The LA Times Laid Off
Their Only Art Reporter

July 11, 2013 | Kyle Chayka

On June 28th, Thee Los Angeles Times laid off Jori Finkel, its only full time reporter dedicated completely to covering art, Art F City reports. In response to this lay off, The Hammer Museum along with a group of fifteen museum directors wrote a letter to the financially troubled publication requesting that they reinstate Finkel’s position why arts coverage is an invaluable resource to the publication.

Yesterday, artist William Powhida tweeted a link to the petition which has already gained more than 800 supporters, just over one hundred away from its goal.

The recent petition has even gained the support of notable visual artist John Baldessari who signed the petition, stating, “She offers the only art reportage in L.A. It’s a gigantic loss.”

Below is an excerpt from the petition which is directed towards Mr. Davan Maharaj, current Editor of the Los Angeles Times:

Jori is the go-to source here for art-world news and analysis, with articles that are consistently insightful and accessible and a byline that is read around the world. Her early coverage in 2011 of the Getty’s ambitious $10-million Pacific Standard Time initiative and the many collaborating museum exhibitions helped to shape much of the national and international coverage that followed … Jori’s work and that of the critics go hand-in-hand to provide a sophisticated and robust picture of Los Angeles’s ever-expanding art scene.

It is especially unfortunate to see you dismiss your only staff reporter specializing in art now that Los Angeles is increasingly recognized worldwide as the most influential center for contemporary art and culture. For instance, just as she was being laid off, the New York Times dedicated nearly three full pages to L.A.’s significance within the international art world. Without a dedicated art reporter the competitive positioning of the paper is seriously undermined.