3 to read: LA Times debacle | Goodbye, alt weeklies | Amazing 1950s dataviz

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Aug. 29, 2017: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

  1. What’s the matter with the L.A. Times?: The editorial leadership of the L.A. Times was fired this week, in a stunning move. Well, here’s some of the jaw-dropping backstory that led to the axings. Ed Leibowitz of L.A. Magazine details the ineptness of editor-in-chief and publisher Davan Maharaj, who sat on major investigative pieces for years, but had time to ask reporters to check out his new Italian shoes. The story ran in December, but it’s worth resurrecting for it’s excruciating detail of dysfunction at the top of what was once a great newsroom.

2. What we lose when we say goodbye to alt weeklies: The Village Voice is dead, at least in print. So, pretty much, are alt weeklies across the country. Paul Farhi of the WaPo has a nice elegy of what we have lost when those quirky mixes of band reviews, massage parlor ads, and hard-hitting political coverage closed up shop. A good read.

3. Amazing graphics from the 1950s NYT archive: Most people tend to think of “data viz” as a relatively new phenomenon. Not quite. News orgs have been doing impressive data viz for as long as they have existed. Stuart A. Thompson on Medium has a wonderful piece on some spectacular (and forgotten) visualizations done at the NYT during the 1950s. Check out the cool space travel illustrations (all b&w, by the way).

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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.

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