BlogaBarbara

Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, August 18, 2006

Please don't take my Starshine away...

Let's hear it for local news! This in from Mr. Duct Tape -- retribution from Armstrong? He's taking all of his strengths and turning them into weaknesses -- another item has switched SWOT columns. Starshine is one of the best things they still have going.....

Attention: Starshine Roshell continues to be employed by the News-Press, but she has written her last column.

A newsroom edict announced Thursday against news staff penning opinion pieces has ended what, in my opinion, was the best part of the paper.

Strange: This action comes after her column of a few weeks ago saluted the SBNP Nine. Coincidence? Since sports columnists are exempt, Starshine is the only one who is affected.

A handful of people may rejoice in this. For everyone else: voices@newspress.com (copy to blogabarbara or letters@independent.com if you'd like to see your comments in print).


Or, of course, you may leave them right here....

110 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a feeling something wasn't right when Starshine started writing about dog kissing contests and plastic surgery for kids..

8/18/2006 7:23 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy Johnny said...

I wrote T.A. this morning prior to learning the latest. His editorial was enough to get me p. o'ed.

Mr. Armstrong:

Please stop writing editorials that insult the intelligence of your readers.

First, for a grown man to use "Hmmmmmm" in an editorial isn't funny, cute, witty, or smart. You need not illiterate the sound of your own brain humming under the strain of trying to grasp the situation you've created at the Newspress.

Second, two or three people leaving KEYT is hardly comperable to exodus that continues to occur at the Newpress. What kind of fools do you take us for? We are not McCaw's eager little puppies, of which she seems to have many. Have you no spine, man?

Third, all of the forced resinations and firings at the Newspress could be
forgivable, I suppose, if they werer truly for the greater good, but the paper is now nearly unreadable (save for the good reporting still being carried out by the remaining seasoned journalists). The cub reporters you've hired in the hopes they can be molded into yes men in your image have a long, long way to go as reporters - and yes men. Most will probably vote in favor of the union anyways since they're learning quickly that no one is safe.

Please stop writing editorials that imagine we too are under some dark
McCaw-cast voodoo spell that stops us from thinking clearly and loving truth.

JJ

Ed I. Torial and the Travities:

http://www.esnips.com/web/guildedtruthsOtherStuff

8/18/2006 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis Rasputin Armstrong at it again, and you people are surprised?

8/18/2006 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armstrongs "editorial" today is great evidence that he is not just on the edge but has one foot off. His musings echo that of a jealous 12 yr old girl trying to turn her "friends" against a popular kid. It's pathetic. Can Wendy read? Does she have any idea how this BS appears?

8/18/2006 9:06 AM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

A "jealous 12 yr old girl trying to turn her 'friends' against a popular kid".

I there something wrong here? Marty Blum acts this way all the time and gets nothing but admiration from her lemmings.

8/18/2006 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tsarina Wendy does what Travis wants....

8/18/2006 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armstrong writes his opinion piece about "talk in local broadcasting circles over the last week that top anchor Debby Davison is leaving the news desk." Does he not read the Independent? Former NP columnist Barney Brantingham reported just that on Thursday. But maybe TKA doesn't read Barney anymore because he doesn't think anyone other than him should be allowed to write an opinion piece. "Columnist" is a title that no longer exists at the News-Press unless you're a hate-mongering homophobe or a McCaw lapdog. At least we still have John Zant and Mark Patton, the two best writers still at the paper. But one snide remark about Formula One racing (Wendy's favorite sport, probably because the circuit spends most of its time in Europe, just like two certain co-publishers during times of crisis) and they'll be stripped of their column-writing privileges.

8/18/2006 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis on Law Schools while at the Mercury News

Travis raises questions about tribal gaming

I started looking for these because I'd like to know: was Travis always this difficult and immature, or is he primarily making Wendy happy?

8/18/2006 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the post referring to pigs as destructive animals was a little out of place but now i fully understand the scope of the comment.
I checked out the SBNP today...what a mess.
Thank you to all the blog and informations sites giving us local news and keeping the public informed.
Has anyone looked into a paper printed twice a week and also a weekend edition? This might be a good idea for the SB coumminity.

8/18/2006 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Carson, I salute you! Did Marty think Wendy and Co. were going to pack up and go away because of Pritchett-Fest? Welcome to the Daily press coverage of the rest of your term Marty. Can't think of anyone who deserves it more.

Sal Si Puedes

8/18/2006 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

o/~ your out of touch baby o/~

ode to Travis

8/18/2006 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've gotta love Palmiteri for not returning T.A.'s phone calls! If everyone stops talking to him, he will self-implode with anger and paranoia. I cannot believe that (1) he expects people to return his calls or (2) he spends most of his column space talking about it. Nothing else to say, I guess. What a joke.

Too bad about Starshine.

8/18/2006 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara- don't know if this germane, but here it is.

For me, it adds some perspective to know that Travis was most likely gay. I actually am more sympathetic to him in most ways (he probably has had a fair amount of anxiety caused by views of those from his rural home area in Minnesota) and less in other ways (he should be more sympathetic to alternate viewpoints). It is also possible he was subject to insults by some who left the News-Press.

I'm not in favor of bashing him over gayness in any way; but homosexuality is probably as important to his identity as being half American-Indian.

BTW, the articles below do not prove he is currently gay, but they make the likelihood fairly high.

IT'S NOT MARRIAGE, BUT IT WOULD BE AN IMPROVEMENT
San Jose Mercury News (CA)
October 12, 2001
Author: TRAVIS ARMSTRONG column
Estimated printed pages: 2

''GREG, will you marry me?''

I'll never be able to ask that question with any legal meaning. No state is near allowing same-sex marriages, despite the assertions of extreme conservatives who've used the notion to polarize and raise money.

But recognition of true family values may be on the way in California. The state Senate and Assembly this summer approved a bill to put bite in domestic partnership registration.

The original law, which took effect in January 2000, is so toothless that few legal reasons to register have existed. Greg and I, together 17 years, haven't bothered. That would change if Gov. Gray Davis finally would sign AB 25. He's been keeping us waiting long enough.

The bill, authored by San Francisco Assemblywoman Carole Migden, would give same-sex couples the ability to inherit property from each other without a will. We'd be able make medical decisions and use sick time to care for the other.

The senseless killing of Diane Whipple in January put human faces on the state's unequal treatment of same-sex couples. She's the 33-year-old San Francisco woman who was mauled to death by her neighbors' dogs.

Diane's partner for seven years, Sharon K. Smith, is waging a pioneering fight in state courts to sue for wrongful death. The emptiness and loss in Sharon's heart is no different than if her partner had been a man. It should be no different in the law.

Marriage is a civil bond. But many people also associate it with religion. They're disturbed to think of two men or two women with marriage certificates.

Yet a guy could be divorced and married time and time again -- and he still automatically gets protections that gay people in loving relationships are denied.

Migden's bill writes a bit of fairness into the law. Californians want that. Voters last year approved Proposition 22, a measure that reaffirmed marriage as solely a union between a wife and husband. But Californians also indicated in polls that they support protections for people in same-sex relationships, just not outright marriages.

''Greg, will you be my domestic partner?''

That question doesn't have the same ring to it. We'd prefer to be married. But with legal protections, we and thousands of other gay families in California will settle for domestic partnership registration nonetheless.
Memo: Travis Armstrong is a Mercury News editorial writer.
Edition: Morning Final
Section: Editorial
Page: 10B

Copyright (c) 2001 San Jose Mercury News

CLOUDS OVER THE CASTRO
San Jose Mercury News (CA)
January 29, 2001
Author: TRAVIS ARMSTRONG column
Estimated printed pages: 2

A RAINY day in the Castro in San Francisco provides a great excuse to loiter in the shops that line the neighborhood streets. My partner and I did that a few days back. We rummaged through rainbow flags and jewelry, eyed the risque artwork and wondered if every conceivable trinket to make dollars off of gayness now exists.

The Castro is 2,000 miles and, it seems, 2,000 enlightened years away from the narrow minds we grew up around in the Upper Midwest. But a different reality broke the festiveness of our afternoon.

In one store, a young man was answering the ''Help Wanted'' sign out front. The sales job paid $7.50 an hour. ''And here,'' the manager said, ''we pay above the table, everything is reported.'' In gay communities, it's routine for shop owners to keep clerks off the books so the workers can retain their disability and Social Security benefits.

Talk about HIV and AIDS was interrupting our respite. I wasn't happy about it. I wanted them to keep their voices down. Keep it private.

A decade ago, I volunteered for the ''street outreach'' program run by a gay men's clinic back East. Our group preached the virtues of protection by handing out literature, condoms and bleach to sterilize needles at bars and bathhouses in Washington, D.C. It was aggravating work that tired me out after a few years.

Today I'd rather pretend that HIV and AIDS are problems of a long-ago past. Dreaming about gay marriages and working for domestic partnership benefits is a more pleasant preoccupation. So are gratifying pursuits such as marveling that ''Will and Grace'' and other television shows with gay characters can become mainstream hits.

I'm not alone in my eagerness to forget about AIDS. The rate of HIV infections among gay men in San Francisco has more than doubled in the last four years, according to a draft report released last week by two dozen of the city's AIDS experts.

Their conservative estimate is that 900 gay men will become infected this year. A fourth of the city's gay males -- about 15,000 -- already are living with HIV.

There are many reasons for increases, such as more use of intravenous drugs in the gay community. But, as always, the biggest problem is that people aren't taking enough precautions when it comes to sex.

New treatments mean that people with AIDS live much longer than ever before. ''Gay men are feeling less threatened by HIV,'' Dr. Steve Morin, a researcher at UC-San Francisco, told the Mercury News last week. ''Fewer are dying.''

In the '80s and early '90s, gay men had to watch their friends waste away in nursing homes and hospitals. We made lots of vows to learn lessons from those deaths. But it only took a few medical advances to allow us to forget.
Drawing
Memo: Travis Armstrong is a Mercury News editorial writer.
Edition: Morning Final
Section: Editorial
Page: 6B

Copyright (c) 2001 San Jose Mercury News

8/18/2006 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marty Lemming writes...

Looks like Travisty was clueless and had to chase (got scooped) the brief note in the Barney Brantingham column in the "rival media" the prior day. Talk was going around town since Monday that Debby Davison was departing, but since no one who is anyone talkes to Travisty any more, he got scooped.

Now, he lashes out at KEYT because they pulled their daily weather ad feature from the newspress. His lapdog Vlad writes up a story about the federal FCC continuing its investigation about the infomercial (or video news release) that sneaked into the KEYT news show. After all, a written news release never would be or has been published verbatim in the newspress, has it?

Very funny how the current FCC investigation looking into the newspress cross-medium monopoly with their radio station has not and will not get coverage by the newspress. Vlad can feel free to report on that and prove me wrong, unless the marionette strings from the publisher in the parapet are too short.

Of course, Travisty is highly clueless, and more, about the difference between the desperate actions at KEYT to boost ratings and profits, versus the ethical implosion at the newspress. It is all another play-the-victim card so if one news organization (KEYT) has some strife, then the troubles must be the same and equal at newspress too.

Instead of being vitriolic or mean, the newspress editorial page and opinions are now just a sad joke and caricature of themselves.

Just like KEYT is now doing, under the advice of a professional consultant, to raise its ratings and profits by pushing out the staff who cost too much and who are not liked by viewers, the newspress should do the same thing, hire an impartial consultant expert, and purge its own staff who are the real reason the newspaper is losing subscribers and advertisers and becoming that joke that it is.

Nelville, what do you have any comment about that?

8/18/2006 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto should have said...

Until Das invents some more adverbs, everyone knows that Forumula One car racing is for the corrupt Bourgeoisie, but NASCAR racing is for the sacred Proletariat of Zapatistas struggling to obtain dignity for the masses and ending the abuse non native working americans.

8/18/2006 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:04 Who are you referring to when you say "you're a hate-mongering homophobe"?

8/18/2006 1:29 PM  
Blogger Spendy McFlaw said...

But of course MOI just couldn't bite her tongue on this one...for the real scoop, read--

"Hazzah, Hazzah! Starshine's Reign of Terror is Over!!"

Read all about it!

http://spendymcflaw.blogspot.com

*Kisses*
Spendy

8/18/2006 2:19 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Four legs good, two legs bad...

Their latest spin on how a new bunch of kids as rookie reporters are better than the veterans who have been pushed out or moved to beats where their experience does not apply.

Of course, will the News-Press write up an actual news article about who was hired, what their local experience actually is, and why the veteran reporters already there no longer are suitable to cover the beats they finally know as experts.
--------------
August 18, 2006 08:07 PM US Eastern Timezone
Santa Barbara News-Press Announces Emphasis on News
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 18, 2006--The Santa Barbara News-Press today announced the latest moves in the restructuring process that has been underway since earlier this year. Some of the changes were dictated as a result of the walk out of a small group of disgruntled employees. The News-Press has made the following changes as part of its commitment to the community to return the paper to its founding principles and journalistic mission:

Scott Steepleton has been promoted to associate editor with responsibility for a staff of nearly 60 newsroom employees.

Sixteen newsroom employees have been hired, including assignment/city editors, copy editors, designers and new reporters.

Beat assignments have been changed for better utilization of staff and to bring fresh perspective to the beats, which is standard industry practice.

Community "notebooks," which are more like diaries, are being replaced by staff-written local news as part of the renewed emphasis on more localized news coverage.

The News-Press expects that union organizers will quickly take these changes as being unfair labor practices. The paper hastens to assure the Teamsters union that these planned changes have absolutely nothing to do with any union organizing attempts. The News-Press continues to cooperate fully with the NLRB process.

For more than a century, the Santa Barbara News-Press has provided the community with dependable daily news on local and national current events. Located in the heart of Santa Barbara, the award winning News-Press continues its long tradition of commitment and dedication to journalistic excellence. For more information on the Santa Barbara News-Press, visit the Web site at www.newspress.com.
Contacts
Agnes Huff Communications Group, LLC
Agnes Huff, PhD, 310-641-2525
ahuff@ahuffgroup.com

8/18/2006 5:42 PM  
Anonymous Insider said...

Just heard Hildy Medina resigned today, going to a job with a Hispanic business publication. Happy for her, though another blow to union effort.

Many of these people are landing on their feet, Colin Power to Seattle P-I, Josh to SJ Merc (a fine paper, better than the Chron, though what will Singleton do to it?)

8/18/2006 5:48 PM  
Anonymous NewsSuppress Watch said...

NEWS RELEASE--and Union Bashing from N-P publicist Huff today, 5pm:

August 18, 2006 08:07 PM US Eastern Timezone
Santa Barbara News-Press Announces
Emphasis on News
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 18, 2006--The Santa Barbara News-Press today announced the latest moves in the restructuring process that has been underway since earlier this year. Some of the changes were dictated as a result of the walk out of a small group of disgruntled employees. The News-Press has made the following changes as part of its commitment to the community to return the paper to its founding principles and journalistic mission:

Scott Steepleton has been promoted to associate editor with responsibility for a staff of nearly 60 newsroom employees.

Sixteen newsroom employees have been hired, including assignment/city editors, copy editors, designers and new reporters.

Beat assignments have been changed for better utilization of staff and to bring fresh perspective to the beats, which is standard industry practice.

Community "notebooks," which are more like diaries, are being replaced by staff-written local news as part of the renewed emphasis on more localized news coverage.

The News-Press expects that union organizers will quickly take these changes as being unfair labor practices. The paper hastens to assure the Teamsters union that these planned changes have absolutely nothing to do with any union organizing attempts. The News-Press continues to cooperate fully with the NLRB process.

For more than a century, the Santa Barbara News-Press has provided the community with dependable daily news on local and national current events. Located in the heart of Santa Barbara, the award winning News-Press continues its long tradition of commitment and dedication to journalistic excellence. For more information on the Santa Barbara News-Press, visit the Web site at www.newspress.com.
Contacts
Agnes Huff Communications Group, LLC
Agnes Huff, PhD, 310-641-2525
ahuff@ahuffgroup.com

8/18/2006 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armstrong writes his opinion piece about "talk in local broadcasting circles over the last week that top anchor Debby Davison is leaving the news desk." Does he not read the Independent? Former NP columnist Barney Brantingham reported just that on Thursday. But maybe TKA doesn't read Barney anymore because he doesn't think anyone other than him should be allowed to write an opinion piece. "Columnist" is a title that no longer exists at the News-Press unless you're a hate-mongering homophobe or a McCaw lapdog. At least we still have John Zant and Mark Patton, the two best writers still at the paper. But one snide remark about Formula One racing (Wendy's favorite sport, probably because the circuit spends most of its time in Europe, just like two certain co-publishers during times of crisis) and they'll be stripped of their column-writing privileges.

So you start with something about Travis stating something on Friday that Barney said on Thursday. Practically a warcrime. This is your launching point for a diatribe that includes the terms hatemongering, homophobe, and lapdog.

Who's the hatemonger?

8/18/2006 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

Rumor has it that Scott Steepleton (sp?) is feeding the cub reporters questions in an attempt to spin articles. I would think that if you want to mentor new writers you would want to foster independent critical thinking rather than forcing a certain perspective on the poor aprentices. Come to think of it, Starshine would be a much better mentor than Scott (sorry Scott, she's simply a better writer, a good deal wiser, and far more witty). I'm not even a big Starshine fan (although on some Sundays she has elicited out loud laughter from me), but her skills are undeniable. Is there anyone left at News-Press management that is actually thinking rationally?

You're good Starshine. If you're unhappy, there are many other venues for your writing.

8/18/2006 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is truly the only change I support. Her writing is cute but totally abusive to people at times that happen to have a different opinion than she does. Bye

8/18/2006 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long will Alcorn's column last?

8/19/2006 5:52 AM  
Blogger Craig Smith's Blog said...

Hildy Medina, who had been a business reporter for the the Santa Barbara News-Press, resigned Friday becoming the 15th newsroom employee and fifth reporter to leave Wendy McCaw's house of horrors. (Read more.)

8/19/2006 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

.. the only use of sbnp are the ads [i would not wrap dead fish in one].. how long til there is alternative? what r co-publishers nippin' to do that to STAR? i'm not recovered from DOC MENG as their voice. what happened to "STOP LAURA"[?]campaign? i've just googled her name, heard of her but not the juicy details until now....she is up to her old routines & the co-'s went for it! viva bill ballance photojournal! if you can get past the horror .... STOP DOC MENG .. THANX FOR ALL YOU BLOG!

8/19/2006 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add business writer Hildy Medina to the list of dearly departed. And Scott Steepleton is now running the show in the newsroom. Those who have worked with him at other papers and at the News-Press say Steepleton has a long history of opportunism and turning on his colleagues to cozy up to management. I wonder what impact this has on his wife, features writer Charlotte Boechler, who was generally liked in the newsroom, if only for her witty writing style. Charles Bucher has apparently been demoted to Copy Desk chief. Charles is a good guy who got wrapped up in a bad situation and lost a lot of friends and respect in the process. There is one more rat in the newsroom who seems to be able to keep a low profile. He's one of the editorial page copy editors and, after a brief attempt at running the Sports section, he's apparently returned to his former cushy job in his oversized cubicle. Maybe he's returned to his former role a newsroom spy, as well. But at this point I can't imagine anyone being fooled by his information-gathering tactics.

8/19/2006 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why can't college grads afford to live here? This is so wrong! Why should I have to get old and retire beofer I can have a home here? Who are these elitist snobs who think they own my town? TKA is making things worse. This whole town is messed up just because of the newspaper. Schmoes like Travis and Wendy picking on the radio station is no cover!

8/19/2006 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems we are fadng out again here.

This is a good blog - do not give up and fade away.

The moderation without foucs makes this like the letters to edito with Travis - slow and useless.

We all know it is work - just sy give and maybe someone else sill do this. There are others who will take over but are respevull of you.

But Starshine - give me a break -why stop herei

8/19/2006 11:33 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Sorry for the silence over the last day or so -- had some internet access issues...

I published a comment related to TKA's alleged sexual orientation perhaps against my intuition....it was a respectful comment but I am afraid this could be abused. Please be careful with this as it has nothing to do with who he is as an editor. I've purposely stayed away from this for a long time -- let's not make this an issue please!

8/20/2006 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

homophobic hatemonger=Dr. Laura.

8/20/2006 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randy Alcorn, the CFO of the News Press, should really think twice about commenting on anyone's employee/employer relations as he did today. The Fallujah Daily News has a better employee retention record than the News Press.

8/20/2006 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I prefer columnists who probe weightier and more serious issues, however Starshine is a wonderful writer. She is (was?) one of the bright spots at the News-Press. I worked with Scott Steepleton once upon a time and can testify that he is widely considered by many in the newspaper biz to be a sub-par journalist, career opportunist and shallow thinker. In other words, a true hack - perfect match for Wendy! It's inevitable that we will all read a story a couple of months from now about how he met his cruel, cruel fate at her hands.

8/20/2006 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/20/2006 5:46 PM  
Anonymous dear travis said...

DEAR TRAVIS,

On the off chance that you are reading this pathetic blog, please know that your work and contributions to the community of Santa Barbara are very much appreciated. How could you have known that people who disagree with you would villianize you to such a shameful degree? This blog, full of anonymous attackers, has hit a new low.

I want you to remind you, and them, that your are strongly supported in this community. Your courage to hold your head high amongst the adversity is impressive. May you have good fortune in all your endeavors, and don't let these anonymous, shadow-lurking, laundry-digging turkeys get you down.

8/20/2006 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara--

I suggest you remove the links to the hate-mongering songs. The world is launching into WWIII because of intolerance and hate. In spite of advances in knowledge and technology, grown adults choose to act like selfish needy infants. Why do you choose to support such ugly hate-mongering???

8/20/2006 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Nelville Flynn said...

I joined this blog and the Independent's in hopes of fostering a fair and evenhanded debate on journalistic issues of importance to our community -- the importance of a locally owned free press that stands up for its community in the face of powerful special interests and subservient politicians.

Unfortunately, the moderators of both blogs have allowed them to descend to a grade-school playground of petty insults, juvenile "songs" that are little more than name calling set to music, and to top it off, irrelevant and possibly mean-spirited comments about one News-Press editor's sexual orientation. I had informed the moderator of this blog of two objectionable characteristics -- "her" decision to shield herself behind a false name, and her decision to allow libelous content via links -- and the moderator did not correct these deficiencies.

The News-Press is moving on. It is a stronger paper than it was two months ago, invigorated by the presence of hardworking new staffers who do not share the biases of their predecessors. There is more rebuilding yet to accomplish, but ultimately the readers of Santa Barbara County will be rewarded with a stronger, more locally focused and objective news source than they formerly had.

For these reasons, I am moving on, too. I am no longer interested in rehashing old arguments or responding to comments that are intended to provoke.

I will, however, continue to monitor BlogaBarbara and the Independent's blog for potentially defamatory and/or libelous comments or links.

8/20/2006 10:50 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Took out the song -- haven't actually had time to hear it but will now in the meantime.

8/20/2006 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually.. bloggers can't be held responsible, legally, for the content of comments posted by others. so threatening to search for libelous/defamatory posts Nelville, is pretty futile (and internet anonymity is likewise enshrined in law). Free speech is not always pretty, but if there's someone who has to decide what's pretty or not then it's not free.


http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=11675

Bloggers win libel protection

By The Associated Press
07.03.03
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court has extended the First Amendment protections of do-it-yourself online publishers.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that online publishers can post material generated by others without liability for its content — unlike traditional news media, which are held responsible for such information.

"It clarifies the existing law," said Eric Brown, who represented the defendant in the suit. "It expands it in the sense that no court had really addressed bloggers, list serve operators and those people yet, certainly not on the level of the 9th Circuit Court."

Blogs, short for Weblogs, are online diaries updated frequently by tech-savvy writers who use the medium to comment on current events and everyday life.

Online publishers and free-speech advocates lauded the panel's decision.

"The decision is a real victory for free speech," said Jeralyn Merritt, a lawyer and blogger who manages talkleft.com, a Web site about crime-related news and politics. "Now we can publish information we receive from someone else without fear of getting sued."

Merritt said it would be impossible to monitor the nearly 200 messages posted on her site every day.

"I can't be responsible for the content of those comments," she said.

The decision recently was the most discussed topic according to Daypop.com, a current events search engine that crawls the Web and reflects its collective conscience, identifying the topics that are generating the most interest in the blogging world.

The June 24 decision was based on the 1996 Communications Decency Act, Brown said.

Other cases have said commercial service providers on the Internet are not responsible for information posted by a third party. And this decision says noncommercial Web site hosts are only liable when they post information that a reasonable person would have known wasn't meant to be published.

This case involved a North Carolina handyman, Robert Smith, who said he'd overheard a lawyer, Ellen Batzel, say she was the descendent of a top Nazi politician. Smith said Batzel also had what looked like old European paintings in her house.

Smith e-mailed Ton Cremers, who runs the Museum Security Network, sharing his suspicion that the paintings in Batzel's house were looted Nazi goods. Cremers' Web site tries to find stolen artwork by sending information to museums and law enforcement personnel.

Cremers posted Smith's e-mail to his listserve — and Batzel saw it.

She disputed the claims, sued Smith, Cremers and the Museum Security Network for defamation, and won.

Cremers appealed, and the panel majority found that "a service provider or user is immune from liability when a third person or entity that created or developed the information in question furnished it to the provider or user under circumstances in which a reasonable person in the position of the service provider would conclude that the information was provided for publication on the Internet."

The case has been sent back to the trial court to determine whether the operator should have known the information was not intended for online publication.

It was significant that even though Cremers made minor edits to Smith's message, he was still entitled to the immunity, said Lee Tien, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit concerned with the protection of digital rights.

"It was a reaffirmation of this trend in other cases," said Tien. "You don't have to be a passive conduit to have this protection."

The decision is a relief for bloggers and other online publishers.

"We write for the enjoyment of it," said Merritt. "If we would get sued, I'm not sure it would be worth it."

8/20/2006 11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis Armstrong chose of his own free will to write about issues of great interest to the gay community while at the San Jose Mercury-News. His articles were quite good, and they are totally public by his choice. Those articles indicate he was at the time gay.

Is this information irrelevant to the situation of the News-Press? Travis has chosen not to write about gay issues since he joined the News-Press, although he has continued his articles on American Indian issues, something he also wrote about at the Mercury-News.

His reasons for dropping articles on gay issues are his own. As to whether his situation as a possibly gay man has influenced the goings-on at the News-Press: it might, I think it is too soon to tell. Tensions are more likely to arise between people of different tastes and interests, although tensions do not necessarily arise.

Here in the blogosphere, I think it is totally OK to examine everyone's *public* writings, and Travis' public writings include some pretty good articles from the Mercury-News, some of which indicate he was gay. I think it is fine, in a civil way, to explore possible influences on the current News-Press. I trust the great majority of this community and Sara's judgement to keep the discussion high-level and informative.

8/20/2006 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is the beauty of blogs! Computer savvy folks exercising free spreech while guys like Nelville try their worst to control it! It's only slander if it's untrue..bloggers..keep up the pressure, good work and rejoice in this freedom we love!

8/21/2006 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nelville: newsflash: the "hardworking new staffers" at the NP may not "share the biases of their predecessors"---the point is, most of them are 22 years old, fresh out of college, they also don't share the institutional history of their predecessors, knowledge of Santa Barbara or California for that matter, they are CLUELESS and that's apparent in every article they write or conversation in which they engage. If you see that as "progress" so be it. i think it's obvious that no journalists with experience would fill those positions because they'd realize what SCABS they were being. The young, eager, ethics-free clones you've hired will soon disappoint, I'm sure

8/21/2006 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis being gay is relevant to only one aspect of the recent N-P debacle: the hiring of and glowing praise given to Laura Schlessinger. Shame on him. If he "forgets" the litany of anti-gay remarks and beliefs she's espoused--and never recanted-- then he should go to www.stopdrlaura.com and have his memory refreshed.

Beyond that, his sexual orientation is irrelevant to this discussion and only will serve to inflame homophobes.

8/21/2006 8:09 AM  
Blogger john san roque said...

Neville,

Since you are going to continue to “monitor” this blog, I’ll take the opportunity to offer a few thoughts about your recent post. I think you have an unrealistic view of the purpose of blogs. You are withdrawing from participating either because you are incredibly naïve (which I find hard to believe) or because you haven’t been effective in making your points.

I regret that issues of sexual orientation have surfaced, but there is a context surrounding them that makes the discussion relevant. I’ll use an incredibly easy target to illustrate: The News Press showcasing Dr. Laura as a community voice catapults sexual orientation issues into the forefront. If Susan Rose had hired Dr. Laura as a spokesperson, do you think the News Press would have commented?

Secondly, you state that you are moving on because you are not interested in “responding to comments that are intended to provoke.” Whaaat? Do you want to participate in a blog where everyone agrees on the issues? Do you favor the absence of discussion you get with the Stepford Wives letters to the editor in our local paper?

Finally, I am surprised at your comments that criticize how this blog is moderated. You criticize anonymity, but you use an alias. You stress the importance of a free press, but you expect the blog moderator to censor comments that you find objectionable. A public blog is not the Harvard Debating Society. Contrary to what you wrote, the comments are not “libelous”; they are expressions that some of us find objectionable and in poor taste at times, but that depends upon the viewpoint of the reader.

Although I have disagreed with most of what you have written in past postings, I hope you reconsider your decision not to participate. The reason for this blog to exist is to offer a variety of voices. I’d have no interest in hearing from people who agree with me all the time.

8/21/2006 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Travis being gay is relevant to only one aspect of the recent N-P debacle"

I disagree. I think it is very relevant to the entire tenor of the discussion he's leveled within the community.

When you read the opinion pieces (above) he's written (when with the SJ Mercury News) they deal with exclusionism, biggotry and feeling disenfranchised with regard to being gay and not having gay marriage as an equal right.

The irony of this is that he is now taken the hypocritical, tyrannical, biggoted position against our community's workforce and lower-income workers who feel the same sense of societal abandonment and disenfranchisement with the lack of housing that is affordable to them. He's become the oppressor instead of the oppressed. The same reasons he touts for leaving the midwest are the same reasons many folks within our communities are leaving the south coast.

Perhaps it's time for him to step back and re-evaluate his position on the issue.

8/21/2006 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

Neville,

Nobody is buying this "it's for the betterment of the paper" business. That's so rediculous. Come on, it's insulting. How stupid do you think we are?

Honestly, I could care less about what you yahoos do to the paper. But it's the way you're treating people - your employess, both current and ex. You are fighting them and smearing their names only because you don't have the guts to say your were wrong and that you have learned and that you will change. You're fighting just to fight, just to win. And honest hardworking people are caught in your petty cross fire.

Up until that point, I think "the wall" question a sort of academic exercise. But once it get's to the point you're messing with good people for no reason, that's when the FUCK YOU's have to come out, because you're making us really, really, really angry - not annoyed or frustrate, but mad as hell. These opinions aren't jokes. These songs aren't jokes. People are pissed, Travis, and we're expressing it.

You can still apologize, though. We will forgive you. Until then, you started the fight, pal.

8/21/2006 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Travis' sexual orientation might have contributed to the blowup... most likely by those who resigned mistreating him. I have no evidence.

Santa Barbara is a more closeted community than San Francisco; I'm a lot less familiar with San Jose, but my small experiences with it indicate is more resembles Santa Barbara.

I think Travis is probably under more pressure here, more than he was either in the Bay Area or West Hollywood. This pressure might come out in unpleasant ways, and he has my sympathy. His writing at the News-Press has a much sharper edge than his writing at the Mercury-News did. Perhaps pressure is leaking out into his writing, although dealing with Wendy might be a bigger source of pressure.

If discussing this inflames homophobes: 1)that is really their defect, 2)it is up to us to educate them.

The editorial policy of the News-Press on gay issues is far less developed than one would have expected with Travis at the helm.

8/21/2006 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Hattie said...

Thank you, John San Roque, for taking the time to write your 8:10 a.m. post. I may not always agree with what you (or anyone else) writes here, but this time I agree 100%! And thank you, Sara, for continuing to provide this forum--I think it's a great community service & truly appreciate the time & effort you put into keeping it going.
Just a suggestion to my fellow "anonymice": why not choose an alias instead of always using "anonymous"? It would make it easier for everyone to differentiate between which Anonymous is which so we don't have to keep scrolling back to check who posted at what time.

8/21/2006 11:58 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Worker Bee -- your other post didn't make the cut and this one just barely did. I'd rather not have the FY's in comments here as they are unecessary in the long run and counter to productive posting, okay? Assuming you work or did work in the newsroom, I understand the anger shown here -- but I've got to have some level of civil debate -- as hard as that may be and as biased as anyone may think I am.

Thanks.

8/21/2006 3:02 PM  
Anonymous slanted and enchanted said...

The difference for Travis between San Jose and Santa Barbara is the amount of control his boss (Wendy) exerts over the content of his columns. San Jose likely gave him more leeway. Given the same leeway here, he might put a more intersting personal spin on his pieces. Earlier posts fail to factor in that he is essentially toeing the party line for Wendy.
And per hattie's request, this is a former anon now using an alias.

8/21/2006 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

I'll admit, my mother would be disappointed in the F-Yous.

I have never worked for the NP. I become angry when any group of workers - who by rights deserve fairness in their employment - are treated like stray dogs by those who ultimitaly benefit the most from the labor.

Wendy McCaw is doing this in our little paradise on the coast, and she can not get away with it.

I use profanity because I'm angry, yes, but also to demontrate a point (one that I'm most likely not making clear): If you're the person who kicks someone right after you've beaten them down, I personally can't give the courtesy of debate, decorum, or respect. The kicker's act voids their expectation of civilized debate and patience. You simply have to do what you can to make them stop kicking.

Thanks, SDLG, for taking your time to keep up this great forum.

8/21/2006 6:56 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Thanks Worker Bee -- most people here will understand where you are coming from....

8/21/2006 9:28 PM  
Anonymous still listening said...

Sara said:
Thanks Worker Bee -- most people here will understand where you are coming from....

...uh, yeah, and a lot of us won't....because you don't give a clue as to what you are talking about. What was done to you that was so terrible? I am listening, reading through this muck trying to figure out what specifically has people in a such a tirade. Worker Bee, are you blaming McCaw for the fact that you can't afford to buy a home in paradise yet? Is that your big wound? Seriously, if you have been beaten and kicked, before you launch a round of FU's, why don't you try nomral communication and tell us your story?

Meanwhile, get pro-active and go get yourself some finanical advice and start saving for the house you want to buy. Interest rates are still low and you are wanting to live in one of the most pleasant places in the US. Reality check.

8/22/2006 12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, SDLG, for making this one of the most un-biased blogs out there. The errant sexist attacks have become so prevalent in today's society and you have done so much to combat that.

8/22/2006 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

Still Listening,

I never blamed McCaw for the price of housing in Santa Barbara, I don't think I'm entitled to buy a home just because I'm here, and I never made that point either.

I don't care that some people are richer than others, that some are owners and that some are workers. But what I take offense to, and I've been pretty clear about this, I take offence to people in powerful situations kicking people while they are down, just to kick them, period. This is occurring at the Newspress and I'll pose the question that I posed at the Indy, SL: When you see someone being kicked while they are down, do you chuckle or do you get angry and do what you can to get them to stop kicking?

8/22/2006 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you stop the kicking, but so few have the strengh to do so.
it takes a bigger person to do what is right.
just think what a different world it would be if everyone helped others.

thanks SDLG for the time you put into this site and the positive side of helping others in your community.

8/22/2006 6:13 PM  
Anonymous slanted and enchanted said...

Surfing columnist Michael Kew was canned Monday in a two-sentence e-mail from Sports editor Barry Punzal. I guess the Sports department isn't immune to Wendy's purges after all. No word if lifestyle sports columnist Mike Takeuchi has been fired as well, but it seems to be the next logical step.

8/22/2006 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Duct Tape said...

More "pravda" from the News-Press.

Just look at the last paragraph of the press release to see that this is nothing more than an obvious delaying tactic. My testimony is that no supervisor or manager solicited my signed union card. The accusation is patently absurd ... Union organization meetings did not occur until after the events of Black Thursday (July 6).

Ampersand should tread very lightly here. Perjuring themselves in front of the NLRB isn't likely to help their cause.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 22, 2006--The management of the Santa Barbara News-Press has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the Teamsters Union for violations of the NLRB's organizing rules. The charge states that the Union used the Santa Barbara News-Press name and trademark in campaign and organizing materials to falsely create the impression among employees and others that the paper endorsed the Union's organizing activities. The charge further states that the Union utilized certain supervisors and managers to solicit and urge editorial employees to sign Teamster authorization cards.

(several paragraphs removed - Mr. D.T.)

The News-Press has requested that the NLRB postpone hearings on the Teamsters' petition to determine the correct bargaining unit for an election until their full and independent investigation of the union's conduct and
the authorization cards can be completed.

Contacts
Agnes Huff Communications
Agnes Huff, PhD, 310-641-2525
ahuff@ahuffgroup.com

8/22/2006 9:27 PM  
Anonymous still listening said...

Worker Bee,

I'll pose my questions again -- Can you describe, with coherent details, the events that correspond to your kicking metaphor? The only kicking while down that I've seen is the pro-growth extremists blasting Travis with insults after he's had a rough time. Is that what you mean? The way many people are treating Travis is like kicking someone when they are down. I agree with that.

8/22/2006 10:22 PM  
Anonymous punch drunk said...

This firing has got to stop!! It has gone way too far! Even I was fired today with no notice, and don't even work for the News-Press. This town is in a shambles and it's all Wendy's fault. What's next? I suppose my gerbil will die.

8/22/2006 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

punch drunk,

Your point is made, not very well, but it's in there. I don't think anyone is objecting the right of employers to fire people, or blaming McCaw for the world's problems. I do think corporate abuse of workers goes on everywhere, though, and when it happens locally those of us who DO like to see working people treated fairly should call it out and scream about it. It's much easier to sit around with your gerbil convinced there's nothing wrong with the world and some of the people in it.

8/23/2006 6:41 AM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

Still listening:

McCaw and her marionette Travis are the ones doing the kicking of both current and ex-employees. If you're not smart enough to understand this on your own, I'm not smart enough to teach you.

Perhaps you only read the Newspress, in which you wouldn't have a clear understanding. You should read the Independent's coverage of McCaw and Travis's actions and get back to me.

And honestly, if you do know the story and you're pro-McCaw, I think you're terribly, terribly wrong.

McCaw and Travis are trying to ruin good peoples' careers, and in a few cases their reputations as well. They've replaced repspectable local columnists with a well known bigot. I don't now how this can be argued for ethically.

If being a bigot means you're intolerant of the views of others, then I guess I'm one too: you're not going to change my mind to believe that it's ok to create horrible working conditions for people, attempt to ruin their careers, and publish the rants of a woman who considers an entire class of people "errors".

8/23/2006 9:48 AM  
Anonymous slanted and enchanted said...

Update: Mike Takeuchi has not been fired. Every other columnist is gone (except for Zant and Patton).

8/23/2006 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Weather damage to Italy's basil crop should not affect local pesto lovers'
LEANA ORSUA, NEWS-PRESS STAFF WRITER

Did anyone else notice this news article in the News Press. This is a real grasp. Who assigned this one. This was actually on the front page. It is almost a joke except it is so sad. This ranks with the Meercats.

8/23/2006 5:06 PM  
Anonymous still listening said...

Worker Bee said...

McCaw and her marionette Travis are the ones doing the kicking of both current and ex-employees. If you're not smart enough to understand this on your own, I'm not smart enough to teach you.


I didn't ask you to "teach" me. I just asked, and am still asking for a description of the event you keep eluding to with your "kicking while down" metaphor.

Perhaps you only read the Newspress, in which you wouldn't have a clear understanding. You should read the Independent's coverage of McCaw and Travis's actions and get back to me.

I read the Independent as well. And I have seen biased articles in both the NP and the Indy. I actually find the Indy to be more biased, even though some of it matches my opinions. I don't agree with the SBCAN dense-growth agenda, though. Indy gives a lot of ink to SBCAN, and SBCAN has a HUGE problem with the NewsPress. So, go figure -- logic tells me NOT to look to the Indy for an explanation of what happens at the NewsPress.

And honestly, if you do know the story and you're pro-McCaw, I think you're terribly, terribly wrong.

I'm still listening to hear your story.

McCaw and Travis are trying to ruin good peoples' careers, and in a few cases their reputations as well. They've replaced repspectable local columnists with a well known bigot. I don't now how this can be argued for ethically.

I do see others trying to ruin McCaw's and Travis's careers and reputations -- that's for sure. I agree that hiring Dr. Laura was a big turnoff -- I avoid even looking at her picture! But that all happened after the dense-growthers started dragging reputations through the mud.

If being a bigot means you're intolerant of the views of others, then I guess I'm one too: you're not going to change my mind to believe that it's ok to create horrible working conditions for people, attempt to ruin their careers, and publish the rants of a woman who considers an entire class of people "errors".

No, I was just asking you to step outside of the metaphor long enough to describe these "horrible working conditions" and "kicking while down" -- it's alot of hype I see, but no real argument. But, yeah, Dr. Laura is a very bad choice for a columnist, and that's an understatement.

But TRAVIS is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxoxo

8/23/2006 8:30 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

No, the meercats series was way harder news.

Cold weather in Italy has hit the supply of fresh basil in Santa Barbara. Wow. Nowhere in the article did the writer mention that maybe people grow basil here in Santa Barbara County or elsewhere in California.

Of course, this is functional Executive Editor Scott Stepleton trying to make the cubbie reporters happy to discourage them from joining the Teamsters Union. The big articles on the cover of the print edition have been fluff articles by the newbie cub rookies for a couple of weeks.

The recent articles by Melinda Burns were way more newsworthy, especially today with the campaign kickoff with Carbajal and Gray playing nice togeither. That IS news!

But I look forward to reading the next in the series of articles on the Great Basil Shortage of 2006. Tomorrow: will oregano be the New Basil?

8/23/2006 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

SL:

I'll take your flamer bait and make this real simple for you:

Down = forced out of your job.
Kicked = being sued by a billionaire who does so as part of a larger agenda.

That's Michael Todd, by the way. Jeremy Roberts is also being sued. You might have read about that in the Independent.

Here's more reasons why I'm very angry: I do not work for the Newspress and never have, but I have good friends who do. These friends are hard working and dedicated professionals who tell me in no uncertain terms that going to work is now a very degrading experience, considering frat boys were given editorial positions. And the frat boy editors are just one in a series of mind games being played by the management. (Still listening: MIND GAMES = NOT GOOD. Do you get that? Do you like mind games at your work place?)

One friend, (who I can't name of course, because he'd be FIRED, still listening - do you get that too?) who has years of experience, loves the craft, and is a very good reporter, must turn his work into the very green Vlad, who is a nice enough fellow, but this sort of construct is just one in an otherwise long day at the Newspress, where poor sad Wendy hasn't even dared show her nasty old face to the people she's screwing. What a great cause she throws her rotten old back into.

And this sort of thing happens all over the country to different degrees - that is the people at the top fight there little legal fights and the people in the trenches get screwed. (I don't have time to layout an example here, SL, but there are many. I don't have time to teach you the history of workers rights, SL. You'll have to go to the library.) It's happening down the street from me at the Newspress an it makes me mad as hell, Still Listening, and it should make you made too.

But I'm not taking you too seriously because I think you're just flaming it up now and I won't bother responding to you anymore as my point is perfectly clear.

And, again, if you do seriously think McCaw and her little monkey-man Travis are the tragic figures here, I'd tell you to go F-away to the moon, but Sara gets mad at me, so I won't.

8/24/2006 7:11 AM  
Anonymous your pal in the news biz said...

The great basil debacle is easily the WORST story I have ever seen on the cover of the N-P, maybe anywhere. And I say this as someone in the newsroom for more than 10 years and the biz 20-plus.

Let's look at it, shall we? It obviously started as a wire story, then someone -- Scott, I'll wager -- had a brilliant idea: "Let's see if our poor local chefs are suffering from basil deprivation." So he sent the cub reporter to make some calls.

What does she find? Nothing! No problem at all! So she writes a story that says, basically, No news here! Scott, brilliant journalist that he is, decides, "Sounds like Page 1 to me!" And so the poor copy desk is stuck with making this total NON-STORY into a Page 1 centerpiece. Bloody brilliant.

It's really hard to see how things could get worse, journalistically, but let's not underestimate the ability of the N-P "leadership" to plumb even greater lows.

Perhaps the flip flop-wearing Vladdy can do a penetrating piece on how Chicago's proposed ban on foie gras will devastate local restaurants. The Nipper's got to know!

8/24/2006 8:59 AM  
Anonymous still listening said...

Worker Bee,

Thanks for taking time to explain a few specifics of what you are talking about. I am letting your tone roll off my back, because it says more about your anger than anything else. If you go back and read my posts, take a deep breath -- I was not trying to be INFLAMMATORY (except to Dr. Laura). I REALLY HONESTLY WANTED TO HEAR SOME SPECIFICS. This is the reason I like being anon here--I don't have to take being told to F-away personally. If you meet me in person, you won't think I am the flamethrower that you imagined--because I am not.

My point here is that things get awfully personal and mean when people disagree. My wish for everyone is to be able to explain your differences and debate others without stooping to mindless name-calling and patronizing. NewsPress may have a terrible working environment. I don't know. I don't work there. In reference to Michael Todd's situation, I have worked with people who have made insensitive threats-disguised-as-jokes to others and sometimes this kind of abuse does come back with price to pay. But, like I said --- I don't work there. I don't know these people. But I AM SUSPICIOUS when aggressive political groups like SBCAN are organizing rallies and supporting the undermining of a newspaper that has frequently spoken against them.

But, instead of raging and flamethrowing, I am asking questions.

And I think Travis is awesome!!!!!!!!!

8/24/2006 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...

I have the last word. The paper was not representive of the people before and is not now. It was a mere reshuffling of stooges that work for the hidden powers. If the current workers dont have the guts to destroy and disrupt they have the management they deserve.

8/24/2006 3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worker Bee..

"I do not work for the Newspress and never have, but I have good friends who do."

Ditto, except my friend is Travis Armstrong so I also hear what is really going on at the NP.

"little monkey-man Travis are the tragic figures here"

Yes and no. Travis is among many who are being dragged through the mud by people like you. I look up to Travis as an example of a man with great strength and values in the face of adversity. He has paid dearly for his mistakes. Travis may not make it publicly known but he honestly cares about his coworkers and their situations.

How do I know? I am Greg's sister.

8/24/2006 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He honestly cares about his coworkers and their situations?

Actions speak volumes.

Something doesn't jive.

8/24/2006 6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg's sister... thanks for the post.

One inexplicable action Travis took was escorting Jerry Roberts out. Why did he do that?

8/24/2006 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis is the victim, obviously.

What was I thinking?

Jane Hulse said it best, along with the chorus from her colleagues.

8/24/2006 7:10 PM  
Anonymous your pal in the news biz said...

A few things: First, 10:11, you try to sound reasonable, but you obviously don't really want to hear anything to contradict your "awesome" Travis. The N-P is truly a toxic place now, and your hero TKA is one of the reasons.

And here I might as well address "Greg's sister." Travis may have paid with his reputation, which is now and forever ruined in SB, but I have seen absolutely NO evidence that he cares about anyone at the N-P but himself. I've spoken with him, too, and he seems to really believe that there's a "cabal" of innumerable groups and individuals out to destroy the N-P (and him). He doesn't seem to understand, despite his time in the business, why dedicated professionals with decades of experience would walk away from the N-P rather than compromise their principles. Indeed, he appears incapable of even comprehending what those principles are.

Instead of showing the slightest "care" for his co-workers he accuses them of treason, hidden agendas and ill-defind "bias." He stands by while Wendy impugns their character and concocts bald-faced lies about their supposed lack of commitment to local news. He stands by while the careers of good people who want nothing more than to do good journalism are destroyed.

For these reasons I -- and I suspect my co-workers -- will never trust him or feel the slightest regard for him ever again. He is Judas, and he will forever be. I pity your friendship with such a lost soul.

8/24/2006 7:12 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Looks like "Still Listening" is the new avatar for Nelville Flynn.

But do elaborate on how Travisty is the victim. That would be quite entertaining.

8/24/2006 7:16 PM  
Anonymous slanted and enchanted said...

The only thing Travis is a victim of is his own lack of dignity. No journalist with the most basic sense of professional decency would continue to work under the conditions that forced Roberts et al to resign. Travis is a sellout and whatever Wendy has promised him can't possible be worth trading in his reputation as a journalist. Steepleton is in the same boat. Sellout.

8/24/2006 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

This string has become interesting. Like a good novel, and true life, no character is 100% evil. I always suspected as much. The problem is, unlike novelists, we bloggers are unable to fill out the details of all of our characters' motivations. Wendy and Tavis and all the rest of the characters in this drama are real people, complex personalities, neither devils nor angels. This whole mess is truly a tragedy, from which, I am sure, all the characters wish they could retreat. How many, from Wendy to the latest News-Press employee to resign wish they could have a cosmic "do-over?" Too late! There is no attonement. All our actions result in irredeemable consequences with which we must live - forever. Greg's Sister, I respect your courage to post, but the die is cast and the only way is forward through a wilderness of infinite choices and unknown consequences.

8/24/2006 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Sister of Greg--

Kudos to you for saying who you are, and defending Travis!! Identifying yourself here when most of the bloggers are opposed to your opinion takes some courage. Well done, indeed!!

8/24/2006 10:50 PM  
Blogger orangstar said...

To Gregg's sister,
I have to put it out there that it must be hard to read and hear all these horrible things about your brother's partner.

As someone who is intimately involved myself... I get it.
But here is the thing..... He really did sell out.

This whole debacle began way before he escoreted JR out of the building and there was a moment when Travis had the same decision to make as did all the rest.
Sadly he chose to sell out those co-workers that he has somehow convinced you that he cares so much about.

I have no doubt that your world involves a much different person than the one dipicted on this blog (among other places) but even you have to allow for the fact that your bias may be preventing yourself from realizing his prominent role in this disaster.

But I would urge you then, if he really is the man of great strength and values you assert he is, to clue him in that actions speak louder than poisonous words... and that so far both from him have been pretty damn incriminating.

8/24/2006 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actions speak louder than words. Action = Travis stayed at the NP during Wendy's absence when he could have walked away as well. Did anyone ever consider why he stayed; despite the hateful, hurtful and downright evil controvery from angry citizens and ex coworkers? His having the strength to stay allowed the paper to continue and his coworkers that also stayed to keep working. How many of us can say we could have stood up that daily cruel personal criticism and verbal attacks? What would YOU have done if people were chanting FU (insert your name here)? What would YOU have done if a personal mistake of yours became national news? How would YOU feel if nasty songs were written about you? I can't say I know what goes on in Travis' head, but it stands to reason that the person he is and the stress he is put through only shows how very strong willed and noble he is and how he really cares about his job, the Santa Barbara community and his coworkers. I'm sure if there were a magic rewind button it would have been pushed, not only by Travis but by the writers who left. It would be interesting to see how very far they want to rewind. Greg's sister.

8/25/2006 6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis showed absolutely no "strength" in agreeing to turn on his co-workers for Wendy. Maybe he regrets it now, Greg's sister, but he did what he did, and it can't be undone. If he had any REAL strength he would've left before he helped destroy the paper. If he has any real integrity he'd quit now and leave SB. He'll never be anything but the guy who presided over the destruction of the N-P.

8/25/2006 7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He stayed so he could have the pleausure of kicking people while they're down. Smiling while he added notches to his belt.

8/25/2006 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis is the victim? George Orwell would be proud.

8/25/2006 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Watching a train wreck said...

0638 anon, and "greg's sister":
: the fact thatTKA dug his heels in doesn't portray courage in this case---but a pathological commitment to have his way, and a concession to the fact that HE HAS NOWHERE ELSE TO GO. He is a disgrace in the world of journalism, the Santa Barbara community---his vindictive meanness has isolated him to the NewsPress Tower. So of COURSE he stayed. He probably has to pinch himself every day that Wendy and her advisers have not cut him loose.

Everyone at some point has a mother/partner/sisterinlaw, etc. That fact does not mitigate the damage and personal harm TKA has done to so so many. He certainly has his own demons. But he should go somewhere alone to resolve them, not exercise his pathology on an undeserving community and newsroom.

Many of us have known those reporters and editors for a decade or more. NONE of them, NONE of them who've been sacrificed in this house of horrors ever wanted to see this happen to what was once a respected newspaper. So, history will be clear--quite soon--on who set in motion the series of events that are destroying the NewsPress.

8/25/2006 8:31 AM  
Anonymous big fat fan of travis said...

I gotta chime in. It is SO REFRESHING to see someone else step onto this blog to put in a word for Travis. Greg's sister says it well at 6:38am. But, brace yourself, girl, for more possible attitude like orangestar there. I often wonder if these folks scrutinize their own behavior half as much as they do others'.

For the record,

I do not work for the News-Press and never have.

I do not know Travis personally, although I have spoken with him briefly at public functions. He is quite approachable.

I am not his relative in any way, at least not any moreso than the rest of you so-called humans.

I am not paid by any advocacy group in any way shape or form of hidden money.

However, I agree with Travis's opinions almost 100% of the time when it comes to topics that I ACTUALLY KNOW ABOUT. I admire his courage to go against the grain and say what he thinks and be who he is, even is the face of public criticism. We should all be inspired by that.

I am a BIG FAT FAN OF TRAVIS!!!!!!!

8/25/2006 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only reason Travis stayed is nobody else will hire him! Just listen to his radio show on AM 1290 to hear the vengeance!

This radio station is owned by Wendy, so it's no surprise Travis has his own show. Caught the tail end of his talk with Michael Self, the anti-roundabout lady. Travis never misses an opportunity to blame others for the NewsPress landslide. He calls the opposition politically motivated and "disgraceful". He complained that Marty Blum tried to get him fired..TWICE! He mentions her and Susan Rose every time he's on the radio..so Wendy owns the radio station, the NewsPress and The Goleta Valley Voice.....no politics there, huh Travis!!

8/25/2006 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still can't figure out what Travis did wrong. I heard it was a disaster, a debacle, a travesty yada yada. But I still haven't heard what he actually did wrong. Maybe somebody should come up with a timeline of the wrongdoings that some of you are so vehemently offended by. Things that don't count as wrongdoings are:

1. Blurring the line between reporting and editorial. Not without some kind of facts, or specifics. And taking over as publisher doesn't count, because he wasn't writing editorials at the time. He was asked to do it and he did it.
2. Sexism.
3. Being a poison pen.

Facts people. Go for it.

8/25/2006 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate that Greg's sister is contributing here.

That Travis escorted JR out the door was not the beginning of his troubles... his writing really gained a bitter edge here at the News-Press that was absent when he wrote for the Mercury-News. Travis has not learned how to disagree without being disagreeable.

Then the escorting of JR out the door seemed like a big confirmation that Travis is not a good guy. It was not one mistake, but the culmination of many mistakes.

Oddly, one of the themes of the new News-Press is: no-one is irreplaceable. So if Travis had not chosen to carry on, someone else would have popped up to do his job. All the jobs of the dependent folks would have been just about as equally protected as they have been with Travis hanging on.

But there are always second, third and subsequent acts... Richard Nixon, Woody Allen, Ariel Sharon. Travis, like the cat, may come back. I just hope he does so by returning to the style of some of those good articles he wrote at the Mercury-News, where he was inclusive, sympathetic, and even a doubter of Indian gaming.

8/25/2006 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:32 pm.

"One inexplicable action Travis took was escorting Jerry Roberts out. Why did he do that?"

To answer that is simple. Heard of mob mentality? I've watched enough Cops episodes to know that when a mob mentality is forming, where a group of people are escalating in verbal attacks, it is urgent to remove the source of the disturbance and then to disperse the crowd. I don't think Travis removed the editor for a sinister get back, but as a way to prevent injury or attack to the people in the building and to defuse a volatile situation.

8/25/2006 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That Mob Mentality theory is right. The news staff really hated Jerry Roberts and were threatening him with violence all the time. Travis Armstrong saved Jerry's life because Jane Hulse was leading the mob in the imminent attack. Now, Jerry is held in safe custody under the tender mercies of Travis and Wendy and Millstein.

"Thanks, News-Press!"

8/25/2006 2:39 PM  
Blogger orangstar said...

The "verbal attacks" ensued AFTER Travis refused to let Roberts say his goodbyes to the newsroom.
Mob mentality? The removal of Jane Hulse was likely meant to subdue the "mob" but walking Jerry Roberts personally out of the buildding was a deliberate act of authority and power.... A sybolic changing of the guard.

Granted, Wendy is the ulitimate cause of all of this mess but Travis has played nicely into her plan. So forgive my attitude BFF of Travis and friends but while your world has gone largely untouched by these people and events, the SBNP nine and those who continue to follow (there are still more to come)... THEIR partners and families have been forced to shift and move on, leaving friends and jobs behind too. That is great that you always agree with his columns but we are talking about changing peoples lives.

So yeah, if I sound a little pissed... I am.

In my world, if Travis really is a victim in all of this then he is convincingly wearing wolf's clothing.

8/25/2006 5:14 PM  
Blogger john san roque said...

I try hard not to get personal in my postings. I favor trying to appeal to reason. I have to admit that I'm getting really fed up, though, with the postings that appear regularly now about the News Press saying: Okay, give me facts, tell me what they did, tell me exactly what Armstrong did wrong.

If you people can't read or retain the information that has been posted here, that doesn't mean it needs to be repeated again and again to respond to your demands.

If you want to believe that half the staff sacrificed their livelihood because they didn't want to cover local news, nothing posted here for the fifth or sixth time will mean anything to you.

If you want to believe that the national press and associations of editors have been harboring grudges against the News Press awaiting this opportunity, then you can be comfortable with your conspiracy theories.

I don't want to exaggerate, so I'll say that I have listed at least four times, over the past year, those practices, policies, and decisions I found unacceptable with the News Press and its editorial page. Of course, it's your right not to believe me or to disregard my arguments (and those of other wirters).

But, please, stop asking for listings of the problems when you either haven't read what's posted here or in 500 newspapers around the country. Just say you find the arguments unconvincing--and then tell us whay you think the staff really quit. Don't say the arguments are non-existent. That makes you look as though you're unable to respond to reason.

8/25/2006 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:35am

It is just so unusual that a mob formed at all, that the firing had to be so dramatic. Why didn't Travis just give Roberts the dignity to gather his stuff and leave on his own time?

Sure, I'm colored by the unanimous opinion that Roberts is basically a good guy... also none of his columns had the hard, nasty edge that Travis' have had. It is really, really hard to believe that Roberts was some kind of agitator who needed to be escorted out. It is much more plausible that Travis was acting out a power trip, and never expected the consquences to be so grave.

If Wendy and Friend ordered Travis to fire Roberts, Travis had the option of talking to Roberts in private and saying something like, `Dude, we've never seen eye to eye, but I respect you, and the bad news is the owners want you out. So your office needs to be emptied out by 8am tomorrow. Good bye and good luck.' Then he could have let Roberts leave with some dignity.

8/25/2006 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

Travis, tomorrow, could state that he thinks it's wrong to play games with people's careers and working conditions in a mad scramble to thinly veil errors made by management. He could express regret for playing a central role in the ongoing smear campaign and stall tactics spoon fed by the Union busters.
Until then, f-u Travis! McCaw! Nip! the Union Busters! (double f-u there) Huff! etc. STOP SCREWING PEOPLE.

Greg's sister: you'll ask, "How is he screwing people...I want specifics. boo hoo hoo." Travis, while in a position of power over others, drove people out of their jobs by towing the ill informed, reckless, stuuuupid, childish and...I'm going to start swearing again.

I can't understate how angry it makes me when corporate power centers screw their workers. If Travis is an unknowing pawn, too bad for him then, he is purely a fool. This is SERIOUS business about peoples lives and there is no time for sympathizing with idiots.

8/25/2006 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh you people take everything so literally and personally. Isn't the focus of this blog to promote DISCUSSION of different topics. Show some maturity and gain control over your anger. I don't have any personal stake in anything that happens in Santa Barbara and was coming here only out of curiosity. If you were my friends or co-workers I would be so emabarassed by your behavior and comments. (This is not to include those who write respectful, thoughtful postings.)

Grow up, take an anger management course if you need to, but you are getting all worked up over a newspaper? Aren't there more important things in life? Aren't there much more important topics to become angry about? War, famine, children in gangs to name a few. Everything in perspective people. Take a look in the mirror people. Do you like who you see? A wise man once said, those of you who have not sinned cast the first stone.

The sister.

8/26/2006 6:37 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

As this is the only current Blogabarbara posting topic about newspressmess (Sara seems to be going for a record of 100 comments posted), here is the lead editorial in Ventura County Star today (August 26):
-------------------------
Editorial: SB News-Press mocks ethics

Let facts speak for themselves

August 26, 2006

We hope journalists everywhere respond to the Santa Barbara News-Press owner's latest legal salvo against her former editor with a unified response: Bring it on!

Wendy McCaw's motto: If you can't fight the truth, then silence the truth.

Rather than do what any right-thinking business person would do, which is put a sticky personnel matter far behind her, Ms. McCaw is dragging it on and back into the headlines. A $500,000 legal action she filed against her former editor, Jerry Roberts, is peanuts to a woman who paid $100 million for the Santa Barbara News-Press six years ago. To unemployed journalists, it is anything but.

The billionaire newspaper owner accuses Mr. Roberts of breach of contract and damaging the News-Press.

This is one battle Ms. McCaw cannot help but lose, even if a judge should find in her favor.

When your editor, managing editor, deputy managing editor, metro editor, business editor, sports editor and 46-year veteran columnist resign en masse, saying basic journalistic tenets are being violated, and when eight more journalists subsequently follow them out the door, something is wrong.

Certainly, they didn't resign over "differences of opinion as to direction, goals and vision," as former Acting Publisher Travis Armstrong published on the front page of the News-Press the day after the July 6 resignations.

Among the reasons they left:

An article on Mr. Armstrong's drunken-driving conviction squelched; Mr. Armstrong's announced intention to directly oversee some news coverage at the same time he was serving as editorial page editor; and editors reprimanded for publishing the address of actor Rob Lowe's controversial house plan, even though the newspaper did not have a policy on publishing addresses, even though the house address was noted publicly, and even though the location of a proposed controversial house is absolutely germane to a story about it.

When top editors of a daily newspaper walk out in a chorus of obscenities in the middle of a newsroom, in Santa Barbara, of all places, does anybody seriously believe the matter can be hushed up? How can any self-respecting journalist, let alone a newspaper owner, believe it should be?

Despite hiring a Los Angeles crisis-management PR firm, Ms. McCaw continues to focus a spotlight on her newspaper's troubles, garnering more negative publicity. For example, Aug. 14, the trade journal Editor & Publisher reported that Ms. McCaw tried unsuccessfully to scuttle an ethics award from the national Society of Professional Journalists to Mr. Roberts and eight other News-Press journalists who resigned.

Now, the legal action against Mr. Roberts.

Ms. McCaw should have realized when she bought the News-Press that a newspaper is no mere commodity. Newspapers report facts, seek truth, and regularly stand up to the rich and powerful.

Ms. McCaw may have high-paid attorneys on her side, but she will never be able to buy the truth.

Like we said, bring it on.

8/26/2006 9:27 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Try this again, as the first posting seemed to have crashed.

Here is the lead editorial by Ventura County Star today. The righteous indignation in the Huff & Puff announcement yesterday does not seem to be sticking.
------------------
Editorial: SB News-Press mocks ethics

Let facts speak for themselves

August 26, 2006

We hope journalists everywhere respond to the Santa Barbara News-Press owner's latest legal salvo against her former editor with a unified response: Bring it on!

Wendy McCaw's motto: If you can't fight the truth, then silence the truth.

Rather than do what any right-thinking business person would do, which is put a sticky personnel matter far behind her, Ms. McCaw is dragging it on and back into the headlines. A $500,000 legal action she filed against her former editor, Jerry Roberts, is peanuts to a woman who paid $100 million for the Santa Barbara News-Press six years ago. To unemployed journalists, it is anything but.

The billionaire newspaper owner accuses Mr. Roberts of breach of contract and damaging the News-Press.

This is one battle Ms. McCaw cannot help but lose, even if a judge should find in her favor.

When your editor, managing editor, deputy managing editor, metro editor, business editor, sports editor and 46-year veteran columnist resign en masse, saying basic journalistic tenets are being violated, and when eight more journalists subsequently follow them out the door, something is wrong.

Certainly, they didn't resign over "differences of opinion as to direction, goals and vision," as former Acting Publisher Travis Armstrong published on the front page of the News-Press the day after the July 6 resignations.

Among the reasons they left:

An article on Mr. Armstrong's drunken-driving conviction squelched; Mr. Armstrong's announced intention to directly oversee some news coverage at the same time he was serving as editorial page editor; and editors reprimanded for publishing the address of actor Rob Lowe's controversial house plan, even though the newspaper did not have a policy on publishing addresses, even though the house address was noted publicly, and even though the location of a proposed controversial house is absolutely germane to a story about it.

When top editors of a daily newspaper walk out in a chorus of obscenities in the middle of a newsroom, in Santa Barbara, of all places, does anybody seriously believe the matter can be hushed up? How can any self-respecting journalist, let alone a newspaper owner, believe it should be?

Despite hiring a Los Angeles crisis-management PR firm, Ms. McCaw continues to focus a spotlight on her newspaper's troubles, garnering more negative publicity. For example, Aug. 14, the trade journal Editor & Publisher reported that Ms. McCaw tried unsuccessfully to scuttle an ethics award from the national Society of Professional Journalists to Mr. Roberts and eight other News-Press journalists who resigned.

Now, the legal action against Mr. Roberts.

Ms. McCaw should have realized when she bought the News-Press that a newspaper is no mere commodity. Newspapers report facts, seek truth, and regularly stand up to the rich and powerful.

Ms. McCaw may have high-paid attorneys on her side, but she will never be able to buy the truth.

Like we said, bring it on.

8/26/2006 9:45 AM  
Anonymous StreetPainter said...

“Rank hath privilege.”

From venerable community paper to paranoid citadel in less than two months – wow!
A community paper is about reciprocal trust, a relationship based in history. I think Wendy thinks she is righteously destroying a corrupt, biased, conspiratorial culture that was the newsroom. In the process, she’s destroying something she can’t even really see. Travis, on the other hand…

The NP used to be snoozily, reliably dependable and balanced, the Independent’s perfect foil. It may have been boring and Barney may NEVER have come to the aid of my cause(s), but it was always a real newspaper, a journal, a public trust. (Buyer beware: when you buy a public trust, the public comes with it.)

Now, apparently, their new mission seems to be self-righteous “cabal” buster and cultural nannie. Those ads! Patronizing seems too bland a word. “Now I know my pinots from my cabs; thanks NP.” Basil, etc.

I used to call it the Snooze Press. “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone."

McCaw is bull-dozing full-steam ahead. The half million dollar lawsuit reported the day before Jerry picks up the ethics awards. God, I wish she’d get a new idea, find a new horizon. I now understand her generous divorce settlement.

8/26/2006 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sister,

Nice try, but you can't belittle the issue and our feelings towards it by comparing to wars and so on. Are we to reserve our anger for only abuses committed on a global scale? I think not. There is post at today's Ventura County Star editorial that fits here:

"If We The People can't keep our own local power centers in check, how can we possibly check the biggest players?"

The Newspress is a major local employer, a community trust, and a much needed institution. It's downfall is enough to make you mad - add to that employee abuse and it's time to be flat out angry.

8/26/2006 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sister.... I've sinned for sure.

But I never escorted a respected journalist, well liked by his employees at both the News-Press
and the Chronicle, out the door, holding his arm.

And Travis' behavior in that instance does seem to be a capstone on a long pattern of behaviors... including not
acting with humility after
his drunk driving arrest... which actually was quite a serious matter... ask MADD.

Everyone can be redeemed, I hope Travis will take the first step sometime.

8/26/2006 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:06 and 11:55

I understand and appreciate your concerns. You have valid points. Thank you for writing your posts with tact. That was the point I was trying to make. Opposing viewpoints are easier to consider if they aren't riddled with name calling and profanity. When I have the opportunity I will ask some questions for clarification of the incidences you bring up. Can't promise I can say anything but I'll ask.

8/26/2006 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gregg's sister has more courage than anyone we've seen in the mccaw camp so far. armstrong is mccaw's punching bag and sister and her brother are right to be concerned. hat's off.

by contrast, what's heard is that mccaw hasn't had the guts yet to meet with the news people as a group to let them know what direction she wants the ship to sail. it's rudderless instead, with the captain locking herself in her cabin and hiding behind the curtains, rather than being on deck behind the wheel, setting a course.

this points to a built in problem with the ongoing news press debacle that isn't going to allow things to get better for anyone: not one of mccaw, weisenberger, armstrong, milstein or huff has ever actually run a similar company. not one is a professional executive. nightclubs or pr firms don't count. not one has the leadership or managerial experience to move the news press forward. mccaw's promise several months ago to hire a real publisher has een forgotten.

we therefore have the blind leading the blind among the five and it's showing, day after day. look at weisenberger's brief record so far as a manager/publisher -- with all the bad publicity that has made mccaw a natinoal laughing stock and embarressed his family during his short tenure, he'd be fired if he wasn't sleeping with the boss.

it will continue to be the five keystone cops, except that the scary part is that this crew is playing with loaded pistols.

8/26/2006 8:23 PM  
Blogger Dominatrikes said...

Wow I am bummed that Starshine won't be writing. I hated every topic she wrote about but loved every word of it.

8/27/2006 1:58 PM  
Anonymous philosoph said...

McCaw is busy meeting with her trusted business advisers, journalism ethicists and friends in the community to chart a new course for the News-Press.

It will be a very different newspaper than it was a year ago.

Traditional notions of objectivity will be replaced by a different standard. Some people, reared on a journalism school view of how the profession should operate, won't like that. Some will quit.

The paper might not get better, but it sure will get more interesting once McCaw is done with the restructuring.

8/29/2006 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's just hope the paper goes belly up.

8/29/2006 2:11 PM  
Anonymous salsipuedes said...

Restructuring? Call it dismantling, demolishing, destroying. When the Vanity Fair piece gets published it will be called turning the paper into the laughingstock of the nation. Between the N-P madness and nationally publicized reports about $160,000 incomes qualifying for subsidized housing, Santa Barbara's not going to look too good either.

8/29/2006 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Ethicist with an 'E'? said...

Philosoph--you are making many of us LOL!!!

McCaw meeting with "journalism ethicists"?!?! Was that before or after deciding to sue Jerry Roberts? Before or after Travis's Sunday column in which he essentially threatens reporters and asks readers to complain directly to him about news reports [where's the news editor in the chain of command?]

bottom line--the BS plays with NO ONE outside of McCaw/Armstrong's little cabal......

8/29/2006 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although Travis Armstrong no longer is "acting publisher" (whatever that means), let there be no doubt that he effectively runs the newsroom. In the absence of a real editor, he is making the important decisions, such as whom to hire to replace departed reporters and editors, what stories go on the front page, and what beats are assigned to reporters. Scott Steepleton handles some of the more mundane newsroom chores such as editing copy, writing headlines and making sure story budgets are created. It's really Travis who's calling the shots.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall at some of the job interviews for replacement reporters and editors. How would Travis respond when asked about the News-Press' policies on editorial objectivity, about the relationship between news and editorial comment, about working conditions?

I'm frankly surprised that the News-Press is having such an easy time replacing the departed staffers. Must be the Santa Barbara quality of life, or maybe they're offering bloated salaries.

8/30/2006 11:04 AM  
Anonymous your pal in the newsroom said...

Where'd you go, Sara? I see Spendy McFlaw shut down -- the Wendynator didn't get you, did she?

9/03/2006 9:23 AM  

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