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Portrayals of Los Angeles

August 08, 1993

* I applaud The Times for your editorial, "L.A. Story" (July 30), in which you describe the inaccurate media portrayal of Los Angeles.

The reason why I introduced a City Council resolution calling for the media to balance their reporting of Los Angeles, as well as asking city departments and local business organizations to continue their efforts to promote the positive aspects of this area, was that Los Angeles has been receiving biased and fallacious national media coverage.

Despite the outstanding achievements and attributes that Los Angeles has earned, a great deal of media attention continues to focus on the difficulties of doing business in Southern California and living in the Southland. As The Times stated, Los Angeles' positive side is being overlooked.

The goal of my resolution was to bring balance against the negative and not so positive stories that viewers are often treated to on the evening news.

LAURA CHICK

Los Angeles City Council

* Get real. I cannot believe The Times' righteous indignation about yet another publicity slam from our evil stepmother--the East Coast. We natives are used to this California-bashing. She's been taking it out on us via negative news media coverage, broadcast after broadcast. It's no coincidence that all broadcast news networks and TV magazine shows are headquartered in New York or Washington. Don't you get it? The evil stepmother hates Cinderella. New Yorkers--and anybody else fortunate enough to populate the rest of the self-proclaimed superior East Coast--are jealous of Californians, particularly Angelenos, for we are healthier, happier, prettier and warmer. We wear the glass slippers.

SHANNON HART

Los Angeles

* I've been publicly critical of The Times lately for the volume of negative and unbalanced stories about Los Angeles that appear in the paper. This constant barrage has done little to bolster the confidence of residents and business that Los Angeles is still a desirable place to live and work.

After reading two favorable editorials in less than a week, however, I'm encouraged that perhaps The Times has recognized the importance of tempering news coverage of negative events with stories about the positive aspects of the city.

In its July 30 editorial, The Times rightly criticized the grim portrayal of Los Angeles as reported in recent episodes of "This Week With David Brinkley" and "48 Hours." This city does have some very real problems. But those problems are not made better when the media routinely sensationalize or report them out of context. In fact, there are many things to like about Los Angeles. And in its Aug. 2 editorial, "Ten Reasons That Things Are Getting a Bit Better," The Times presented a refreshing view of what's good in the city.

JOHN FERRARO, Pesident

Los Angeles City Council

* Well, I can't speak with knowledge about nine of these reasons, but No. 8, "Theater Here--Better Than in New York," had the phone ringing constantly in the union office! So what's so new about plays opening here before Broadway? Many Taper shows, Neil Simon plays, as well as the Civic Light Opera of old opened here. As for "never been better or more vibrant," the Los Angeles Theatre Center is gone (no matter how one felt about it), and there are fewer venues of employment than ever for actors, directors and designers. Being a road stop for pre-Broadway or warmed-over Broadway shows is still the major employment for the L.A. theater scene. This does not necessarily provide a living for the L.A. theater professional!

Kind of makes you wonder about the other nine reasons!

CHARLES BERLINER

Western Regional Representative

United Scenic Artists Local 829

Los Angeles

* Thank you for giving our fair city a much-needed shot of positive energy with your Aug. 2 editorial. We are all so weary of L.A.-bashing and we are, collectively, being given the ol' pop diva treatment: Build her up so you can bring her down. Give us a break, world. Can you name me any city that's perfect?

BILL FRANKLIN

West Hollywood

* This column is my favorite because the optimism and "bull" are quite an entertaining combination. I stomached the first nine reasons but when my eyes scanned No. 10, I shook my head in disappointment. The media were not entertained by yet a second "rebellion." And "Suthun Califonia" is not near any type of multicultural awareness. The racism is so institutionalized and latent that each day it's harder to define. But the tension chokes you worse than the smog. Thank God that the veils are finally falling off the people of colors' eyes. Now the "obvious" and pseudo-liberals (wolves) will be easier to see among the oblivious "sheep." Yes, the characters have changed their language, but the script is still the same. It's not negative, it's reality.

NIA R. AKI

Los Angeles

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