since acquiring the paper nearly six years ago."
Last week’s one-day strike was the Times’ first "union-organized work stoppage in the paper’s 142-year history," according to entertainment reporter Meg James, who also noted that anxiety is "widespread" in the newsroom.... (Read more)