The Homicide Report Blog. Part 2. The Browne solution.

Dear La Opinion and the LA Sentinel,

Ignacio E. Lozano founder of La Opinion.
Founder of La Opinion Ignacio E. Lozano

In these hard economic times we all need ways to make money, though I read in Editor and Publisher that newspapers that were neighborhood or ethnic based were doing surprisingly well. I hope both of you are in the doing well group. As you know the LA Times got lots of mileage out of the deaths of readers who looked pretty similar to your readership though their Homicide Report Blog.

I personally didn’t care for it that much owing to their lacking of coverage areas of Latino and African-American life. I felt that it was a sort of one sided type coverage that just perpetrated stereotypes. Many people of color did not agree with me. They feel that living on your knees is better than being dead. Even though we all agreed that the coverage was going to do absolutely nothing in regards to stopping crime.

Now what that means to me is that this coverage is very much wanted (think of the ad dollars) and I think your papers should each create a Homicide Report Blog. You would definitely get plenty of traffic. People like reading about people dying and with open comments, you could get a wealth of material for other stories and maybe possibly a book deal for a writer in the community.

Wouldn’t that be ground breaking a Latino or African-American journalist who lives in the community (not next to, but in)  being viewed as the authority on that community? The mainstream press thinks that ethnic minorities (specifically the ones that live with other ethnic people) are not capable of objective coverage of their own communities, but I do not think this is true. (And I know that all of the city belongs to all of us, but as I don’t probably have to tell either of you, I didn’t make up the rules stating who could go where first.)

I think if a white person can cover their husband’s best friend Hollywood bar objectively that an African-American or Latino could cover Watts objectively.

Creating a blog is not hard. I can point you in the direction of someone who could help you. The LA Times uses Typepad software, I know because I use it also. Many people use WordPress, but it looks too hippie to me, but you can use whatever you want.

You just get the software and embed it on your site.

Possibly I should be asking The Wave and The Sun, but out of respect I thought I would ask you guys first since you guys are two of the oldest minority owned papers in Los Angeles with La Opinion being founded in 1926 by Ignacio E. Lozano followed up by the LA Sentinel in 1933 by Col Leon H. Washington and his wife Ruth Washington.

Help stop the begging. Give the people what they want, so they don’t have to crawl around in the dirt and beg the LA Times for coverage.

Most Sincerely,

Browne Molyneux


First LA Sentinel Staff 1933

7 thoughts on “The Homicide Report Blog. Part 2. The Browne solution.

  1. I’ve always found it disappointing that this city’s main Hispanic papers (La Opinion, Hoy) are filled mostly with, in my opinion, Yellow Journalism Chisme style stories, (even the global news) broken up with ads for fortune tellers, entertainment and soccer coverage with a few pieces of actual news thrown in. I understand the give-your-audience-what-they-want concept, but I’ve always felt that the Spanish speaking community here deserves so much more. Community coverage aside, the hunger for morbid & lurid news is universal and realistically, that’s a part of the appeal of a Homicide Report.
    anyway, as for local community covered Homicide Reports, on a national level, I’ve always wished there could be a USA version of ALARMA! If there was an ALARMA! on a city level, I’d be thrilled beyond words.

  2. I will ditto that concern with the LA Sentinel. I am personally confused why they have turned down my many offers of assistance…lol..ok that’s a little personal, but there is so much real news that could be getting covered. The LA Sentinel seems to be doing ok, but the Wave is pretty much getting by on one writer doing it all and alot, she’s pretty awesome Betty Pleasant. The LA Sentinel seems to have writers of note Earl Hutchinson, Jasmyne Cannick contribute alot and the the LA Sentinel does ok, but I don’t know it some times reminds me of The LA Times Baldwin Hill edition with lots of churches and it seems really old timey slanted.

    The people want real news, they will read it. The people aren’t delicate flowers that will wilt if someone says “boo!!” No one reads these papers but us, so I don’t know what is the deal with putting out the good china every single issue.

  3. Besides La Opinion and Hoy, there are the local Latino throwaways; Impacto, the Comet, The Sun, The Tribune, I think that Wyvernwood had a Chronical? Then there’s the Catholic religion paper Vida Nueva.
    It seems like if you don’t read English here, you’re pretty much limited to the above choices for printed news.
    There are some folks here like my Dad, who would go to specialty news stands and buy periodicals from Mexico to keep up with that type of social/political coverage. My Dad and I still occasionally share issues of Excelsior, Siempre, La Jornada, & Los Caricaturistas.

  4. I think the problem is at times, not taking away from the great coverage those rags do provide, but at times the people who are really into writing (the younger people, there are still some golden oldies writing some good stuff for the ethnic papers) want to write for a “mainstream” paper, so we get a few good stories from people and then off to the LA Times (or LA Weekly, LA City Beat or Daily News, though I have to say the Daily News is getting better, I used to hate that paper.) I think there needs to be another definition of success. I mean in LA isn’t Latino mainstream?

    And even if you aren’t part of the mainstream. The 10% of the African-American population in LA is a valuable audience, if the LA Times doesn’t want to cover it then so freakin what, but with our papers we have to dig a little deeper and not let special interests dictate what we write about and who we write about, this is how the LA Times ended up in the position it is in, so we really shouldn’t be looking at that paper as the model of how to cover LA.

    I think the best way to show that you are valuable is by creating your own vehicle and driving the hell out of it and then people will come to you and then you can dictate the terms.

  5. “I think the best way to show that you are valuable is by creating your own vehicle and driving the hell out of it and then people will come to you and then you can dictate the terms.” Browne

    Right on !!!!! I totally agree with you on this topic because I kinda see in it my colleagues at school. They all want to write a story that’s going to be their ticket into some major publication because that’s the “goal.” They don’t care about their community or where they come from, they just want to make something of themselves according to the standards set by everyone else who came before us. I myself live by what you said and in a small way, so does this blog. I’m driving the shit out of my vehicle and it’s actually getting me somewhere. Without looking egotistical, I do work, work I am proud of because if I don’t do it, who will ? Personally, my goal isn’t to make it to the L.A. Times or LA Weekly or any other major publication. I just want to tell stories and be able to make a living at the same time. Once you start working for “the man” you’ll have to compromise and sacrifice in order to do what you need to do. A lesson I’ve learned first hand here at school and dealing with office politics.

  6. Random Hero,

    “I just want to tell stories and be able to make a living at the same time.” you.

    That’s a pretty kick ass goal and there is nothing egotistical about being proud of your work.

    Browne

  7. I bet if La Opinion did a muerto blog or column they’d be able to add a whole different dimension to the idea. And they shouldn’t feel bad about “borrowing” ideas, I’ve found out it’s the norm for media outlets or boring blogs to rely on other sources for ideas.

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