Sunday, March 16, 2008

L.A. Herald Examiner Reunion, Part 2

Former Herald Examiner Editors Mary Anne Dolan and Jim Bellows.
Click HERE for more reunion photos from the Daily News.

Bus Riders Turn Crime Fighters

San Gabriel Valley News

I heard this story last night at the Herald Examiner reunion and it bears repeating, simply because it's a fascinating look at how newspapers are shaped and what's news.

The story was told by Ron Kaye, the editor of the Los Angeles Daily News. He worked at the Her-Ex and specifically on the early morning shift, where his goal was to put out a late street edition of the paper.

One day, making cop calls I assume, he heard the story of a group of "punks" riding around in the back of a pick up truck spraying a fire extinguisher at unsuspecting people waiting at bus stops.

One lady was so incensed when this happened to her she climbed on the bus and asked the bus driver to chase the pick up. He did, and somehow the bus managed to catch up to the pick up and block it in such a way that the driver couldn't escape.

The police came, caught the bad guys and that was that.

Later when Kaye's editor, the legendary Jim Bellows came into the office, Kaye told him he had three stories to report, a homicide, some sort of robbery and the bus stop caper.

Bellows told him to lead with the bus stop story, simply by framing the information in a headline:

"Bus Riders Turn Crime Fighters"

Who wouldn't want to read that? [SGVN]

A Toast for the Dead

Fox 11 News

The Herald-Examiner was to me what the Great Depression and WWII were to my parents (sorry, Mom and Dad, that’s probably a stretch, maybe even sacreligious). In other words, working for that newspaper produced great horrors, adventures and joys…

Let me say, without fear of contradiction, that for ten years the Herald-Examiner was an experiment in anti-journalism. It was the creation of eccentrics who loved the news and were guided by a desire to get scoops and upset the city’s sacred cows; it told stories while others pontificated; its reporters ducked under the police tape at crime scenes to find out what really happened while other papers waited for the official version. [Click for MORE]

Hat-tip to LA Observed

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