The ‘Black Twitter’ beat raises questions of cultural competency and audience engagement for newsrooms

Wed, Jul 8, 2015 - 12:56pm

In her memo to Los Angeles Times staff about new hires and coverage strategies designed to tap into diverse communities, managing editor S. Mitra Kalita included a tweet-worthy phrase about the hire of Dexter Thomas, a writer assigned to cover Black Twitter: it really is “so much more complicated than that.”

It’s a phrase that should give newsroom leaders pause before they reconfigure their social media and audience engagement strategies without considering the historical context and demographic trends...

Hotels, 'man camps' feel impact of crude's price swoon

Tue, Jul 7, 2015 - 12:54pm

At this once-thriving man camp, the lunch menu for Eagle Ford Shale oil field workers used to feature lamb kebabs and shrimp étouffée.

Now weeds overtake gravel pathways. Rain has washed deep ruts in the parking lot. Cockeyed wooden steps lead to trailers that emptied out earlier this year.

The Eagle Ford hotel and lodging boom is over, gone with the memory of $100-per-barrel crude oil. Ubiquitous "No Vacancy" signs have been replaced with ones that indicate oil has dipped below $60: "New low summer rates."

The ravenous appetite for rooms at any price has been sated, but the lodging industry in South Texas...

Austin airport’s explosive growth a boost for area’s business recruiters

Mon, Jul 6, 2015 - 12:29pm
When Bergstrom Air Force base was slated for closure in 1990s, Austin city officials wasted no time in coming up with a plan to convert the facility into what today is Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The timing was fortunate, as ABIA's predecessor, Robert Mueller Municipal Airport, was bursting at the seams as Austin was hitting its stride as a rising technology center. "Austin turned lemons into lemonade," then-Mayor Kirk Watson, now a state senator, told reporters about the new airport's construction. Now more than 15 years after its debut in 1999, Austin-Bergstrom has turned into a centerpiece of Austin's transportation...

Letter: Uniforms beneficial in many ways

Mon, Jul 6, 2015 - 11:16am

 am a long-time resident of Beacon Falls, having attended both Laurel Ledge and Long River Middle School in the 1980s, and a mother to a 6-year-old who will be starting Laurel Ledge Elementary School this fall. In the last two weeks, I have read about parents’ non-support of a school uniform policy in Region 16, but I have read little in support of the effort.

I personally applaud the idea of a school uniform policy because, unlike my peers that state, “there is no objective evidence that uniforms help a school district,” I have found that there is plenty of evidence if one takes the time to research various school...

Tags: Quotes

Don't call Obama a lame duck just yet

Thu, Jul 2, 2015 - 1:26pm

President Obama is a latter-day Lazarus, rising repeatedly from the political dead. That is, if you believe his press clippings.                  

A couple of weeks back, when a major trade bill was stalled in Congress, commentators wrote Obama off as a hopeless case, unable to achieve anything for the rest of the term.

Lo and behold, the trade bill was revived. Then the Supreme Court gave the president what he wanted on same-sex marriage and his health care law. Suddenly, the political class is talking about Obama as the...