Micah Kawaguchi-Ailetcher

This blog discusses current events and issues. Topic areas that are of interest include politics, media, California, and Hawaii.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

News Story of the Week

Comments on “U.S. Military Covertly Pays to Run Stories in Iraqi Press” by Mark Mazzetti and Borzou Daragahi for the Los Angeles Times November 30, 2005.

This story uncovers how the U.S. Military has been paying Iraqi newspapers to run stories written by the U.S. Military, which favor their efforts in Iraqi. The stories make it to the papers with the help of a private contractor, the Lincoln Group. The authors use a combination of anonymous sources, documents, and sources in Iraq for this story. While there is a good amount of information in this story, this is clearly just an introduction to what appears to be an even bigger story. Hopefully, publishing this story will prompt a response from our government rather than no comment. The authors also brought up that the U.S. Military, while feeding these stories to the Iraqi press, has also been training the Iraqi press in Western media ethics. What I liked about this story was that the authors used a variety of sources for their story. However, a lengthier investigation is also needed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

News Story of the Week

Comments on “For most vulnerable, a promise abandoned” by Robin Fields, Evelyn Larrubia, and Jack Leonard for the Los Angeles Times November 16, 2005.

This story is about the Public Guardian’s Office for Los Angeles County whose function is to take care of the elderly who can no longer take care of themselves. This is a service that is not present in every county and a service that I had no idea existed. However, it is apparent from the information in this story that it is a service that is greatly needed and in dire need of reform. Most importantly, this story serves to notify the public about the conditions of the Public Guardian. It is a long story, but it is necessary for covering an institution that has been generally ignored until it received public funding this year for the first time since the 1990. A great amount of research and work went into putting this story together and I also appreciate that they used many different cases involving different people affected by the Public Guardian to illustrate the story.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

News Story of the Week

Comments on “Mayor is Criticised for Jet Use” by Patrick McGreevy for the Los Angeles Times on November 8, 2005.

This story was both interesting and informational to read and discussed the Mayor Villaraigosa’s recent trip in Ameriquest’s private jet. The background provided in this story is what makes it excellent and all the more juicy. Particularly important were the connections that Villaraigosa has had (including previous donations) with Ameriquest in the past as well as the upcoming legislation concerning the company. And on top of that, companies, such as Ameriquest (who is under fire for targeting minorities as a lender), were in the news less than a month ago concerning the disproportionate lending gap for homes in Los Angeles. This story is clearly about much more than the mayor’s last minute ride. (I also liked how the writer informed us that Villaraigosa intended to reimburse Ameriquest about $400, or the cost of a commercial flight, but then also quoted the cost for a similar private flight between the same airports for almost $20,000.)