Read at Los Angeles Times
Every day, what's left of the once-mighty ranks of reporters across this country tap out stories meant to inform, entertain and expose. Sometimes they are the work of minutes, the first bits of knowledge on breaking news such as fires, storms or even elections. Sometimes they are investigations that have taken years.
Retail theft is causing a civic meltdown and inspiring a ballot measure to incarcerate repeat toothpaste thieves.
But billionaire tech bros dismantling democracy for profit, stealing thousands of times a minute by selling advertising against something they don't own? That barely gets a shrug, even as more media professionals are laid off, more publications close, and reliable information becomes so scarce and hard to spot that truth itself has become political.
"It's sad on many levels," state Sen. Tom Umberg (D-Garden Grove) told me when I asked him what he thought of recent layoffs in media - including the loss of more than 100 of my colleagues at this paper, and cuts at other publications including the Wall Street Journal, Time, Condé Nast and the Messenger.