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Los Angeles Magazine Editor Discusses How to Make the Westside Care About the Rest of the City

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Photo by G. J. Winterboer via the LAist Featured Photos pool
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When third-generation Angeleno Mary Melton took over as editor-in-chief of Los Angeles Magazine in 2009, one of her charges was to continue expanding the magazine out of its Westside comfort zone.

Melton discussed this change and why it's important for wealthy Westsiders to know what's going on with the have-nots in the rest of the region in a Q&A with Frying Pan News:

I have a responsibility to educate readers and take them into pockets of the city they wouldn’t see otherwise. This magazine was heavily identified with the Westside, and our goal was to change that. Even if our readers haven’t been to Fillmore or can’t find Bell on a map, they can have an understanding of these places. We have a lot of affluent readers but also people who just moved here and are living in apartments for $1200 a month. Information is really important. You can’t force someone who is not sympathetic to care, but you can present information that can motivate them to care. It’s vitally important to the life of the city to engage. I’m not sure that people don’t want to be engaged, I don’t think they know how.

In the Q&A, Melton also discuses income disparity after the L.A. riots and why we need reminding that we're more than an "industry town." She also gently suggests that Los Angeles Times reporters get on a bus and take a tour of the city beyond Spring Street. The magazine's goal this year is to take on one big issue in the life of the city that needs addressing—but she didn't say what that issue might be. Any suggestions?