Sunday, December 14, 2014

Daily Breeze Loses Kuznia

Rob Kuznia
Rob Kuznia
The Daily Breeze, like many newspapers, is adapting to the rapidly changing technology advantages, as well as the transforming consumption of media.

Local reporters can update their stories online, even after the full story gets published in the paper. For the first time every, individual readers can catch up on the news without buying a newspaper, and they can read up on international events without purchasing an expensive US edition of a foreign paper. This transition in content and distribution has created financial challenges as well as potential investment incentives for growth.

Some papers, however, are laying off reports and columnists in large numbers, while others are moving into boutique or alternative media, looking to stay current as well as relevant. The same reduction in staff and resources appears to be taking place at the Daily Breeze. The cost of a daily paper has increased, yet the content has diminished somewhat, just in terms of sheer size.

Some of the reporters who worked for the Breeze are no longer working there, either. Of all the reporters at the Daily Breeze,  I looked forward to reading Rob Kuznia. Covering education issues throughout the South Bay, he often had his pulse on the political upheavals (or machinations) dominating the local school boards, especially in Centinela Valley and Lennox.

Now I discover that he no longer works for the Daily Breeze. Fortunately, I connected with him through Twitter:

Arthur C. Schaper @ArthurCSchaper Dec 12
Rob, are you no longer writing for ? What's going on?

Rob Kuznia@RobKuznia Dec 12
Hi Arthur, thank you for looking me up! I moved on to usc but I still read the breeze every day.
At least Kuznia had no hard feelings about not working there anymore. Regardless of the reasons why he no longer works there, I have nothing but respect for his accomplishments.
Still, I am sad that he is no longer writing for the Torrance-based newspaper. One has to wonder how the Daily Breeze is going to keep local readers abreast of developments in education, or interested in their paper. His exposé of now-terminated Centinela Valley Superintendent Jose Fernandez assured concerned local citizens that the medias was still doing its job not just of reporting the news, but making people mad enough to do something about it. When I read comments about the Centinela investigations, online comments praised Kuznia for his work. Some suggested that he deserved a Pulitzer prize for his investigative reporting. I could not have agreed more with these praises.
Sadly, after months of reporting on the former executives lavish salary, and the incompetence (or corruption) of the school board, a negligible one hundred showed up at the first open forum, then the number dwindled to almost no one showing up to hear the school board reform its hiring process, as well its reinstatement of key concerns. Now the disgraced Fernandez is suing the school district, claiming that he was unjustly terminated.
And Kuznia is no longer writing for the Breeze, too. How do we react to these outcomes? A local reporter took the time and resources to expose this epic level of financial mismanagement and unaccountability, and yet little has been accomplished at the school district (so far). Worse, the paper does not keep him in their fold.
Too bad for the Daily Breeze, and too bad for local readers.

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