Los Angeles Daily Journal Editor's Memo To Writers: 'Our Day Begins No Later Than 9 AM"


Los Angeles Daily Journal editor David Houston has had past spats with his staff about productivity. 

But according to his recent memo, posted on LA Observed, he’s getting serious. He writes that the legal news publication and data service is the “model for the future of journalism.” But Houston is adopting an old school management tactic: daily beat memos. Oh, and “Our day begins no later than 9 a.m.,” he writes.

More from the memo, which is posted in full at LA Observed:

The Daily Journal is very fortunate that we are able to thrive in this economy. I believe we are the model for the future of journalism. Our work isn’t easy, though. Everyday we ask you to produce content that is far more sophisticated than what is being produced by other papers of our size and scope.

Are you keeping professional hours? Our day begins no later than 9 a.m. Starting tomorrow, all of you are required to send your editor an email no later than 9:15 a.m., and copy Lisa Kestenbaum on it. This email should detail what you are working on that day but it should also explain to your editor what more broadly is occurring on your beat that morning. For instance, Evan George might explain what happened over night on health care reform and how he thinks those events will affect our readers. I am asking your editors to use these emails as a basis for a conversation every morning that I know will lead to broader, deeper and more sophisticated coverage.

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