Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Rally for Organized NP Workers


The Rally:
3-4 p.m. Sunday, September 24
De la Guerra Plaza
Prominent speakers will be invited. More details to come.

The Fundraiser:
4-6 p.m. at Ruby’s Café
De la Guerra Plaza
Hors d’oeuvres and music
Suggested Donation: $20.00
Proceeds will be donated to the Journalist Loan Fund to help current and former News-Press employees who have been forced out, fired or suspended without pay.

Please join the organized newsroom of the Santa Barbara News-Press in a show of support for journalistic integrity and a fair employment contract. In recent weeks, 22 top journalists have left the newsroom because Wendy McCaw, the owner and co-publisher, was interfering in the news. An atmosphere of intimidation and surveillance has replaced the openness that a free press requires.

This month, 11 newsroom employees received notice that they would be suspended for two days without pay for the “offense” of attempting to deliver a letter to McCaw. The letter asked her to stop harrassing employees who were seeking union representation.

The No. 1 priority of these employees, some of whom have worked at the paper for decades, is to restore ethical standards at the News- Press. They expect to win their union election by a large margin on Sept. 27. Until their demands for a fair contract have been met, they are asking subscribers to CANCEL THE NEWS-PRESS TODAY.

The Sept. 24 rally is organized by newsroom employees and the Graphic Communications Union of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Please help us send a message to McCaw that SANTA BARBARA DEMANDS A FREE PRESS.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

"An atmosphere of intimidation and surveillance has replaced the openness that a free press requires."

Can someone please elaborate: what is going on to create this "atmosphere" inside the News-Press?

9/17/2006 1:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randy Alcorn is the main financial executive of the News-Press who has been there for a couple of decades. He is also one of the few columnists left standing--so far. But is his column today, "Looney leaders can have devastating effect," about George Bush--or is it really about Wendy McCaw?

9/17/2006 2:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lists and cards are both helpful, positive steps. For myself, I need to see what the business/advertisers do with their opportunity to organize a public open forum and commitees. The longer that is avoided the more bleeding for everyone. Maybe some aren't aware of the citizens who are bound and gagged and bleeding? If it were someone you care for, you'd take immmediate action. Business who wants the citizens money to give to Wendyco are out of touch. This isn't easy for anyone. If some advertisers go down because change takes time and they operate from fear, that is unfortunate. I don't want anyone to feel threatened, it's okey to face fear and move on. It only takes one creative business leader to move more advertisers out of fear. I'd like to learn more about Steve Cushman, he is skilled, but questionable. There are businesses not so entangled with establishment, the new can replace the old. I don't know all the workings of advertising. With proper leadership I would think a solid group could distribute a letter/ad in accordance with citizens. They also need to be apart of contacting the larger businesses. Begin local. For a start, what if each local advertiser donated one week of ads to a statement, joining with citizens determined to public discussion, finding solutions, doing something. Those businesses would be on the citizen list. Action can't be postponed. Do you think Martin Luther King, Jr. agreed with the people who said he'd never get organized? It doesn't matter if it's a struggle and it looks feeble, when you need to escape bondage. Citizens will do something. Advertisers have more opportunity. I don't see it about Wendy now, she's like dead, "IT'S" an out of control narcisstic monster that let's Schlesinger speak for it. I don't see this as local only. There are places with more activists and artists and they are terrified, they don't know Wendy, it's the "Dr. Laura" thing they know as dangerous. It will be necessary to focus on tourist and hotel industry. Establishment parades. You only need to make a 10% change and it's news worthy. If every citizen can send across the nation information on what's happening, IT IS NOT HEALTHY OR AMERICAN for so many people to need "anonymous". And contact more media of the average citizens plight and what advertisers do. Point them to all the blogs where most are anonymous, they'll get the idea action is urgent. They can also read about the police and the dangers. Elitist celebrities who use the community and turn their backs on citizens. People have alot of positive ideas and good contacts are made. I appreciate people like Kathy from Oakland, please, keep checking on Santa Barbara. Boynton Beach Club, the movie, looks cute for the 60 is 40 set, but a Laura promotion, I will contact them about the pain and necessity to boycott, may others do the same.

9/17/2006 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that dances aren't a fine story to splash across the front page, but we have a fair number of Santa Barbara fireman risking their lives -- since Labor Day -- fighting the Day fire. Worth a story in the daily newspaper before we're covered too deep in ashes?

9/17/2006 9:57 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

Well Anon 9:08 I definitely like your idea about being able to recognize advertisers that withdraw from the NP and go onto a citizens list. I would be much more inclined to patronize those NP-free businesses. It gives incentives to both; the business for being responsible to the community and to the consumer for supporting civic minded employers. In the end, the consumer and employer win GOOD! And the NP DOESN'T! :-)

I'll be very happy if other families don't have to go through what some of the former-NP'ers are experiencing now. dd

9/17/2006 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I woke up coughing with watering eyes . The lighting was eery. I missed my daily paper. I saw my neighbor outside, he could see I wasn't doing well. He was bringing me the want ads, not as it was when I'd shop, now it's about where not to shop. He mentioned the ashes. Other neighbors had a big party the night before, could it be from that? I stumbled around my place and his, looking where all the ashes were, no it wasn't a small fire. He had seen the paper and hadn't noticed a big fire, his eyes aren't so good. Certainly, even the current n-p would have a front page photo and headlines I could see. He brought the remainder of the paper over, together we finally found on A4 the tiniest "Ash blows into Santa Barbara". Vladimir Kogan, somehow able to put aproximately 50 words together in his useless fashion. Further PROOF how out of touch the n-p is with community. I tried to read more but couldn't go on after getting to "Be afraid-be very afraid" Laura. I appreciate the warning, if you read the n-p, read only sub-text. No, I won't support advertisers who want my money to support this sham. A year subscription is about $100.00. I will give part to the workers rally. When the other boycott is organized, part to them. NO NEWS IS NEWS. I feel sick, part from the ashes, more from the added news-press STRESS. Today I was going to focus on local advertisers. When I'm able to function I'll be sending SOS around the world to help free this community. The inmates spend too much time squabbling. OUTSIDE HELP IS NECESSARY

9/17/2006 12:42 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

The local firefighters deployed to the Day Fire, the one now sending smoke and ash into Santa Barbara and moving west towards Ojai today, indeed would make a good story for the daily newspaper.

Daily Sound, go for it!

9/17/2006 12:51 PM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...

KCSB radio story on the Teamsters announcement from 05 Sep. This story was live at 5 pm from an event that ended 3 hours earlier.

News-Press Employees Urge Subscriptions Cancellation:

News Director Cathy Murillo covers the News-Press employees’ press conference on September 5th, 2006. Speakers include: Lou Cannon, Sander Vanocur, Harriett Phillips, Rev. Teena Grant, Rev.Mark Collier, Ira Gottlieb, Marty Keegan, Jonny Wallis.

9/17/2006 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A bit off topic here but I was wondering...

A while back Dan Secord challenged Janet Wolf to join him in reporting contributions to their campaigns on a weekly basis.

At that time he claimed he would start reporting his contributions to a "neutral website" at the end of that week.

A search on google for "Secord", "Secord Donations" and "Dan Secord" was unable to locate any such reporting.

People are beginning to wonder if this whole thing was really just a publicity stunt for "Developer Dan"...

Perhaps this could be worth of its own thread?

9/17/2006 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Where's the News?? said...

I'm glad I'm not the only person dismayed and unable to find current news about what's causing the downpour of ashes [except for Kogan's insightful one-liner on the NP website]. Even the L.A. Times website has some info, free to the public.

Here's the official "incident" center with details of the Day Fire and how it is spreading, and winds blowing the ash:

9/17/2006 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dd, I want the advertisers to step up with the citizens. If I saw one lone small business with a 50 month account use their space, like a public service announcement, say "ajax eatery". If it's in my budget I'll eat there. If not in budget, I consider them heroes and they'd be on citizen list. I have withdrawn my peanut account from A&G Edwards. I'll get the word out all I can nationally for tourists and like minded citizens, artists or activists because it might be necessary. I hear the n-p did print an inspirational picture of Mexico's citizen, they are more free to express than Santa Barbara, and that's not news? Citizens don't forget the workers who need support with the rally Sun 3-4 DE LA GUERRA PLAZA and RUBY'S 4-6pm. I walk by often, now I'll randomly stop in, if they don't advertise in n-p. Is their any group to picket the theatres showing Boynton Beach Club? Contact the distributor, actors, whoever necessary. You can't stop elitists from going but you can see who they are. Citizen journalist and photographers can cover it. We all know and are recording the b.s. the n-p sends out over AP. Edhat and others will put citizen stories out. Arthritis is acting up, I'll do what I can. "Hope for the best, plan for the worst"

9/17/2006 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOT "plan", GOES TO SHOW THE PAIN I'M IN. "HOPE FOR THE BEST, PREPARE FOR THE WORST" Does anyone know Jay Thomas, of Sirius radio?

9/17/2006 4:12 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

NewsPress plays the desperate victim again. But notice how this encourages the community to find the facts, but no one from NewsPress will meet with the public or community to explain their side fo the facts and instead resort to this crap.

September 22, 2006 02:52 PM Eastern Time
Santa Barbara News-Press Statement
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 22, 2006--The Santa Barbara News-Press issued the following statement today:

The News-Press was disappointed to learn that a group of local attorneys are jumping on the publicity bandwagon by forming a so-called Lawyers Alliance for Free Speech Rights group claiming to raise funds to provide legal assistance for former employees of the paper. This appears to be a self-serving attempt to secure publicity under the guise of benevolent volunteerism by attaching themselves to a local controversy.

The purpose of the group is unclear since there has been no denial of free speech in this dispute. Former employees are required to abide by the various confidentiality agreements and policies they signed while employed at the News-Press. The Supreme Court of the United States has consistently upheld the validity of these confidentiality agreements and the News-Press actions to protect the paper's intellectual property and confidential information are lawful and proper and have nothing to do with free speech.

The willingness of professionals to join support groups without taking time to investigate what they are being asked to do and by who is disconcerting. Responsible professionals should make informed decisions, and as attorneys, these lawyers should definitely know not to draw conclusions without knowing all the facts. A call to the paper was never initiated and a personal letter from a fellow attorney challenging the reason for founding such a group went unacknowledged.

One main Teamster strategy is to co-opt community groups and leaders into putting public pressure on a company until they give in to union demands. The Santa Barbara News-Press is the target of a vicious corporate campaign and it is disappointing that many have been this easily taken in. By the union's own admission, they have pledged unlimited resources to win this campaign -- as a stepping stone to unionization attempts at other newspapers across the country.

Before rushing to judgment, the News-Press encourages politicians, journalism organizations, columnists, clergy, old reporters, rivals and competitors to reflect on how many facts they do not know, and to refrain from commenting without all the facts. Disingenuous statements about trying to save the paper, free the press, rescue the employees and protect citizens, are not only self-serving, but damaging to those involved, as well as the entire community.

For more information, obtain a copy of "Trends in Union Corporate Campaigns" by Jarol Manheim, published by George Washington University, or visit or the Teamsters web site.
Agnes Huff Communications Group
Agnes Huff, PhD, 310-641-2525

9/22/2006 1:48 PM  

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