The L.A. Six
Six former Los Angeles Times editors talk about the state of that newspaper in interviews with Los Angeles magazine.
Kevin Roderick at LA Observed has already mined through the responses and has excerpts on his site, so I'll avoid redundancy and point you there.
However, I've stolen a few highlights.
Dean Baquet, on screwy thinking: When I left, I walked away from any kind of cash severance, because I refused to sign a pledge never to criticize the Tribune Company. They were baffled. They never understood that, as a journalist, I would never forfeit my right to speak out.
John Carroll, on idealism: I love newspapers. When I stand back, though, I know it’s not important that the world have large print papers around, but it is necessary that there be large teams of paid reporters covering town halls, cops, courts, governments, wars, and so forth, and the businesses to sustain that kind of coverage are ceasing to exist. That is a profound question of public policy. Who is going to pay the bills? Alternatively, how poorly informed can the American public become and still succeed at democratic self-government?
William Thomas, on accuracy: Everybody who worked for us had the idea that they didn’t ever want to get it wrong. Not anything. The errors page was a very galling place for anybody who ever showed up on it, and it should be that way...You had to make the paper as good—as complete, thorough, and accurate—as you possibly could. And interesting, too. That meant you never really had enough of anything.