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LA’s Information Chasm

LA’s Information Chasm

This photo of GOOD’s LA storefront wall by Emily Lerman ran on LAist.com,one of my go-to sources.

By Adam Leipzig

There are 9.8 million people in Los Angeles County, and 93% of us, or 9.1 million, have mobile phones.  In a year, four out of five of these phones will be GPS-enabled, which means more than 7 million of us will actually know where we are.

Just kidding.

Even with GPS we won’t know where we are, because there is no easy or convenient way for all the information to come to us.

Sure, we’ll know we’re heading north on the 405 at the wrong time of day, when traffic is sardining (definition: cramming together like canned sardines) because lanes are closed for construction.  But we won’t know that if we got off at Santa Monica Blvd. and headed east about a half mile, we’d find sports bar where the game’s on, and they have free food until 8 PM, and that would be so nice.

No, even with technology-gone-wild there’s no easy app for aggregating all the information we want and need, at any given time of day, that’s filtered by who we are and where we are.

Or, if sports bars aren’t your vice, what about politics?  We have an election coming up in a few weeks.  There are nine propositions on the ballot.  How will you know how to vote?  How will you even know enough to care enough to vote?

The problem is that each of us has to piece together the facts of our city.  It takes a lot of work, but that’s the burden we now bear if we want to be informed citizens.

I’m sure my LA readers have sources they regularly scan.  Until the killer app I really want comes to the rescue, here are mine (with links).

LA Times; Daily News; La Opinion has a far bigger readership than most know and some excellent reporting; LA Weekly; Neighborhood Papers, here’s a partial list — even though the come out weekly or monthly, they cover nearby issues when others don’t; Los Angeles Sentinel, nearly-forgotten in the white community, an important source of information for our African-American community; Jewish Journal has some good columnists;  Sigalert.com for traffic information; LA Observed, Kevin Roderick’s weekday analysis of newsgathering; LA Business Journal reports on all the business that’s not entertainment; Downtown News; Everyblock.com allows you to input your zip code and get up-to-the-second reports about your neighborhood; Deadline.com, no one has more fun scoring scoops and reporting on the entertainment business;  LAist.com, arts and food-centric; LA.Curbed.com, real estate and neighborhood issues; CitywatchLA.com looks inside City Hall; Daily Breeze, Santa Monica’s paper; Which Way LA, Warren Olney consummately explores issues in depth; Air Talk, Off-Ramp and Patt Morrison are literate call-in shows with informed hosts that dive deep; TV news sites – CBS2 and KCAL9, KTLA, KNBC, KABC, KCET, KMEX; and I pick up every ethnic community paper I see from Oaxacan restaurants to Thai Town markets.

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