More People Should Read the Los Angeles Times

Here are four headlines in four newspapers today:

LA Times: Trump-Kim Jong Un summit fails to produce disarmament plan

New York Times: Trump Sees Shared Path After Meeting Kim

Washington Post: Trump says U.S., North Korea are ‘ready to write a new chapter’

Wall Street Journal: Trump and Kim Begin New Phase of Diplomacy

This reminds me: more people should be reading the LA Times. After years of management depredations it’s not what it used to be, and I feel a little sad when I pick it up from my driveway every morning. It looks a bit like a cancer patient who’s lost a hundred pounds and is barely hanging on.

But—their day-to-day news judgment is the best in the business, something I first noticed during the 2016 presidential campaign. Time after time, they gave stories appropriate play, while the Post and the Journal and the NYT would ignore important stuff and sensationalize trivia. Today we see the same dynamic at work. The LAT straightforwardly describes the most important outcome of the Singapore summit while the other three insist on stenography, repeating nonsensical Trump blather even though he plainly accomplished nothing.

That might change. Maybe yesterday’s summit really will begin a new phase of diplomacy. But it hasn’t yet. So far it’s produced nothing that we haven’t seen half a dozen times before from North Korea. Why act as cheerleaders for Donald Trump’s hype machine instead of soberly telling readers what actually happened and how important it’s actually likely to be? Are they really that afraid of an angry tweet?


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.