If you haven’t yet been over to kibbitz on the LA Times Mapping L.A. site, today is the last day they are accepting your input on where to draw the lines that separate east from west, Valley Glen from North Hollywood. Should Rancho Park have its own designation or is it just plain “West LA”? These are the questions that try men’s souls.
Well, technically I dodged the bullet, because my services were rendered and paid for a while ago. But since I have freelanced for the LA Times before, I received a lovely notification in the mail yesterday informing me that my sometimes-employer had gone dodgy on me, and had claimed bankruptcy; and that, if I had not yet been paid for my work, there was a fair chance I might never be.
Now, that doesn’t impact my bottom line a bit as I’ve been too busy with the day job to freelance lately; but my heart breaks for the freelancers who may never see sizable paychecks they worked hard for.
A lot of people claim this is a necessary adjustment for the Times, and in fact I’m one of them: papers need to get leaner, meaner, savvier and more nimble to compete in today’s mediascape. But those changes could have been accomplished under steady and thoughtful guidance. Instead, we have hamhanded half-measures, quick-fixes and half-assing, and it’s not only the Times and Times employees getting screwed: it’s the city at large, and it’s the little folks like you & me who were counting on that $300 check to pay the car payment this month.
[EDIT] I remember there being some discussion about this on a freelancer mailing list I’m on, and someone indicated payments had been resurrected, per this mediabistro article here. Now that this mailing post-dates that announcement, I will assume payments are back off the table. Does anyone know for sure?
Lindsay works for the Los Angeles Times. She lives in Downtown Los Angeles. Her blog is called Downtown L.A. (is Looking Up).
Yesterday, in the early evening, I saw a man hunched over facing the building *I live in* smoking crack. I turned the corner and passed the security guard to go back upstairs to our loft world.
Around 5:30pm one day last week, I made eye contact with a man urinating on my street.
Is Downtown Los Angeles having a nasty relapse? Discuss.
Photo from mattlogelin’s photostream
UPDATED BELOW: Looks like the L.A. Times has begun laying off more journalists, as we mentioned it would a few weeks ago.
Blogger Veronique deTurenne Twittered, posted at her HereinMalibu blog at LAObserved, and then just now posted something at the Times blog. In the event the editorial higher-ups yank the post later today in a fit of revisionism, the text follows the jump here. Continue reading “Axes now falling at the Times – layoffs underway*”
Looks like the Times is having to do a little back peddling after internet-dirt-diggers-extraordinaire The Smoking Gun revealed that the documents used as the basis for last week’s report linking Sean Combs to an attack on Tupac Shakur were faked. Times Editor Russ Stanton has launched his own internal investigation into the matter:
Stanton ordered the review after the editor of the celebrity-centric website, The Smoking Gun, told the newspaper that he had reason to doubt The Times’ account and in particular the FBI records that were supposed to buttress the story.
The website this morning posted a story saying the records — purportedly statements by an unnamed informant to an FBI agent, which the newspaper posted on its website — appeared to be forgeries. The Smoking Gun said the documents seemed suspicious for multiple reasons, including the fact that they appeared to be written on a typewriter, rather than a computer, and included blacked-out sections not typically found in such documents.
Given that the March 19th article on Shakur’s 1994 shooting was the the Times most-viewed story this year, that’s gotta sting a least a little.