Got this from a reader that lists their pseudonym at the bottom as anonymous -- with tips to my email, I won't divulge identities unless told it is okay or names are purposely placed in the text of the tip/community post -- Hope that makes sense to all y'all -- Sara.
July 18th rally will happen to BUILD BACK THAT WALL between the News and Opinion content of Santa Barbara News-(Sup)Press, and to cancel subscriptions and demand a refund for the remaining prepaid amount. Advertisers also can be informed about this growing public concern.
Rally at Noon, Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Location: De La Guerra Plaza, in front of News-Press building, downtown Santa Barbara
(in public park near City Hall, on De la Guerra St. between State St. and Anacapa St.)
This is an ultra-grassroots event with none of the usual suspects as organizer or sponsor, because the credibility of the daily newspaper affects everyone, from radical activists to the stodgy business establishment. Nobody has to pick sides or feel uncomfortable by association about who is or is not the lead on this rally, as everybody needs a credible daily newspaper.
Although this rally may be considered too far off for the pent-up demand, it still needs some advance time to find and invite the Credibility Heroes of the ousted News-Press editors and writers, as well as to confirm some other speakers with schedules to accommodate. As speakers are confirmed during the next few days, look to fresh postings at the various blogs on the topic, as well as some email lists.
Even a week away, this rally will continue to be a fresh and timely issue then, with more news articles anticipated nationwide (New York Times apparently is doing yet another article), and an expose by Barney Brantingham in Santa Barbara Independent on July 13. All this is in addition to his blistering comments in the three TV news interviews, plus his long expose in Santa Barbara Independent on July 13, plus anything else juicy in the Independent and elsewhere about the News-Press meltdown and Credibility Crisis. See these TV news links on the story:
Unfortunately, the usual Wall separating the Opinion Church from the News State has now crumbled with the purges on Bloody Thursday (July 6, 2006), when the 6 (yes, 6) top editors and the legendary columnist Barney Brantingham were pushed out of their jobs or resigned in disgust. As a result, no clear boundary remains between who controls the editorial or opinion content, versus what goes in a news article. That's a problem.
As a result, the newspaper has lost its credibility, and people and organizations that effectively have been black-listed from the Opinion pages now may be, or already are, black-listed from the news articles and other public-serving venues in the newspaper. That is going too far and breaks the bounds of standard professional standards and ethics.
"Black-listed" from the Opinion pages means they cannot get letters published (no matter how pertinent), and/or they are the consistent targets of criticism, no matter how trivial or repetitive. Conversely, public officials and others also may be praised or sugar-coated too much in news articles because the Wall has crumbled that should separate the Opinion Church from the News State. Black-listed from the Opinion pages is annoying and unfair, and reflects more on the writer than the subject, but black-listed from the News content is selective and suspect reverse-censorship.
The editorial opinions of the newspaper owners and publishers already are interweaving with the straight news content, thereby blowing the credibility so readers do not know what to believe as fact, selective omission, or melded opinion. "Happy news, ads, and opinion all smooshed together." The readers and the whole community need a credible record of the news held up to the highest professional and ethical standards. Such credibility includes an impermeable wall separating the Opinion pages from the News pages.
To paraphrase President Reagan: Mrs. McCaw, Build Back That Wall!
The new news editors hired either will be total Yes-men (yes, they all are men), or they will be intimidated or terrified and be unable to resist the meddling into the news content. After the raw power purges on Bloody Thursday, why should anyone expect the new news editors to do anything contrary to the wishes of the Ownership? Those new editors were hired for a reason, further feeding that Elephant in the Newsroom.
Everyone who cares about credibility and believability for what should be the local "News of Record" should come to the half-hour rally at noon on Tuesday, July 18th.
To cancel your subscriptions and get a refund for what is prepaid-paid, call them at 805-966-7171. A blog commenter noted they said a refunded would be made.
Send me ideas for the rally, or post them at the Indy Media Blog. The attachments (via the email version) is an editorial cartoon from Ventura County Star. Print it and bring it to the rally.
remaining anonymous to avoid the Black-list,
the Church/State Separatist