Earlier this week, LA Times editor Geoffrey Mohan voiced the opinion of much of the LA media world, when he wrote a letter to the New York Times, calling their recent piece on the LA Times’ struggles, “a dagger in the backs of good journalists who have survived a withering battle and managed to hang on to our ideals, quality and integrity.”
That salvo wasn’t likely to go unanswered. New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane got back to Mohan yesterday in an email. Romenesko posted the missive in its entirety. We’ll cut to the good stuff:
For my part, I can appreciate why some readers felt this story was unfair. The distinction made by the editor — that the story was more about readers’ perception of the LA Times as distinct from the LA Times journalistic performance — was largely lost on me. I read it as a critique of the paper, and so did many others. I think this impression was reinforced by quotes in the story from John Carroll, a former editor, who seemed to pine for the days when the paper had massive zoning operations, the loss of which one might reasonably view as a reduction in quality of coverage.