Robert Plotkin (picturred), a 36-year-old former freelance journalist and Monterey County prosecutor, promised readers when he bought the Pulitzer Prize-winning Point Reyes Light that they’d get a more thoughtful, literary newspaper. But as John M. Glionna of the Los Angeles Times reports this morning, Plotkin has angered some readers by injecting what they see as sensationalist, tabloid-style journalism into a weekly paper that had long fashioned itself as a humble deliverer of small-town news. Glionna writes, “The Christmas edition featured a haunting front-page mug shot of an accused rapist and a lengthy article about the crime that many called ill-timed for a holiday issue. Plotkin later explained that he was reading Truman Capote’s nonfiction crime bestseller ‘In Cold Blood’ at the time. During recent rains, the Light published a headline — ‘Chinese Water Torture Will Intensify’ — that some readers found insensitive.” The LA Times story also touches on the feud between Plotkin and the paper’s former owner, David Mitchell, which has resulted in a restraining order against Mitchell following a scuffle between the two men.

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