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Daily Democracy

Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.

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January 25, 2008 9:31 AM

An editor's farewell

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Sam Zell did not waste much time shaking things up at the Los Angeles Times. LA Times publisher David Hiller fired the paper's editor, James O'Shea, who had only been on the job for 14 months.

When Zell took control of the Tribune Company, which owns the LA Times, he said the publishers would have a long leash. It sounds as if James E. O'Shea Firing was Hiller's call not Zell's. Although, I would guess that Zell would step in if he thought it was a colossal mistake.

O'Shea's parting comments, which can be found here, are sad, and inspiring. I was particularly stuck by and agree with this passage:

"We must build on our core strength, which is good, accurate reporting, the backbone of solid journalism, the public service that helps people make the right decisions about their increasingly complex lives. We must tell people what they want to know and - even more important - what they might not want to know, about war, politics, economics, schools, corruption and the thoughts and deeds of those who lead us. We need to tell readers more about Barack Obama and less about Britney Spears. We must give a voice to those who can't afford a megaphone."

Expect more action from Zell's Tribune. He is a take charge guy that is going to want to succeed in big ways. I wonder how long Hiller will last under Zell?

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