Los Angeles Weekly prides itself on its devotion to portraying the news, arts and cultures of the City of Angels. Instead of using the hard-hitting format of larger syndicates like its sister paper the LA Times, which has a global audience, LA Weekly provides more news and culture that is specific to individual neighborhoods. As a native Angeleno, I have always been fascinated by the young voice of the paper, its devotion to authentic storytelling and its preservation of the Angeleno culture of the 21st century. Many locals are often drawn in by its flashy cover on street corners, but forget that there is also an online component with a higher focus on news.
That being said, even though the budget and audience might be slimmer than the Times, this syndicate has a lot to do to catch up with their multimedia usage.
I clicked on the first article of the top Los Angeles News Story category of the website, and it took me to a three page investigate journalism piece that surfaced the foundation for the entire neighborhood of Playa Vista. The author of the article executes the idea beautifully by detailing the compare/contrast visions of the city-planners’ original conception to its actual reality, and explains how the city didn’t actually live up to the architect’s intended vision. This article also becomes very timely relevant because it ties in with the story of how this will change once the new media center “The Runway” will is constructed there.
Instead of having the main picture at the top of the article, and the rest of the text to fend for itself, this piece could’ve been much stronger with more multimedia content. Such as short video testimonials by the residents of that neighborhood in their own words and a slideshow featuring the original plans and city government documents that backs up the author’s statements. Multimedia could’ve also made the article seem less text-heavy and bulky if it was displayed within the main run of the text instead of tossed to the side.
The content of the article was a beautiful portrayal of the neighborhood, though pictures of the beaches and the parks and housing complexes would’ve strengthened the reader’s vision—especially blurry for those who are not too familiar with that particular side of town. This is where budget also comes into play, because if the Los Angeles Times had their hands on this package, surely enough a nicely executed video addition would’ve been placed alongside the text to create an entire perspective.