The San Diego Union-Tribune‘s new owner Douglas Manchester and his CEO John Lynch were on with KPBS San Diego’s Joanne Faryon last night to defend recent comments that their paper would be transitioning into a “cheerleader” role for the city of San Diego and its business community. Raise your hand if you feel any sunnier about the future of Southern California journalism after seeing this video. Anyone? Anyone?
Didn’t think so.
The obvious distinction these two should have made, even it was only lip service, was that there is a difference between the paper’s editorial pages and its news pages. News is news, editorial is for cheerleading. Manchester seemed like he was going to go there, but then backed off and spoke generically of news stories he remembers seeing that he thought should have taken different angles. The fact that this distinction was never clearly outlined last night tells us one of two things: either Manchester and Lynch have absolutely zero media savvy (as this is what every media watcher in Southern California has been waiting to hear) or they’re so against the idea of newsroom independence they’re willing to publicly torch the credibility of their paper.
*Interview starts around the 20:00 mark. Thought I clipped for ya’ll, but YouTube thought otherwise.