The Los Angeles Times considers itself the newspaper of record for the entertainment industry that's sitting in its backyard. That makes sense. But it probably should have abstained from deriding the new media start-ups and bloggers that are increasingly scooping Hollywood business and gossip stories before the Times' The Envelope gets a hold of them. In a new memo sent to advertisers (spotlighted by The Awl's Choire Sicha), the Times poses this hypothetical question: "What kind of entertainment awards coverage are you looking for?"
Potential advertisers are given two multiple choice questions:
- A) "Accurate, in-depth stories reported by journalists with years of experience."
- B) "Unconfirmed, incomplete rumors spread by bloggers with an axe to grind."
It took little time for those ax-wielding bloggers to deride the "unintentionally funny" memo. LA Observed's Kevin Roderick notes that "there are bloggers in this city with more experience and higher standards than some full-on Times staff writers (or editors)." Struggling venerable Hollywood trade-paper Variety has also tried a similar tactic, using the imagery of a "velvet rope" that denies access to "items based on gossip, half-truths and anonymous rants."