One Reason the L.A. Times Is Terrible

by Joshua Foust on 10/1/2008 · 2 comments

If you were reading a story about how this trifecta of warlords was somehow collaborating to make life miserable in Afghanistan, wouldn’t you want to know who they were before the seventh paragraph? Greg Miller of the L.A. Times would disagree. Similarly, despite their description together, as if they collaborate, it takes until paragraph eight for Miller to let us know U.S. officials don’t think Mullah Mohammed Omar, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and Jalaluddin Haqqani are collaborating in any real way (though I think Antonio Guistozzi would disagree), and paragraph nine for us to learn that they have nothing to do with the violence in Pakistan, despite their basing there.

And here I went thinking that in newspaper journalism the most important bits of a story should be in the first paragraph or two. Shows you how much I know.

Previous terrible writing at the L.A. Times can be found here and here.


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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 2 comments }

Prithvi October 2, 2008 at 11:33 am

It may be bad now. It’s turning downright rank thanks to the efforts of Sam Zell.

He claimed of foreign news: “It’s just something journalists like to do.” Zell also wanted the DC bureau of the LA Times to give more coverage to Orange County instead of the Federal Government.

Zell also wanted to run more ads from strip clubs. arguing persuasively that “It’s Un-American not to like tits!”

Prithvi October 2, 2008 at 11:40 am

Let me correct myself. He said it’s un-American not to like something that rhymes with wussy.

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