LA Times Can Do Better

The internet has made it easier than ever to get to primary sources such as government budgets. That’s one reason we encourage members of the GFC Network to skip intermediaries and just go direct.

For example, earlier today the Los Angeles Times had a front page article entitled “California hopes for relief” in which the reporters didn’t even question the assertion made by a LA Councilman that “without a [federal relief bill] we are going to see layoffs” because the city is projecting a $400 million deficit. Nowhere in the article could I find a reference to other options, including terminating $398 million per year the city unnecessarily spends on subsidies for retired police officers and other city employees. Given that every reporter must know that city budgets are largely about compensation and benefits and just six months ago the same paper was writing headlines about defunding police budgets, how could they not know to look a bit deeper? The article also failed to note that state revenues are running 43 percent ahead of budgeted revenues.

Go direct when you can. When you can’t, read reporters who drill down.

Originally posted on Medium, 11/11/20.