The Pulitizer Prize

Pulitzer prizes were handed out this week. The LA Times got one for an incredibly long and worthy investigation on the health of the Ocean. Conclusion. Problems. It was its 30 something prize. Delight all around in big media HQ.

Across town, and barely reported by the Times, the LA Weekly won one as well. Its first. There, food critic, Jonathan Gold, captured the criticism prize, ahead of two LA Times commentators, Christopher Knight and Mark Swed. Both reportedly having to pay for their own entry in Pulitzer because their paper, the LA Times, wouldn't.

But LA Weekly's capture tells you how fat and slow the LA Times has become. The Times prize came from two reporters and a photographer allocated for extended periods with lots of money to track done an important issue and then write it up in extremely long length.

It was the Times investing in winning a Pulitzer. But every day and every week Jonathan gold is out there reporting on LA. He captures the diversity of food in this post modern city.

Which matters more?

The win for both tells you the mindset of the people who run the mainstream papers. For the LA Times is a big investment, worthy topic, mega coverage, big marketing, equals big win. Bragging rights and hence disinclination to change.

Yet LA Times readership is falling ever day. Why?  Damn hard to find anything about the local scene in vast sections of this city in that paper, or on its website. Millions of people, huge parts of geography, big industries, go unreported or barely covered, or covered as if its Bosnia.  Hence the alternate paper that make money from sex workers, brothels, strip joints and music listing but has a cheeky charm and covers day to day, in and out, the action of the city, is making inroads and now, guess what, stealing Pulitzers from the big papers. And that's not even the net advances, which the Times barely comprehends.

It's like watching Alzheimer's strike. The decline and denial is staggering.

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