James Preston Allen announces the celebration of 35 years publishing Random Lengths News. The Harbor Area newspaper is one of the few publications in existence to still publish under the same ownership.
Random Lengths News was launched in December 1979, as a progressive alternative to the conservative Copley owned San Pedro News Pilot. The paper launched at the cusp of the Reagan era, and in its first decade covered such national issues such as the Iran-contra scandal, the Lockerbie airline bombing and the first Iraq war. Today the tiny paper tackles such issues as the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, while still maintaining focus on the environmental issues at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and contentious local politics.
The paper began as a quarterly publication, and since 1988 it has been a twice monthly publication, covering topical issues dealing with the Port of Los Angeles, municipal issues and civil and human rights, as well as the vibrant arts culture in San Pedro region. A choice was made early in their history to engage in activist journalism, scrutinizing local politicians, and focusing on the twin harbors of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
â€œOne of the things that I decided some time ago was to make the circulation area for this newspaper to resemble the local watershed of the San Pedro Bayâ€ said Allen. â€œThe greater Los Angeles harbor area is both politically and naturally separate from the South Bay.â€
As a result, Random Lengths News has covered an area that has been overlooked by publications such as the Los Angeles Times and the Daily Breeze.
Today, as we find the nation in a crisis of conscience, Random Lengths News has evolved into a vital, under-the-radar contributor to the nationâ€™s progressive ideas. During the last 35 years, many newspapers, including the News Pilot, have cut staff, and eventually halted publication, but Random Lengths News, and its tenacious publisher have continued their publication in print as well as online. Random Lengths News has also remained dedicated to its independent perspective on local and national news, frequently raising controversial issues not covered by corporately owned publications.
Random Lengths News continues to bravely face the challenge of independent news publishing, a challenge many small publications have found impossible to overcome.
â€œI believe Random Lengths News is in the great tradition of independent journalism,â€ said Art Kunkin, founder of L.A. Free Press. â€œAbsolutely essential for the existence of a humanistic and democratic society.â€