The Los Angeles Times said yesterday that it is cutting 250 people, including 150 news staff, and is reducing news pages as it attempts to cut costs. Times Editor Russ Stanton put it best:
Thanks to the Internet, we have more readers for our great journalism than at any time in our history. But also thanks to the Internet, our advertisers have more choices, and we have less money.
I’m one of the few folks who actually enjoys the “dead tree” version of the news, whether that is the Los Angeles Times or our other local papers, and it’s unfortunate that the current news business is facing such a crisis. We are entering a time where the vast resources available to the formerly powerful newspapers — including very dedicated reporters willing to work on very tough stories, global reach, and dollars to invest in stories — will no longer be contributing to the quality of coverage. While those of us online serve a niche, there’s always been value in the deep digging, and impartial analysis that the traditional news media has offered. While blogging and online media has its place, it’s often conflicted, biased, and for the most part is far more opinionated than impartial. The billion dollar question, of course, is how to fund the level of coverage traditional journalism has provided in the day and age of the Internet. It seems, the LA Times — and the rest of the industry — has yet to figure that out.