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Politics: The Need for Complete Reporting of Candidates' Views

March 19, 1995

As this is the first time in 19 years we in the 5th District will have a new representative on the Los Angeles City Council, one would think The Times would be doing extensive coverage of the race. I was very disappointed in the articles you have published. Instead of learning the different views of the four candidates, all I learned was that Barbara Yaroslavsky is the front-runner because she's raised the most money, but that she may have trouble in Sherman Oaks because of her husband's recent actions.

In my opinion, this kind of reporting contributes to the cynicism we have about politics today. The average person feels that their vote doesn't matter because the candidate with the most money will win. When the media reports only on the horse race and not on the candidates' views, they make the voter's prediction a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I had occasion to moderate a recent candidates' forum for my homeowner's association. The consensus of the audience members I spoke with afterward was that the candidates The Times would consider non-front-runners were quite impressive in terms of their backgrounds, their knowledge of the issues, their proposed solutions to our problems and their presentations. Yet, one would never know this from your coverage.

I'm hoping we can look forward to more substantive coverage in the month remaining before the primary.

By the way, people can see an edited version of our forum on cable TV. (Century, Channel 3, April 5 at noon; Continental, Channel 28, March 19 at 9 p.m. and March 26 at 10 a.m.; and United Artists, Channel 15, March 24 and 31 at 7:30 p.m.)

LAUREN STEINER, Beverly Hills

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