BlogaBarbara

Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Monday, July 10, 2006

Crisis Management at the News Suppress

The New York Times article by Lisa Klug from today where a News-Press representative so vehemently denies the Mess at the News Press features quotes from corporate spinmeister and hired gun Sam Singer. Singer has worked for John and Denise DeBartolo to gain control of the 49ers football team from Eddie DeBartolo. Any 49er fan will remember that battle royale. He proudly points to an award he received for handling the largest Levi Strauss layoffs and plant closures in history and it being named "best handled crisis of the year" by PR News. Perhaps his best experience for this job was handling the Jack-in-the-Box tainted beef crisis. Here's what his company does in their own words:

In a crisis, it is difficult for clients to see beyond the chaos. We offer an objective perspective on how the public, elected leaders and the media are likely to view the situation.

Our ability to help in a crisis comes from veteran experience. Whether a high-profile lawsuit, layoffs, bankruptcy, or an explosion at a factory, we have the talent and institutional knowledge that can make the difference between control and escalation.

Is it also difficult for their clients to tell the truth? It sure isn't too difficult for him to lie....this is what he said in the New York Times:

Ms. McCaw and the new acting publisher, Travis K. Armstrong, did not return calls seeking comment. Sam Singer, a spokesman for Ms. McCaw, said the resignations came as a result of the owner's plan to increase local news coverage.


Crisis Management Watch may be a new feature here at BlogaBarbara -- I'm going to go dust off my copy of 1984 by George Orwell right now. Revisionism in the newsroom has begun. How do these people sleep at night?

43 Comments:

Anonymous Indio Muerto said...

Well, it's Monday and not a peep about the situation in the News Press. I guess we shouldn't be surprised. Also, the paper is incredibly thin, with very few people left to write anything. What a disaster. There is a nice story about a Dalmation though.

7/10/2006 6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How strange is this?

No News Allowed

Published: July 4, 2006
News has always been a tough nut for Communist dictators. It happens unexpectedly, giving bureaucrats precious little time to prepare the correct ideological explanation; it often undermines whatever propaganda line the state is pushing, and if it happens to involve embarrassing events like riots, strikes, accidents or outbreaks of disease, it can make the party bosses look less than perfect.

The Soviet Union dealt with the problem with the infamous Article 70 of the penal code, which basically defined anything the state didn't want people to hear as "anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda." Now China proposes to take the art of censorship a step higher with a bill that would severely fine news media outlets if they report on "sudden incidents" without prior authorization.

"Sudden incidents" sounds awfully similar to what most of the world knows better as "breaking news," and in most countries it's considered a core function of the news media.

The trouble with suppressing reports of sudden incidents is that they usually emerge anyway, in a form even more damaging to the state. That happened when the Soviet Union tried to play down the Chernobyl disaster 20 years ago; China's cover-up of the SARS epidemic in 2003 only made the outbreak of the disease more severe.

The draft law says that newspapers, magazines, Web sites and television stations would face fines up to $12,500 each time they published information about a sudden incident "without authorization." It is, of course, a horrible idea that strips away any pretense China might have of political openness or modernity.

This Independence Day seems like a good day to point out that no country does itself any credit when it tries to control the free flow of news. In the case of China, it's also probably futile. Nothing produces the cachet and credibility that censorship does, and the Internet has made the job of controlling information far more difficult. Billing a story as an "unauthorized sudden incident" could become the Chinese equivalent of the old, seductive "banned in Boston."

7/10/2006 6:30 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

Question should be, why did Wendy hire such a big-time spinmeister, when, by her own admission, all she was trying to do was increase local coverage. A little bit of overkill here or trying to cover up other lurking issues? dd

7/10/2006 7:30 AM  
Blogger snugspout said...

Thanks Sara... who could have known Sam Singer was such a heavyweight? Would be nice to put the News-Press on lists of battles lost... he'd love a good fight, since his billable hours would go up. I wonder how we could make him earn his pay!

7/10/2006 8:23 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Excellent for Sara delaguerra to conduct this original research (web surfing counts) about the high-priced crisis manager and expert in Truthiness, who, as motivational speaker Matt Foley would scream, cannot know JACK SQUAT about how "The newsroom is quiet and functioning well" (as quoted in the first AP article last Thursday when the fecal matter hit the air circulator).

To hone the point about an alleged disinterest of the ousted editors to focus on local news, here is an actual quote by Spinner Singer, from one of the two the AP articles that have run around the world:
quote
McCaw "wants stronger and more local news coverage," Singer said. "They had different interests and chose to resign."
endquote

I think Roberts and the others purged also wanted integrity and credibility, too as their "different interests". As if the leadership of the outsted editors somehow was lacking in local coverage!

The Wendy hiring Spinner Singer is very telling about their desperation, even way more desperate than local politicos hiring some Perceptioneering, eh?

7/10/2006 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Singer's website,

"Mr. Singer has led some of the nation’s top corporate communications programs. In 2004, he helped develop the communications program to battle a terrorist attack on producers of foie gras in California."

Maybe he worked with Nipper on that foie gras threat?

Has he ever been to de la Guerra plaza?

7/10/2006 8:46 AM  
Blogger cookie jill said...

The only local stories at the Snooze-Supress The Wendy wants to highlight are the "shiny happy people we've got a boatload of money."

For someone who is claiming she's an evironmentalist, have you seen any stories about the devestating effect a rising ocean could do to the city? We're only, what, 18ft or so above sea level. Seems we should be seeing stories about that on a daily basis.

7/10/2006 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the New York Times article, "Sam Singer, a spokesman for Ms. McCaw, said the resignations came as a result of the owner's plan to increase local news coverage." The sports editor said he quit because writers had been cut. Wouldn't Roberts and the others want MORE local news coverage to increase their own influence? Two or three former editors are in articles around the world saying "it's ethics" and Singer says "no, they quit their jobs and face personal financial hardship after Wendy had opinion writer Travis take over the news because in reality the editors didn't like Wendy's plan for more local coverage." Singer's website says, "Our success is based on our ability to establish and maintain credibility for our clients by respecting the intelligence of the audience they are trying to reach." He's from San Francisco. What about respecting the intelligence of people in Santa Barbara who read the New York Times? Or does he just think we are stupid?

7/10/2006 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a publication called "Editor and Publisher."

Santa Barbara Editor Who Quit Warns Others About Private Owners

By Joe Strupp

Published: July 10, 2006 11:20 AM ET

NEW YORK Jerry Roberts, the former editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press who resigned last week in protest of the owner's alleged meddling in news coverage, said the incident should be a warning to others who see a new wave of private buyers as the saviors for the troubled industry.

"There is definitely a downside," Roberts, 57, told E&P late Sunday, just days after he quit the paper he had edited for four years. "When you have one owner who is very wealthy and used to getting their way, you have this conflict between the audience of the paper and the audience of one -- the owner."

Roberts referred to Wendy McCaw, who bought the News-Press from The New York Times Company in 2000. Although she had long used the editorial page to promote her views, Roberts said, efforts to influence the news pages had been fewer in the past.

"She was extensively involved with the paper, with the editorial page," Robert said. "That was fine. She was pretty hands off on the news side when I was there, but that changed and became untenable."

Roberts, a former editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, said the latest wave of private ownership buys and speculation of potential future purchases by local investors should be looked at carefully in the wake of the News-Press situation. He pointed to recent purchases of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. from corporate entities, as well as recent speculation that the Los Angeles Times might be sold to a local owner.

"With those kinds of successful, independent rich people looking to buy some newspapers, it has some resonance," he said of his situation. "Here is a case study of how that can work -- and not very well."

Roberts is one of seven top journalists and editors who have quit the paper since Thursday. Several others in that group also warned that local owners are not always a better situation than corporate chains.

"I was pleased when she bought the paper, an independent owner not beholden to stockholders. It seemed like a plus," said Don Murphy, the former deputy managing editor and a 19-year News-Press veteran who was the first to resign. "But she had no experience with newspapers, no knowledge of newspapers and it was not a traditional [private] ownership - handed down generation to generation."

Columnist Barney Brantingham, a 46-year employee and columnist since 1977, agreed. "I call it amateur hour," he said of such wealthy owners. "People who have money but don't understand the profession of journalism. That is what is going on here."

Roberts said the final straw, for him, appeared a week and a half ago when, while he was on vacation, McCaw appointed Travis Armstrong acting publisher, with oversight of the newsroom. "The editorial page is like The Wall Street Journal -- we had been criticized by the editorial page for not covering certain stories in the correct way," Roberts said. "When she appointed the editorial page editor to be in charge of news coverage, that was it."

Murphy agreed, saying of McCaw and Armstrong, "it became apparent they were going to be very active in the paper."

The newspaper on Friday published a Page One editors note that reported the resignations, but said they were based on "differences of opinion to direction, goals and vision."

Roberts said many of the recent problems began in April when former publisher Joe Cole retired. Roberts said Cole, who had hired him, had long been able to offer a cushion between the owner and the newsroom.

"He had always been there and sort of been a buffer," Roberts said of Cole. "But he left and she began to be co-publisher. Things began to get a little rocky."

Roberts and others at the paper said McCaw had recently named her fiancé, Arthur Von Wiesenberger, as co-publisher. Cole declined to comment to E&P, while McCaw and Von Wiesenberger could not be reached for comment.

Several well-reported incidents began the fractured relationship between owner and newsroom, Roberts said, noting the discipline of editors for revealing an address where actor Rob Lowe had planned to build a home and a short item on a drunk driving arrest of editorial page editor Travis Armstrong.

But Roberts said the tension had occurred long before Cole's departure, noting that he had often been forced to write explanatory columns reminding readers that the editorial page did not reflect the newsroom. "Very clearly, I felt several times that it had to be stated," he recalled. "I would go out and I would talk to people and groups and that would be the first three or four questions. I had to explain that I didn't have a role in the editorial page, and I think the reporters also heard it from sources."

Since the resignations, the paper has had as many as 90 subscription cancellations, according to news reports, while many in the community are concerned that the paper might not be able to keep its credibility, according to the Los Angeles Times and others.

"The biggest issue is the hit in credibility," Roberts told E&P. "Whether it has as much credibility is going to be difficult." He also noted that the subscription decrease is a negative, but likely not any worse than the circulation problems plaguing the industry as a whole.

Roberts, who is married and the father of three, said he plans to stay in Santa Barbara and take some time off, with a hope of working elsewhere in news. "I've had some conversations with people," he said about future opportunities, but declined to be more specific. "I want to figure out what to do."

As for other newsrooms being eyed by private, local investors, Roberts reiterated his caution: "Make sure that you understand that the paper is there to serve readers and the need to delegate things to professional to do that. Either that or run like hell."




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joe Strupp (jstrupp@editorandpublisher.com) is a senior editor at E&P.

7/10/2006 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sam Singer? Where's Wendy? I thought she lived in town? A LOCAL owner?

7/10/2006 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know there were such strong feelings for the News-Press... a pretty funny poll about the situation here too:

http://www.tagworld.com/birdsblog

Keep up the good work, this is entertaining.

7/10/2006 11:33 AM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Most of you are acting like sharks in a feeding frenzy. The froth and foam being generated these past several days seems to say more about the posters than Wendy McCaw or Travis Armstrong.

A handful of so-called professional journalists quit their jobs over a missing DUI story, the street address of a development project in Montecito, and the selection of social titles for women. Wow….now there’s some really good reasons to quit your job!

Show me where the owner of the News-Press has use undue influence to falsify factual information on the news pages. Show me where the owner of the paper has done anything other than exercise her journalistic prerogative as owner of the paper.

The current paper is open, honest, opinionated and thought provoking. Exactly what makes a good newspaper. I’ll take that any day over the homogonous, brainwashed corporate pabulum of the past.

7/10/2006 11:41 AM  
Anonymous Loca SB Local said...

Wendy Mccaw is as much a "Santa Barbara local" as is Oprah. What a joke. Billionaires who helicopter into their private gated estates do not a "local" make.....

7/10/2006 12:04 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Nationally known blogger Doc Searles mentioned BlogaBarbara in his post about the Mess today. He made the following good point:

Also, "Mr. Singer denied allegations of management missteps. He said, 'Mrs. McCaw purchased The News-Press in order to give an independent voice to the people of Santa Barbara that is not cookie-cutter journalism.'"

I'll resist jokes about dough. But what could be more cookie-cutter, and flat-out lame, than to get a flack to do your talking for you? These guys are running a newsaper, right? And the New York F(bleep)ingTimes calls, wanting your side of what is clearly a story. And you send a mouthpiece?

I really want to cut Wendy and Travis some slack here. I keep thinking there must be another side to this. But when all they can do is issue statements and send flacks, what good conclusions can you draw?

7/10/2006 12:13 PM  
Blogger snugspout said...

Well, I've certainly had op-ed letters edited by the News-Press to remove any criticism of the News-Press. They did not contact me... just went ahead and did that. The criticism I made was polite and impersonal.

Further, I used to send in corrections about once a month, and call to follow them up. Out of 10 submitted, one was made. I endeavored to be very polite and neutral in my submissions.

Their production facility on South Kellogg sits *in the historic Goleta Slough*. They never mention that, and edited it out of one of my submissions. But it is hardly environmentally sound to have your main print production facility sitting in a former estuary... wetter than a wetland. How much drainage and pollution have they dumped into the Slough remnant? Are they environmentalists only when it involves goring someone elses ox?

Also, one of the main Chumash villages mapped by Pantoja in the late 1700's was extremely close to their South Kellogg facility... perhaps even under the facility, depending on how one locates a 230 year old map on top of today's maps. Hard to reconcile Travis Kaminsky's native american activism with total ignorance of the Chumash history right next and under their own production plant.

7/10/2006 1:02 PM  
Anonymous SBR said...

The Italians won.

7/10/2006 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Continuing above, Blogger Doc Searles wisely concludes ... "There's not much hope for restoring that credibility. All of it starts with Wendy confronting the crisis directly and openly. Not through Travis. Not through a flack. Just Wendy. Alone. It's her paper. This is her town. They need to talk with each other."

Doc is right. Really right. Where's Wendy? Travis takes a lot of heat. A lightning rod. But he is just faithfully carrying out her instructions, until he either gets run off or gets the ax.

What is her vision/direction/plan for the paper--other than "more local news" and "blonde vs. blond"? Could she let the world know? Or at least local residents?

How about a simple press conference?

7/10/2006 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a new blog for those who want an alternative to the newspress or the valley voice.

www.goletaobserver.blogspot.com

7/10/2006 2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Bill Carson:
To answer your question, the FCC is currently conducting an investigation. See today's Sound.

7/10/2006 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More from "editor and publisher"

Free Daily Gaining Ground in Suddenly Strange Santa Barbara

By Jennifer Saba

Published: July 10, 2006 1:55 PM ET

NEW YORK While the doors at the Santa Barbara News-Press spin with high-level departures, a relatively new upstart is digging into the market.

The Santa Barbara Daily Sound, a free daily paper that launched in late March, increased its circulation from 3,000 to 5,000 copies last week, said Jeramy Gordon, the 23-year-old founder, editor, and publisher of the paper who moved to Santa Barbara in February.

The numbers are not huge, but Gordon said that people in the community want to find out more about the paper (plus the Daily Sound is covering the saga at the News-Press). "I have never seen anything like that happen at a major paper," Gordon said about the major exodus of editors who are accusing owners of meddling. "It's scary."

Gordon cut his chops at the Palo Alto Daily News -- the once derided, now successful free daily paper founded in 1995 -- as a 19-year-old stringer. Gordon was hired full time by the time he turned 20, eventually becoming managing editor of the entire chain, which includes free dailies in the Bay Area communities of San Mateo, Redwood City, Burlingame, and Los Gatos.

Knight Ridder purchased the Palo Alto Daily News and its sister publications in February 2005 and Gordon got a taste of starting up a free daily when he helped launch the East Bay Daily News. But that all changed when, 10 months later, a shareholder revolt forced Knight Ridder executives to put the company up for sale. (McClatchy has agreed to sell the Palo Alto papers to MediaNews Group.)

Palo Alto Daily News founders Dave Price and Jim Pavelich left Knight Ridder in December 2005. Gordon followed, but still wanted to be involved in free dailies. So he convinced family and friends to pitch in money eventually raising $250,000 so he could take the concept to Santa Barbara.

The staff is small: Gordon employs three full time employees, a handful of stringers, and one part-time ad salesperson. Depending on the day, the tabloid runs eight to 12 pages.

Distribution was Gordon's biggest challenge. He and his employees would get up at 5 in the morning to distribute papers by hand, after often staying in the office until midnight. They choose spots on a trial and error basis. The paper just hired a distribution company and is now available in 250 locations throughout the city.

Gordon said that he expects to break even in about six months.

While there has been a rise in free daily papers, it's still a hard path to hew. "Free dailies tend to work better when you don't have an entrenched competitor," said newspaper analyst John Morton. It's still possible for the free paper to work especially if the community is looking for straightforward, honest news, he explained.





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jennifer Saba (jsaba@editorandpublisher.com) is associate editor at E&P.

7/10/2006 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can’t fight the feelings

I didn’t go to Catholic school and I don’t spell god with a capital “g” (Nor does the Associated Press) but I do have an opinion. As a young reporter reading about this mess in newspapers, Web sites, and blogs, I see several problems.

The line was crossed when individuals working in the opinion and editorial sections of the newspaper stepped in, offered opinions to news editors, and flat out demanded that changes be made to the news budget.

We don’t know how many times this was done, but to me, once is enough. That’s all it takes to absolutely ruin the integrity of a newspaper. We may never know how often Ms. McCaw (notice I used Ms. unlike the New York Times that used Mrs. for some reason) sat Jerry Roberts down and slapped him on the wrist for not running enough Santa Cruz Island pig stories, but we must agree that she has the power to do this, even if we disagree with her methods.

Here is the biggest problem I see. When Travis Armstrong was appointed acting publisher, he was still drafting unsigned editorials, selecting the letters to the editor that ran, and also making news decisions. That cannot happen and frankly that was the straw that broke Mr. Roberts’ back.

By the way, the spin job concerning Mr. Roberts not wanting to cover as many local news stories is just ridiculous. After the Goleta postal shootings, who do you think assigned investigations into the life of killer Jennifer San Marco? And who had to write a column on A2 the next week explaining why they assigned a story like this because local readers all complained it was too close to the tragedy to be airing out a killer’s life.
Who do you think chased the S.B. Sheriffs and looked into the possible Santa Barbara School Board Brown Act violation? Who do you think put the picture of the late “Ugliest Dog in America” on A1? Not Wendy. It was Jerry. Put that in the permanent press cycle with your whites.

Now for the fun

Let’s look beyond the fact that Mr. Roberts was great for the city of Santa Barbara and an even better catch for the News-Press. And that we know he had flash just by looking at his Harry Potter glasses on “Line to Learning”. (Wendy: note period outside quotes because it’s a composition title. And that Don Murphy was beloved by his staff and did a fine job on the paper’s National (B) section. And that Michael Todd could cover an in-town speech while juggling several metro stories. And that Jane Hulse, Gerry Spratt and Barney Brantingham, were all top notch.

We should look beyond all seven of the newsprint-stained faces and stop worrying about these journalists. They are competent enough and can easily find jobs elsewhere — or in Barney’s case — retire.

What we should be worried about is that the rest of the staff stayed. I know it’s hard to find a job in the business. And that many reporters here have families to support and mortgages to pay. And that Wendy offers awesome benefits like VanWezzy’s ice cold bottled water on sticky S.B. days. Not to mention long walks on her privet beach.

But come on. If reporters at the News-Press actually believe their newspaper can and will be credible, ethical and honorable, they must be kidding themselves. I am calling for all of them to do the classy thing in this situation and walk out. Then I say George “White Beard” Thurlow must leave the ranks of the UC-Bureaucrat-Association of Tax Eaters and rejoin the Independent. Finally, he should hire each and every news staff writer at the News-Press, not the features or arts writers and editors, and make that thing a powerhouse. Can you imagine columns by Barney (you’re my boy blue) Brantingham and Nick (the man) Welsh running face-to-face.

Red man walking

While many of us blame Chief Runs-his-Mouth Travis Armstrong for this mess, let’s look on the bright side. The paper hasn’t been great for a while and this way we can use the subscription costs for gas money. So go out today and fill up. Lord knows it’s hard to get the gas pump in the hole when you’re blowing a .23.

-The Kid

7/10/2006 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The News-Press will be fine. As much as you want something to happen, it won't. It will blow over as many of the people that quit reveal why they quit. "I don't like working for Wendy," will not resonate with people, especially new-hires that have a chance to work in Santa Barbara.

7/10/2006 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in agreement with The Kid. As a fellow young, idealistic journalist (not to mention former News-Press employee) I have a hard time respecting the writers who stayed in the news section.

Come on you pussies! It shouldn't just be a 9 to 5. It should be a cause. Make a choice: watchdog or McCaw's lap dog?

In a time, country, state, and especially a county seriously devoid of heroes I now have 7.

Oh and I almost forgot... I hope those f*king courtesy titles rot in hell when she finally runs that paper into the ground. I know my ex-fellow employees agree.

--The Temp

7/10/2006 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Sound reports that McCaw and her permanent fiance and co-publisher Nipper may have taken her jet to her yatcht in Europe. If she cares about the newspaper and its employees, or if she cares as a local resident about Santa Barbara, or if she even just cares about saving some of her purchase price, why doesn't she get on her jet and come back and handle this crisis? Is she hiding, hoping it will blow over? Is she content leaving Armstrong holding the bag? Maybe Armstrong will have to take the hit for all this destruction when she finishes vacationing.

7/10/2006 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If for absolutely nothing else, we should thank Wendy for one thing, she has made Santa Barbara blogs come alive. In the absence of this story being covered in the only major daily ( sorry Sound, not yet) the blogs have been where he pulse of the story is. We can't wait a week for the Independent to come out. We are too hungry! Of course a lot of it it self-serving, self important, precious, ranting bull---- , hey, but does that reflect Santa Barbara or what? In love with ourself and sick of ourself.

Blowing a 2.3

7/10/2006 10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red man walking

Nice racial slur.

Dumb man typing.

7/10/2006 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Goleta Valley Girl said...

The greed and jealousy of those who covet what others have is sad indeed.

Travis Armstrong via the NewsPress serves this community well.

If any of the NP critics can give specifics when it comes to their gripes regarding NP, I am willing to listen. But so far, I have seen/heard nothing specific. Your frenzy makes no sense to me.

I hope you all get well soon.

7/10/2006 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have ya heard?! Travis made the Berlin Wall go up. I'm pretty sure he created malaria.

anon 9:42 - did you quit or get fired from extensive use of profanity?

7/10/2006 10:35 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

GVG,

When you have a chance, browse our archives. Some agree, some don't to my and others gripes about Travis -- but there are plenty of stories throughout the last coouple of years listed here.

Thanks for asking!

7/10/2006 11:05 PM  
Anonymous Corner of State & Haley said...

check it out, the Sound has a blog. http://forum.santabarbarafree.com

7/10/2006 11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you glad you did not turn out the lights - you are the source for travis and his antics.

thanks for being here even though I am for Joe and Joe is for Dan

7/10/2006 11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say throw Singer at Davies - I think it would be an interesting match - heard Wendy begged Davies and he said no - no and - damn well no -

7/10/2006 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Goleta Valley Girl said...

No thanks, Sara, I will not spend time browsing your archives to try to justify other's arguments. I was asking for specifics, not an invitation to browse through more mud-slinging.

I have been following Travis's writings for a long time, and find him to be a champion of the people living on the South Coast.

THANK YOU TRAVIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7/10/2006 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just checking out the Sound's blog, editor Jeramy Gordon wrote about the NP. It's a great editorial ... does anyone know if it was printed in the paper? That guy's got guts. Looks like we may have another Nick Welsh on our hands. Travis, eat your heart out.

7/10/2006 11:29 PM  
Anonymous SBR said...

To the person who wrote:

'Where else but the News-Press could you get a DUI, bury the follow up and become the publisher a few weeks later -- it doesn't happen in the real world. Definitely not in the political world -- do you think he would have won the 2nd District race if he was a candidate?'"

Where else can a guy dodge military duty, not work a real day in his life, have half a coconut for a brain and become President of the United States? Even better, start a war with a random country and get re-elected? 9:05 PM "

Please contact The Review.

-------------------------------------------

7/11/2006 3:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To The Kid-
Yeah - Nice racial slur.

If he can say that about Mr. Armstrong, can I say that the Kid is an idiot? Or will you censor me the way you claim Travis and Wendy censor the news?

7/11/2006 4:03 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

GVG -- fine with me. Stick around then and participate -- you'll hear plenty about it. The history is there if you want to read it.

4:03 -- early morning incantations of "idiot" aren't what I like to put on the blog. Let's censor ourselves.

7/11/2006 5:50 AM  
Blogger john san roque said...

To Goleta Valley Girl:

No one is going to waste time rehashing for you the problems they have seen and experienced in the News-Press. There are some reasons listed right above your posting, but you refuse to accept those. You clearly won't belive people who tell you things you don't want to hear. But, let's look at the current situation with the editors and reporter who quit. Here's the reason quoted below, in black and white, from the horse's mouth, from journalism professionals who collectively have a hundred times more experience in news reporting than Armstrong, von Weisenberger, and McCaw combined.

------------------------

...Jerry Roberts, who said that he and five other top figures from the News-Press masthead left "largely because of ethical concerns", explaining, “These are primary ethical issues of the blurring of the line between opinion and fact, editorial page and news page... More than 100 papers ran a story about the resignations on Friday, but The News-Press was not among them. It ran a column by Travis Armstrong spinning it. To me, that proves the case that they're mixing up apples and oranges and that the paper is not doing a great service to readers who expect to find news on the front page instead of opinion."

---------------------------

This is what some of us have been saying for over a year. McCaw and Armstrong have an agenda they are pushing. They have used any means available to do that, including using the news sections of the paper to support the agenda they favor. You can't do that and have any credibility. They have an absolute right to express their agenda, but they need to do it in a way that respects the differences between opinion and fact. It got so bad and in-bred with the hiring of Armstrong and von Wiesenberger into positions which controlled the news that the real professionals could no longer work there.

That's not interpretation. No guesswork is needed. Roberts' statement is a direct quote. If you choose to believe that Roberts is lying along with six others who resigned, there's no need for any further debate. That's your option. But then you have to consider what reason drove seven high-level journalists to throw away their livelihood.

7/11/2006 6:40 AM  
Anonymous sharkie said...

The gossip frenzy is gooood! It's making my belly bulge..but let's face facts..Barney's time is up and the NP wants to cater to rich, spoiled celebs and trust funder airheads..the working class have the blogs thank goodness!

7/11/2006 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GVG:
Open your eyes, there is an FCC investigation!

7/11/2006 7:30 AM  
Blogger Dominatrikes said...

Barney explained his position on KEYT last night. He was very professional about it. It wasn't a personality clash at all. It was ethics. There will also be more info from him in the Independent on Thursday.

Thing is, if one editor would have quit you could believe it was just sour grapes or a snit or something, but 6 editors and a 46 year veteran columnist quit. That says something. These aren't high school kids looking to play protester for an afternoon. These adults saw their careers at risk and did what they had to do.

They had to quit. The only thing they have as journalists is their reputation for delivering truthful (not truthy) news. If they want to continue as journalists they have to save their reps and get out. Otherwise, they will only have careers as Marketing copy editors in the future.

7/11/2006 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Travis and Wendy have some support here. Or is that only because BB doesn't censor like the letters to the editor section of the N-P does.

-The Kid

7/11/2006 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 11:29 - yes, that did appear in the Daily Sound.

as for the Barney interview on KEYT - the words "the newspapers cannot be trusted again" ring in my ears

7/11/2006 10:49 AM  

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