In a memo to all staffers, Los Angeles Times editor David Lauter says zoned coverage is now history and the now-editionless Orange County reporters will compete for the same A section space as those on the international, national and LA city beats.
A key section:
That means some stories that currently would run only in Orange County will now appear in the full run. We're not going to back away from covering significant news from Orange County, which makes up roughly one-fifth of the population of our circulation area. But in a non-zoned section, we will have to be more selective about which stories appear in print. Already, we run some stories on the web only-- from OC and from LA. That number likely will go up somewhat.
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What does this mean for all of you and how you do your jobs? First, let's talk about what will not change. We're still going to have the same mission: to be Southern California's best and most reliable source of news on the subjects of greatest importance to our state and region. And because we're still going to have roughly the same space to carry out that mission, our basic story mix will not change hugely. It's vitally important that as our section configuration changes, we not lose sight of our priorities for good coverage. I want people to stay focused on the significant stories, the ones that really have impact on the communities we cover. In unsettled times, it's easy for people to react by keeping their heads down and sticking to the routine. But if you keep your head down, you'll miss what's really going on. Don't let that happen.