I started LA Public Press because I believe so deeply in the essential importance of independent local journalism in my hometown, Los Angeles. Journalism is the only thing I’ve ever done. It’s the only thing I know how to do, and it’s the only thing I want to do.

Being honest, this week has hurt as I watch my friends and colleagues struggle to sustain their own independent journalism.  

LA TACO faces an existential financial cliff, and has embarked on a last-ditch fundraising campaign. Knock LA’s news staff fights for editorial independence and access to their years of work. The Long Beach Post faces an uncertain future, and their recently laid off staff has launched a new publication. And we’re not that far off from layoffs, and continuing buyouts, at some of LA’s larger institutional media outlets.

One thing is certain: more will come. 

Journalism is not a prop. It’s not a tool to be weaponized for individual gain. It’s compromised by cynical conceptions of ‘how things work’ in our far from perfect world.

And yet, despite all the turmoil and trauma that comes with working in the news industry, reporters continue picking up the phone, asking their questions, showing up at the public meetings, and sharing what they learn for the benefit of the wider public. 

Journalism as it exists in 2024 is far from perfect. That’s one thing virtually everyone agrees on. But the discordance of the present underscores the need for the industry to evolve. We desperately need responsible, humane, and accessible journalism and local news. 

This is what LA Public Press is trying to do, along with the countless other locally oriented journalists who, fundamentally, keep asking their questions because they love and care for their neighbors. 

I believe we can do better. I know you do too.

Stand with, and support, the reporters.

-Matt Tinoco

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