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Former Staff and Freelancers of LA Weekly Have Launched a #BoycottLAWeekly Site

10:41 AM PST on March 9, 2018

The #BoycottLAWeekly movement has now launched a website as a part of a long-term effort to take back the city's most prominent alternative newspaper from new management with conservative ties.

The site launched last Wednesday and includes information on a plan to boycott LA Weekly's “The Essentials food event happening on March 25th.

“We’ve organized a new kind of long-term resistance to let them know that they will never be out of the woods and this is something we are prepared to do indefinitely.” Journalist Jeff Weiss told L.A. TACO. “This isn’t a temporary temper tantrum. This is our city and how dare they exploit it? How dare they exploit what we built?”

The #BoycottLAWeekly website highlights the ethical journalistic violations the Weekly has been engaging in since undergoing new management. The site shows examples of plagiarism, changing of dates on stories, and other offenses.

Weiss is a former music columnist for the weekly and has been the leading voice in the fight to get the new owners to step down.

The LA Weekly was purchased by Semanal Media, a company created for the sale, late last year who fired all but one staff writer. According to the L.A. Times, some of the owners have generously donated to Republican campaigns and have strong connections to Orange County. Several reports have noted new operation manager Brian Calle's ties to the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank.

Since its purchase, there has been public upheaval about the new ownership and the fate of the historically progressive weekly. For the last 40 years, the LA Weekly has been at the forefront of publishing stories showing the essence of Los Angeles, from the diversity of its food culture influenced by its immigrant population to covering infamous crime stories and uncovering some of the most talented musicians to come out of the city.

“The LA Weekly is not the LA Weekly anymore,”  Weiss said. “LA Weekly is a memory. The LA Weekly died the day that these men bought it.”

The #BoycottLAWeekly website highlights the ethical journalistic violations the Weekly has been engaging in since undergoing new management. The site shows examples of plagiarism, changing of dates on stories, and other offenses.

Weiss called out the lack of investigative journalism and daily news coverage that the Weekly used to be famous for, now calling the writing “abysmal.” On his Twitter account, he's shown how articles titled "Barron Trumps IQ Will Leave You Speechless" and "Leaked: Could This Tape Destroy the Democratic Party?" have been popping up on the site.

I tweeted this out last night but I think it's worth sharing again:

When you click on a link to read an LA Weekly article, propaganda articles now pop up about the secret tapes that will destroy the Democrats and how high Barron Trump's IQ is.

This is true insanity.

— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) March 8, 2018

The state of LA Weekly is a concern as local journalism in the Los Angeles area is currently experiencing what many people are calling a crisis.

Weiss and other #BoycottLAWeekly members — largely made up of former staff editors, reporters, and freelancers — have been actively promoting the boycott of The Essentials event on social media, calling for supporters to call and inform participating restaurants. Eater has confirmed that some of the restaurants participating in the event are reconsidering after receiving calls. The latest high-profile chef to pull out is Wesley Avila of Guerrilla Tacos.

“It is important to have a strong important free press of people who understand the city to uncover the artists that might slip through the cracks,” he said. “It’s time for Los Angeles to really rise up and show this won’t be tolerated.”

“This can’t be tolerated because it’s too important.”

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