BlogaBarbara

Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Saturday, August 18, 2007

What is a 'club reporter' anyway?

Here's an interesting Editor and Publisher article passed on to me from an avid reader on bias in the newsroom -- which describes a much more reasonable way to handle the issue than firing anyone and everyone where the label might stick if you say it enough times. Ironic that the article is partially about a man that perfected that technique for President Bush.

Editor and Publisher also reported on the NLRB union certification at The Santa Barbara News-Press.

Too bad we have to get detailed news on the certification from a national publication...even our very own Santa Barbara Independent had "Club Reporter" pretty much only refer to our friend Craig Smith on the story which broke late in the week -- saying he "hops all over this". Is a "club reporter" kind of like a "staff report"? Why isn't "Club Reporter" covering what's happening at Tonic or Velvet Jones tonight? Odd name that doesn't instill trust for this issue....

To be fair, it seems they are using many resources for covering the Zaca Fire and doing a great job at that -- but I would have thought one of their main reporters would want to write about this issue. There is likely a fair explanation....but should we hear about it, rather than guess?

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55 Comments:

Anonymous syvjeff said...

Seattle Times Executive Editor Dave Boardman should be commended for addressing decorum and activities in a news room. Also defining what role a reporter should have while they research, write and convey a story. When it comes down to it, he's doing what a good boss should do - asking his employees to be professionals and expecting it out of them.

Since the beginning of this whole News Press mess I've always felt that the minute Wendy took over the paper, standards went out the window. A good leader of that paper should have taken over and clearly stated that the standards the NY Times had in place, remain in place.

Now you have an owner that wanted bias in the paper, the workers had their own bias and now the trial is about bias. What a mess.

Truly from what I've read about the NLRB procedings there was no leadership at all over there. Just a bunch of people with their own agendas.

8/19/2007 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought that they were playing on the old conceit of "cub reporter" like Jimmy in Superman at the Daily Planet.

Or maybe it was someone who remembered Emily Matilla on SNL: ("What's all this talk about violence? it's a perfectly wonderful instrument when played correctly.")

Meanwhile, the Daily Sound continues to need someone in an editorial position who can spell. When CJ Roberts had a seizure they had a headline announcing his "Siezure"!

And clearly no one in an editorial position at the News Mess (Scott Simpleton) wants to take responsibility for having reviewed articles which the paper later claimed were biased.

Maybe it's not the newspaper business that's changing, but perhaps no one is hiring competent editors?

8/19/2007 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Palewriter said...

Good points, syvjeff 8:09 AM.

As the News-Press Mess unfolded in July 2006, and over the last year, I have been among the people intrigued reading ongoing media and blog accounts, and puzzled that the News-Press refused to report about it, but instead hired a PR firm to put spin on it.

I was fascinated that reporting an address of a vacant plot of land, publicized throughout competitive media as part of a planning board matter, would trigger a meltdown at the News-Press.

On the one hand, owner Wendy McCaw has publicly vowed to eliminate "bias" from her newspaper.

On the other hand, in practice, she has tried to eliminate facts or entire stories when they were unfavorable to her views, political beliefs or friends, and she has eliminated any letters to the editor or opposite-editorial page columns by anyone expressing criticism of her or her views, or supportive of her enemies, which include just about every member of the community.

That's what most amazing about this whole thing -- McCaw's definition of "bias."

According to McCaw, a non-biased newspaper reports only the news and the facts that the publisher wants readers to know, so they can be manipulated to think the way she does. And allow the editorial page editor to put spin on the facts and twist the truth, then order reporters to reflect these falsehoods as facts in their stories. Simple as that. Hmm, wonder why honest reporters might have a problem with that?

You are correct, syvjeff, there is no leadership at the News-Press. Why else would Wendy McCaw have Melinda Burns fired, for example, over alleged bias in her Measure D story, when McCaw's top editor, Scott Steepleton, was the person who edited and approved the story for publication, even testifying last week that he did not think it was biased?

Yet, on McCaw's command, Steepleton fired Burns instead of backing her up.

No wonder the news reporters saw their "leader" as a liar and a coward, eager to stab them in the backs as he crawled in servitude before McCaw, and why Steepleton could not earn or deserve anyone's respect.

I can't help but wonder what the newly hired reporters are thinking, and how ethical they can be, willing to work for a lying editor and erratic publisher. That goes for the folks in all other departments throughout the paper as well, including advertising and business.

But then again, Elliot Ness and his handpicked group of Untouchables also wondered why so many police and federal agents felt no remorse accepting bribes from Al Capone.

Instead of backing up the few honest cops, the corrupt majority sold their integrity and ignored Capone's murderous rampage and intimidation of good citizens of Chicago during the Prohibition Era in the 1930s.

8/19/2007 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did "Club Reporter" come from anyway, was it in the NP? Sounds like a bastardization of "Cub Reporter", which refers to a young or inexperienced reporter. Which accurately refers to everyone left at the NP. But on the other hand, did anyone see the Daily Sound headline the other day: "Atkins says police were bias." They also spelled "Edwin Drood" as "Edwind". Sheesh!! I think Jeramy needs to take off the flag he wrapped around himself recently and find a good proofreader.

8/19/2007 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Still there said...

Actually, the newsroom staff did not have a "bias." What they did have was a weariness from the revolving door leadership when the New York Times owned the paper.

Jerry Roberts and Linda Strean dealt with -- and resolved -- problems that had festered under the NYT management.

What Roberts and Strean could not do, however, was keep Wendy's fingers off the keyboards in the newsroom.

8/19/2007 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last I checked, Wendy McCaw is a private owner of a private enterprise, now subject only to the federal labor and unionizing laws. Beyond that, why do some people feel they have a right as mere employees to run this company any way they want. They are not the owners of this company; only potential employees.

What other private, voluntary employment enterprise allows employees rights superior to the owner. Please, I would like an answer to this so I can understand where the former employees of the NewsPress are coming from.

Bottom line for Wendy, it is my way or the highway and anyone wanting to work there has to understand and accept this. All the labor board may be able to do is get someone's job back, but once there you still have to do what the owner wants you to do.

What am I not understanding here - regardless of academic journalism ethics and all that. Keep in mind there are some of us subscribers who very sincerely believed the old NewsPress was offensively biased and are happy now with the changes. Do you understand this?

8/19/2007 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"a much more reasonable way to handle the issue than firing anyone and everyone where the label might stick if you say it enough times."

Indeed that is the reasonable way but we are not talking about a publisher with any hint of reason

As someone with little interest in the future of the NP (never read it much), this saga does intrigue me because it is one that seems to parallel that one that is happening all over. The one where wealth combined with ignorance and narcissim or some similar psychological trait that is devoid of compassion destroying innocent lives.

8/19/2007 12:58 PM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

Really, Sara, to give all due benefit of doubt to The Indy... it's a weekly newspaper, and even though their successfully revamped website has made great efforts to provide updates on urgent issues like the Zaca fire, I would argue that their core mission is not to provide up-to-the-minute breaking news (especially something like this that comes late on a Friday -- I'm assuming the Indy staff likes to enjoy their weekends too!). In any case, it would have been nice to have deeper coverage of the NLRB ruling, but I trust Nick Welsh, Matt Ketteman, and others will have more pithy things (and how!) to say about the issue in the coming days.

8/19/2007 1:33 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

Hey, what kind of spelling can you expect from someone who spells his own name "Jeramy"? :-)

8/19/2007 1:46 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

allegro805 -- I hope I made myself clear enough onn that point and agree that we will likely hear much more in coming days.

8/19/2007 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey to 12:41 p.m.: you found the old NP "offensively biased"? Look at today's editorial pages if you want to know what biased really is. It's a regular Jihad against the current city council, with Travis and Lanny Ebenstein leading the way. What chance do you think Barnwell, Williams, Blum, et al will have to respond to this crapola we are now subject to? Is this is the tighter and brighter content that Neville Flynn used to trumpet? "Oh yes, but it's Wendy's paper and she can do whatever she wants with it." Blah blah blah!

8/19/2007 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:41pm... hard to see how you or anyone else could be happy that the letters to the editors page and the opinion/community voices page have become wastelands, without anything close to a reasonable `town forum' representation of a wide variety of locally held viewpoints.

Sure, a newspaper owner can order reporters to spike stories about his/her friends, and even after the fact punish reporters (and not editors) for reporting that got publised without any prior warning that the punishment was likely.

And then the employees are free to quit, and that is what an awful lot of editors and reporters did at the News Press.

But to see McCaw get offended about the empty lot of child pornographer Rob Lowe (who made two sex films with under-18 year olds) and then quote him in her newspaper while making lurid attacks on Jerry Roberts, well, for that she deserves serious reprobation.

8/19/2007 3:30 PM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...

The "academic journalism ethics and all that" are what separate a true credible, believable newspaper from a widget manufacturer.

Most of us want a newspaper, a real newspaper.

Do you understand this?

8/19/2007 8:07 PM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...

"Club Reporter" was a by-line that first appeard at the Independent Media Blog, 05 August 2006.

The Headline was "Return of the Shrew" about a paranoid tome written by Travis Armostrong where he initiated the label CABAL to refer to anyone not in agreement with him.

If you do not want to go to their Indy Media Blog and scroll down to many pages of Older Stories, here is the URL for the adventurous who can copy and paste:
http://independent.com/news/columns/santa_barbara_media_blog/?page=7

8/19/2007 8:20 PM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

@Anon 12:41: OK, I'll bite. Pick an industry, any industry. Let's say...building. A new boss comes in and says, "I don't like the the way you are building these houses. You're putting the studs too close together. From now on I want them 24" apart instead of 18"."

"Nope, can't be done, boss. It's not safe, and there are codes..."

"You're fired."

If you think about it, in most every industry there are rules, ways of doing things. People who work these jobs know how to get things done. A new owner, especially one as inexperienced as the Wendy, need to treasure their employees. They need to understand that the knowledge and experience the employees bring to the job are critical to the value of the product. The Wendy has nothing now -- just a shell of a newspaper.

You say "...the old NewsPress was offensively biased." Can you cite even one example? The best that Mr. Steepleton has been able to come up with is that in a story about the State Street renovation nobody was interviewed who was sorry to see that some of the trees would be replaced. Most of us find the new News-Press to be "offensively biased". Countless examples abound.

8/19/2007 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do want to make a clear point to everybody watching this train wreck, there are differences between columnists, editorials, opinions and news.

It's ok for the editorial page and columnists to show their true belefs as long as it's clearly stated. I'm also OK with it even if I disagree, because they make me think. But in a news gathering, writing and conveying situation, the information better be clear and lacking an intentional bent from the writer.

This whole News Press Mess is really a pickup from where the Soap Opera left off when it quit airing on TV. It's really a long and screwed up story that is so sad that it's not what is wrong with news rooms around the rest of the country. I heard a quote once that basically stated "Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction had to be made up".

Santa Barbara is a terrible place to do business. So to show my typical libertarian stripes, Wendy can do whatever she wants. Including ruining an really average news paper in a small (non growing-financially/population) media market. The current and former employees are paying the price, but the readers are the real losers here.

The new owner (Amperstand/Wendy McCaw) walked in, cut benefits (reasons to like working there), change management of the news room about every 11 months and gave conflicting direction and expectations to the staffers. The emploiyees invited a union into the party because the owner of the paper had no leadership skills what so-ever. Amperstand-Wendy brought this on herself. Now the tin foil shield is this now the overused word called "bias".

Then you add a local base of readers who were not really in love with the paper. Since the beginning of Amperstand's ownership, the front page/top of fold was peppered with animal stories (non-important stories in my opinion) and create an editorial page that really isn't liked by any side of the political street except the eccentric owner of the paper.

8/19/2007 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just want to make a point, re: 9:50 a.m.'s "Sounds like a bastardization of "Cub Reporter", which refers to a young or inexperienced reporter."

Only in the old Superman TV serial, where the terms was used to describe Jimmy Olsen.

I've worked for four different newspapers over 20 years, and know many other people who've worked for many other newspapers going back further.
I can tell you, once and for all: the term 'cub reporter' is NEVER used in newsrooms to describe young, inexperienced reporters. True, it's been used in local blogs to deride young, inexperienced reporters at the NP (most of the newsroom these days).
Deride away if you want, but anyone claiming that 'cub reporter' is an actual newsroom term anywhere but in an old TV show is betraying a lack of knowledge.

8/19/2007 9:05 PM  
Anonymous syvjeff said...

One other thing that I've noticed many of the bloggers of the South County have not brought up is the growth of the Santa Ynez Valley Journal. It's a weekly that really allows all points of view.

Nancy Crawford Hall has done an excellent job with this resource.

8/19/2007 9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

syvjeff, I thought there was promise until I read this :

"Media Rights and Responsibilities

Since purchasing a newspaper in 2006, I have learned a lot about media issues. Philosophies are an important part of what makes a media venture so powerful. From what I can observe, it must be taught in journalism schools everywhere that you must "cover both sides" in every article otherwise an article is assumed to be opinion and not factual. I would suggest that this is a very dangerous approach to take which has led many people to either be misinformed about important subjects or, in the worst scenario, entirely uninformed.

A case in point is the public's perception of the health of the United States economy, which directly affects us here in the Santa Ynez Valley. Did you know that the Dow Jones, an indicator of 30 of the top companies, reached 14,000 last week? Did you know that the unemployment rate is at the lowest rate in many, many years, that the deficit has been reduced by trillions, that job creation is at its highest in many, many years, even better than in the '90's? You certainly wouldn't know this unless you watch one particular station because it apparently doesn't suit the powers that be to tell the truth about how healthy the economy is right now. Governments cannot continue to cry poor and politicians cannot decry their loss of revenue when that's not what's happening.

There are many other cases I could cite demonstrating this serious problem in the media but I think this requires some serious thought and investigation. To require journalists to "cover both sides" makes them report, in many cases, out and out lies. I refuse, as a publisher, to spend ink and paper to repeat information that I know to be untrue. This, I believe, is my right and my responsibility. I am not interested in manipulating the data to provide a particular point of view, as others seem wont to do. It is my intention to print as much of the truth as I can find, whatever it might be. That is my right and my responsibility.

If one side of a discussion lies, it is my right and responsibility to expose it, not "cover both sides."

http://www.santaynezvalleyjournal.com/archive/5/17/343/

8/19/2007 11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 12:41

Private enterprises are subject to public laws to protect the citizens who work for them from unscrupulous owners. If business owners operate their businesses with high ethical standards and treat their employees decently, then they have nothing to fear from OSHA, the NLRB or other government agencies. Trouble is, Wendy has enough money that she thinks she is above the law, and can do what ever she wants, regardless of who it hurts. Unfortunately, the NLRB doesn't have enough teeth to make it painful for her to abuse the system so she will simply continue screwing over the employees and the community.

8/20/2007 5:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note to 9:05 a.m.: I had a feeling that I had first (and probably only) heard the term cub reporter on old espisodes of "Superman" with George Reeves, but then I looked it up on www.dictionary.com and there it was. Go figure. But I defer to your wisdom and experience. By Great Caesar's Ghost! Where's Perry White when we need him?

8/20/2007 9:39 AM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

To all the various anonymouses out there:

I think most would agree that you're technically correct: Mrs. McCaw can do whatever she wants with her "product" as long as she doesn't violate labor (or any other) law (for which she will more than likely soundly be prosecuted in a manner that will barely ruffle her bank account).

If she wants to turn the SB into The Weekly World News (with 'Opinion by TK Armstrong'), that's certainly her right. She can resurrect the yellow-journalism ghost of Wm. Randolph Hearst to her heart's content. She can create SB's version of that venerable rag, the New York Post if she wants to.

Ultimately, what I think people want most is for her to be prosecuted for her legal violations. It would be NICE if -- as a citizen of our community -- she were actually interested in presenting a broad range of community NEWS instead of Fox-style "spin".... but if she'd rather produce a product more closely akin to "Fox News" than "The Lehrer News Hour," that's her prerogative. It's sad if the community's newspaper can't even cover city council and board of supervisors' meetings, but yes, it's true, ultimately no one else can control "her product."

At some point, readership may dwindle to those who will continue to believe they're reading a "legitimate news product." And advertisers? Well, some will stick it out as long as there are "numbers" to be reached via the circulation -- while others will 'do the right thing' in not supporting a business owner's unethical (and illegal) megalomania.

Yet, if someone wants to make her/his legacy that of ruining people's lives and inspiring the general ire of an entire community -- as well as an entire profession (journalism) -- that is certainly one's right as a "business owner."

Hey, even W.R. Hearst's and Rupert Murdoch's "products" had/have their "devoted" (and sometimes substantial) readerships -- but no one should confuse the New York Post with a "legitimate" journalistic product. And if it hasn't totally happened already, soon not many will be confusing Wendy's "product" with newspaper journalism either.

However, if yellow journalism can be defined as "not quite libel," I think Mrs. McCaw and TK Armstrong have certainly set their sights on a goal that is well within their reach.

8/20/2007 10:58 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

@anon 12:41

"What other private, voluntary employment enterprise allows employees rights superior to the owner."

What other strawmen can you attack?

"I not understanding"

Apparently.

"Keep in mind there are some of us subscribers who very sincerely believed the old NewsPress was offensively biased and are happy now with the changes. Do you understand this?"

As I have pointed out before, this robs you of all credibility. You might as well say "some of us eat babies and think they're tasty". Why do you think that us understanding that you're a lying scumball will further your argument?

8/20/2007 2:46 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

Only in the old Superman TV serial, where the terms was used to describe Jimmy Olsen.

No, only in the English language and American culture.

Deride away if you want, but anyone claiming that 'cub reporter' is an actual newsroom term anywhere but in an old TV show is betraying a lack of knowledge.

No one said anything about "an actual newsroom term" -- you're betraying parochialism.

8/20/2007 2:52 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

Please, I would like an answer to this so I can understand where the former employees of the NewsPress are coming from.

Perhaps it would help if you could open your eyes wide enough to notice that some former employees quit and some were fired. Surely you have no beef with people quitting -- that's what you advocate when someone doesn't agree with their employer's policies, right? And those who were fired were (allegedly) fired illegally -- which brings in "the federal labor and unionizing laws" that you agree McCaw is "subject to". Beyond that, everyone, former employee or otherwise, has every legal and moral right to be harshly critical of Wendy McCaw's numerous legal and moral transgressions and the deleterious effects of her behavior on this community. As I've said before, were McCaw to fill the NP with KKK propaganda, which she has the legal right to do, any rational person would expect people to resign and for there to be loud protest in the community. That would have absolutely nothing to do with thinking that anyone has greater legal rights to McCaw's property than she does. Just because someone has a right to do something doesn't mean that it's right to do it, and what McCaw has done is wrong -- ethically, morally -- in the sense that truly matters. That you find that "academic" says a great deal about you.

And the next time you say you are trying to understand -- as you have claimed several times before -- just come back and read this post.

8/20/2007 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting comment from NCH:

"To require journalists to "cover both sides" makes them report, in many cases, out and out lies. I refuse, as a publisher, to spend ink and paper to repeat information that I know to be untrue. This, I believe, is my right and my responsibility. I am not interested in manipulating the data to provide a particular point of view, as others seem wont to do. It is my intention to print as much of the truth as I can find, whatever it might be. That is my right and my responsibility.
If one side of a discussion lies, it is my right and responsibility to expose it, not "cover both sides.""

You can link to the entire post here:

http://www.syvjournal.com/archive/5/17/343/

8/20/2007 7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lay off of Jeramy--at least he has the courage to start something, and there are bound to be growing pains. While we're being nit-picky, to be fair, someone should note that the venerable Nick Welsh aka Trixie used Carl's Jr. as a reference when he spoke of something being a "whopper," recently. Wrong. It's Burger King if you want to get it right.

8/20/2007 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one has been able to answer my questions and only threw up a few diversionary smokescreens as responses.

I will soon assume you really do not have any answers and only want to muddy the issues and pout somemore about not getting something you want at someone else's expense while you wrap yourself up in "journalistic ethics".

This is starting to smell as bad as "patriot's wrapping themselves up in a flag while they continue to trash other people's rights.

So here it goes again: Name one private enterprise industry that allows employees to have rights superior to the owner/boss?

Non-responsive to bring up the building code rebuttal, because you have no equivalent governmental regulations that protect newspaper employees writing privleges that superior to their owner's chosen bias,slant or interpretation of journalistic objectivity - absent any extremes limits put upon constitutionally protected speech.

Wendy can run this paper any way she wants as to its content, form and editing. Please tell me why she cannot, if she is willing to accept the consequences of her choices.

It is also diversionary to claim the NewsPress only now is biased - yes, of course it is. It reflects the viewpoints of the new owner. This is her right and her choice. And readers can vote with their pocket books. But as far as I see it, this is the only checks and balance there is as to content of the NewsPress. And if dropping subscriptions do not affect Wendy, then she remains free to control content of the NewsPress any way she chooses.

And it is refreshing for many of us who hold many (but not all) views similar to Wendy's (support for private property, no growth, protection of Santa Barbara quality of life, restraint on government hand outs with taxpayer money).

So please, if you can stick to the question, what other private enterprise requires under law that employees have rights superior to the owner of that enterprise?

Please don't offer straw dog answers. Wendy owns the paper. Readers can choose to subscribe or not. It will sink or fly on the content Wendy chooses to offer.

The NewsPress is not an independent institution beyond the control of the current owner. The owner chooses content. The readers choose to read or not read.

I don't see anywhere in this formula independent rights of employees to control the content this private enterprise contrary to the wishes of the owner.

(Please do not go into Wendy's requirement to follow federal labor law - those are mutual obligations undertaken, not employee rights superior to those of the owner.)

I understand many of you want your old jobs back. I understand many of you do not like the new NewsPress. I understand many of you are sincerely dedicated to your interpretation of journalistic ethics, which is a good starting point.

All well and good, but how does this translate into obtaining the power to write whatever you want for a privately held newspaper that is not acceptable to the owner of this private enterprise.

Please tell me where you got this mytery power and superior right? And what other businesses are also subject to this mysterious power of the employee to trump the management as to content of services?

Is all of this just delayed mourning for a SB NewsPress than under the present circumstances will never again be what you want it to be? Until you buy it or start an alternative daily yourself?

I really would like to move beyond these non-productive merrygoround arguments here. It is time for mourning of what you have lost, and what parts of this community have lost. Granted.

But parts of this community are also celebrating the demise of the old NewsPress and its former bias and welcome the new bias that we like and are willing to support with our subscription dollars and support for NewsPress advertisers.

8/20/2007 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And it is refreshing for many of us who hold many (but not all) views similar to Wendy's (support for private property, no growth, protection of Santa Barbara quality of life, restraint on government hand outs with taxpayer money).

Of course, "Santa Barbara Quality of life" means YOUR quality of life - not the quality of life for anyone else. That's beyond your concern. God forbid PEOPLE LIKE YOU concern yourselves with the mundane details of "other people".

I guess she appeals to the "I got mine and YABADABADOO everyone else" demographic.

But you are right, McCaw can run the News-Press anyway she likes it. But her way of running things doesn't make it a newspaper - it makes it a tabloid - one that MOST PEOPLE LIKE ME will not buy. It's worthless to me - and most people who live here, by any indication. But I'm not her "YABADABADOO everyone else" demographic.

But parts of this community are also celebrating the demise of the old NewsPress and its former bias and welcome the new bias that we like and are willing to support with our subscription dollars and support for NewsPress advertisers.

Seriously - this is nothing but rhetorical nonsense. I cannot think of anyone in this community (famous or otherwise and who isn't published in her "newspaper") - who has voiced any support for her actions.

The paper has become an embarrassment to Santa Barbara. And if you really wish to improve the "quality of life" of Santa Barbara, please do us all a favor and move.

8/20/2007 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, now we have heard both sides of the story. You decide.

1. Courts will ultimatley decide the extent or non-extent of Wendy's "law-breaking". This is now out of our hands.

2. Wendy can choose what she wants written in her paper. And, who she wants to write it.

3. We as consumers can choose to support or not support her choices as to content.

4. And, the courts alone will have their final say as to the law.

So can we all now just shut up about all of this?

8/20/2007 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy made a lot of promises to the community regarding the kind of paper she would give them.

Among what she told us, in writing:

"... I plan to leave the day-to-day management and editorial direction of our paper to the professionals who run it. An essential reason for buying the News-Press is to preserve its independence and integrity." 7-22-2000

"...I will continue to leave it up to the newsroom to make the news judgments on which you, our readers, depend." 5-27-2001

"We are in the process of hiring a new editor who is a strong journalist with impeccable credentials to be the buffer between the newsroom and the publisher." 7-25-2006

"While I don't believe that union representation is in the best interests of our employees, the paper or this community, I respect our employees' rights to make their own decisions." 7-25-2006

She has not kept those promises. Perhaps it's time for her to abandon the pretenses, rename and redesign the newspaper.

8/20/2007 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:01. Again, this is Wendy's paper and she can say and do what she wants. And we don't have to buy it, or read it. Give this a rest.

8/20/2007 11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last I heard, you could still break promises and not be tarred, feathered and run out of town. Unless, you are up for re-election and thn the voters get to decide.

But Wendy does not hold a public office. She does not use tax dollars for her private enterprise. She is subject to court jurisdiction, and is acting accordingly.

You don't like her; but that is still not a crime. Unless you defame her as found under the eyes of the law. Then it is a tort, and you are the offending party.

Chill everyone. Let the courts decide. Stop reading and obsessing about what Wendy is doing with her paper. The rest of you have no ownership rights to the name "Santa Barbara News Press". Wendy does and either you work with her or leave her alone.

The NewsPress name stood for a lot worse in its long tortured past, and we all know it.

8/20/2007 11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:16: "All well and good, but how does this translate into obtaining the power to write whatever you want for a privately held newspaper that is not acceptable to the owner of this private enterprise."

That's the smokescreen: that reporters were fired for writing whatever they wanted. (Actually, only bloggers do that.)
The reporters were fired for engaging in unionizing activity, and since that's illegal, the NP tried to say it was something else -- that they were trying to seize control of the newspaper. Rubbish.

8/20/2007 11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy has re-designed the newspaper. Why should she also re-name it? She bought the name. It is hers. What superior property rights do you have to prevent her use of this name "Santa Barbara NewsPress"?

The point of all of this is to see how worthless your current expenditure of energies are fighting and maligning Wendy. Please, can you take your talents and energies and apply them to something that really matters where you can do some good and be productive rather than butting your head against Wendy's wall?

You can dance on her grave if the courts ever rule against her. But in the mean time, you are wasting an awful lot of your life hating something over which you have little to no control.

Please go fight battles you can affect. This is not one of them. It has now entered a course of outcomes that all your rantings are never going to tweak. Let it go. Move on. Spread your energies more productively for everyone's good.

And then come back if/when you have earned it to crow that you told us so. Cheap victory really for all the time and energy you wasted in the interim.

8/20/2007 11:24 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

Did you know that the unemployment rate is at the lowest rate in many, many years, that the deficit has been reduced by trillions, that job creation is at its highest in many, many years, even better than in the '90's?

The first and third are true only to the degree that the Bush administration has fudged the statistics. The second is an outright lie. Bush entered office with a large surplus, which he has turned into a massive deficit.

You certainly wouldn't know this unless you watch one particular station

That too is a lie -- real, honest journalists and continuously reported on the actual financial facts in news reports. An editorial by someone with an obvious political agenda and a clear disregard for the truth isn't news.

If one side of a discussion lies, it is my right and responsibility to expose it, not "cover both sides."

Such hypocrisy.

8/21/2007 2:20 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

No one has been able to answer my questions and only threw up a few diversionary smokescreens as responses.

On the contrary, we gave rational and informed responses, which you have chosen to ignore. You said you wanted to understand -- you obviously lied. All you do is repeat the same tired straw men. Why should anyone pay any attention to you?

But parts of this community are also celebrating the demise of the old NewsPress and its former bias and welcome the new bias that we like and are willing to support with our subscription dollars and support for NewsPress advertisers.

So you admit that you find babies tasty.

8/21/2007 2:24 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

So can we all now just shut up about all of this?

No more than we can shut up about war, poverty, starvation, suffering, or anything else that concerns us. If you don't want to hear about it, you don't have to read it -- it's a choice you make.

8/21/2007 2:28 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

the City of Santa Barbara is planning to spend $11,000 of taxpayer money

One of many lies in Ms. Crawford-Hall's editorial -- it's $12,000 (if she can't even get that right, how can on trust her claims about deficits and unemployment rates?), and it isn't being paid with taxpayer money.

According to some politicians, global warming will have considerable negative impacts on our lives.

Another lie -- it's not according to "some politicians", it's according to the vast majority of climate scientists.

I believe that, according to prevailing scientific data, global warming and cooling have been occurring cyclically for eons.

Another lie -- she doesn't believe that based on "prevailing scientific data", about which she hasn't a clue. Prevailing scientific data overwhelmingly shows that we are in an unusually rapid warming period exacerbated by human industrial activity. For more information, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

We are fortunate that we now have the internet, where we can access information that hasn't been filtered by wealthy liars whose model of journalism is "one particular station", i.e., Fox News, run by Republican political operative Roger Ailes, whose "fair and balanced" motto is a cynical joke -- no fan of Fox News would watch it if they believed it really was "fair and balanced".

8/21/2007 2:52 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

P.S. Here's an article that shows how ludicrous is the claim that "the deficit has been reduced by trillions", and that you can only get this info from Fox News:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/10/AR2007081001204.html?nav=rss_business

"The White House predicts that the deficit this year drop to $205 billion."

(Grammar isn't the WaPo's strong suit.)

$205 billion? But it was formerly trillions more? Uh, no ... Ms. Crawford-Hall apparently understands economics no better than she understands global warming, and probably has confused debt with deficit. Bush entered the White House with a surplus, which he turned into a huge deficit, which has declined in the last two years (largely by neglecting bridges, schools, and other societal goods). For someone who thinks "lying is the worst thing", Ms. Crawford-Hall certainly does a lot of it.

8/21/2007 3:28 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Let's quite calling people liars folks -- it's not necessary. Just present the facts.

8/21/2007 6:26 PM  
Anonymous syvjeff said...

JQB - I think that you are missing the point about SYV Journal's, Nancy Crawford Halls Column. She's at least laying out the objective of the news paper she prints. Compared to the News Mess, there were only ambiguous objectives.

Employees ran to the union and Wendy ran to her lawyers. Let the fun begin.

Also have any of you picked up the actual SYV Journal? It's at least more interesting than many of the other print in the area.

More to come Thursday.

8/21/2007 8:58 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

Sara Sara Sara. It was Ms. Crawford-Hall who accused all sorts of people of being liars, and who said that "lying is the worst thing". If one doesn't point out the hypocrisy of that, then one is letting the worst people in our society get away with it, by making it ok for them to call others liars but banning any notice of their own lies.

8/21/2007 9:21 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

"So can we all now just shut up about all of this?"

"Give this a rest."

"Chill everyone."

"Let it go."

There's a theme here. Either all these anonymouses are the same person, or they are all reading from the same book. It's odd to seem them all wasting their energy telling we are wasting our energy. Just what motivates them to (fruitlessly) tell everyone to shut up? Money from Wendy? Certainly she would like everyone to stop talking about her bad behavior, and if she could buy that, she would. But although her wildly-disproportionate-to-any-merit wealth gives her all sorts of power, it doesn't give her that power. And so people will continue to comment on her bad behavior. Bad bad bad.

8/21/2007 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jqb, nope, these are all different posters here. I for one am no shill for the NP, yet I am one you relentlessly attack and accuse of the basest duplicity almost no matter what the topic simply because you don't agree with a lof of what I am saying.

So I will take myself out of your latest attack piece because it simply is not true for me. Yes, it is good advice for you to chill a bit, read more and attack less.

8/21/2007 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Employees have lots and lots of rights... and we are all better for them.

This wild idea that a boss owns their employees that has been posted in this thread is just that... a wild idea.

A boss can not order an employee to have sex with them, a boss cannot order an employee to take speed to work 24 hours a day, a boss cannot order an employee to tell customers that Product A is just the same as Product B if there are known and significant differences.

Or, well, boss can try, and they'll end up with lots of $ to pay in lawsuit settlements.

That some supporters of the News-Press in this thread seem to think otherwise is amazing.

8/22/2007 9:18 AM  
Anonymous anon a roma said...

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...

Who's wasting time here? The people posting their opinions OR the people who feel the need to control others by telling them they are wasting their time by expressing their opinions and to stop?

Wendy misled the community and that is why many people won't let the situation die. As noted by another poster she published her intentions in black and white. It’s hard to imagine she could be so out of touch with the community and her customers that she would believe people can’t see that what she said and what she did were two different things. Possibly she just doesn’t care. As others have said she doesn’t have to keep her promises, and she does own the business but I can’t help but think what an interesting and challenging way to run a for profit business.

Following the NP situation and voicing my opinions doesn’t mean that I don’t have a life or that I am not aware of world events. I can multitask, I’m sure I’m not alone in having this skill. So what’s the harm in discussing this amusing/bemusing situation in our community? After all it’s my time.

8/22/2007 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you take Wendy to court for misleading you with her public statements? Is this a crime of negligence, or was it intentional? Will it be covered by her homeowners insurance? Wendy had no right to betray you. What was she thinking.

8/22/2007 11:27 PM  
Anonymous jqb said...

jqb, nope, these are all different posters here.

How could you possibly know that? All you can know is which posters aren't you, but the rest might all be the same person. In any case, as I said and demonstrated, you're all reading from the same book ... you might as well be the same person, since you are indistinguishable.

I for one am no shill for the NP, yet I am one you relentlessly attack and accuse of the basest duplicity almost no matter what the topic simply because you don't agree with a lof of what I am saying.

Ah, so you detect that I disagree with what you're saying. That I "relentlessly attack" you "almost regardless of the topic" is clearly nonsense, since I have no idea who you are or which posts are yours ... I can't tell one anonymous from the other. (It's really simple to enter a "handle"; your browser will re-enter it for you, and it would make it easier on other posters to keep track of who they are talking to ... just a minimum of human decency.) What I "attack" are false claims, bad logic (like what you have written here), unethical behavior.... Many of the anonymous statements do display the basest duplicity ... I don't know which of them are yours, but if you make such statements and don't want it noted, then don't make such statements -- but honestly, I don't know which of those statements are yours, so I can't possibly be attacking you. Rather than deal with what I say about those statements, even while admitting that it's what you (or other anonymous posters) are saying that's at issue, you make me out to be doing something nefarious -- "relentlessly attack", "almost no matter what". But I don't attack statements I agree with, so that's patently silly. And I only focus on a few juicy bits -- if I were "relentless", kinda like "Alien" or "Chucky", things would be quite different.

So I will take myself out of your latest attack piece because it simply is not true for me.

This is pathetic nonsense ... it is clear that you have no rational response to what I wrote and therefore resort to attacking me for writing it. A clue is that your post is all about me, without a single word about any issue being discussed here. As the bard said, "methinks thou doth protest too much".

8/23/2007 4:24 AM  
Anonymous jqb said...

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...

Who's wasting time here? The people posting their opinions OR the people who feel the need to control others by telling them they are wasting their time by expressing their opinions and to stop?


Indeed. This is one of those cases that the word "incontrovertible" is made for.

8/23/2007 4:26 AM  
Anonymous jqb said...

Can you take Wendy to court for misleading you with her public statements?

It's called the court of public opinion.

Wendy had no right to betray you.

No moral right. It's revealing that her supporters seem not to grasp the concept, or call it "academic", as they repeat their straw men about her property rights. No one has stolen, or advocated stealing, any of her property. The only law breakers in this fiasco are Ampersand and a couple of their perjurious employees.

8/23/2007 4:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jbq, no one appointed you to be the definitive morals police on this board. Chill. Sara, can you put a lid on this guy for a while to let things cool down?

8/23/2007 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the issue of private property:

If Wendy were a normal business owner who truly valued their business, none of this would have happened and we wouldn't even be having these discussions. A responsible business person treats their employees with respect, values their knowledge and experience, and is sensitive to the community that surrounds them. They realize that these things create stability and good will, which translates to revenue and profit. Owning a business is a whole lot more than owning a piece of property. A business is also a functioning part of the community and has an ethical responsibility to that community. Most busineses that ignore these things fail or get run out of town. The only reason the NP will not go under is that Wendy can afford to prop it up indefinitely. Cutting costs aside, she has lost a lot of revenue and still has a huge budget to cover.

The first NLRB hearing showed that there is a lack of ethics on the part of Wendy's management and I think we will see much more of that this time.

8/23/2007 9:16 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

jbq, no one appointed you to be the definitive morals police on this board.

Yet another silly strawman; no one said I was appointed, nor am I "policing" -- I don't have that power. But every human being has the right, even the responsibility, to point out moral transgressions.

Chill.

I'm quite cool already, thank you.

Sara, can you put a lid on this guy for a while to let things cool down?

What do you fear, that you have such a need to shut me up? If you don't like what I say, you don't have to read it.

8/24/2007 12:02 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

Sara, can you put a lid on this guy for a while to let things cool down?

So very sad, Sara, that you seem to have conceded to an anonymous appeal to disappear me.

8/24/2007 4:56 PM  

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