Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Monday, September 03, 2007

POLITICAL PLAY of the WEEK: Political News Reporting by SB Daily Sound

In a late posting here (maybe because a Monday holiday still feels like the Sunday that ended the prior week), the Play this time is more about who is acting as a referee rather than an actual player in the Santa Barbara game of politics.

After 17 months in existence publishing Monday through Friday, Santa Barbara Daily Sound has matured nicely as a reliable source of local news where the reporting gets to the point and does not just repeat the spin, or miss the story altogether, as is the norm at the other daily “newspaper.” And all that at Daily Sound with only two news reporters, plus an arts dude/editor who sometimes writes news and sports too.

The randomly scattered Daily Sound print distribution still sucks, but at least they have an okay web site now, no longer restricted to Microsoft software. It also is all free access to all editions.

Yes, the News-Less-Press-Suppress-Mess often gets the scoop on A story, but seldom if ever THE story for local political or usually any interest. How many articles about Lompoc crime, the opening of a Santa Maria Library, or parts 1 through 12 of the boB-the-Tortoise saga do we really need here?

Sure, Daily Sound is no News-Press at its peak 20+ months ago during the November 2005 City election, but this Little Newspaper That Can is now turning out a consistent database of the new News of Record for Santa Barbara. If only their web site had a search function, we then could find those records.

If their news content shriveled and their advertisers fled, as we have seen in the other daily with lots of unpaid content on its pages, Daily Sound readers then could see more color photos by Janelle Holcombe, the long-time local gal and Brooks Institute graduate who seems to get her ambitious photos published from only one out of three events she covers. Daily Sound has too much news text to leave much room for news photos. They really need to learn easily how to insert photos and other images into their Blogspot web site, as easily demonstrated here.

Most recently, the Daily Sound new City Beat reporter, Eric Lindberg (three months on the job and freshly graduated from USC Annenberg J-School), already is starting to write like a seasoned Josh Molina with his acute nose for barnyard epithets passing off as news. The separate profiles last week of Santa Barbara City Council candidates Frank Hotchkiss and Dale Francisco were as if Josh “don’t-make-me-use-a-Public-Records-Act-request” Molina were on the byline. (No, not going to remind some readers here who Josh Molina is or locally was.)

The point here is not that these were deep investigations of just how wacky and inexperienced these candidates really are, but rather that a profile article was done at all early in this Silly Season. Granted, those candidates were quoted extensively to reveal their true, often off-point, myopic motivations for running for City Council, but profiles of the other candidates, later comparisons among the eight candidates, and enterprise news stories certainly seem like they would be on the long-range scheduling calendar for Daily Sound reporter Eric Lindberg.

As yet another anonymous blogger commenting about local newspapers, that’s the Play of the Week!

(Suggestions for comments: this Blogabarbara posting is about local political news coverage, not the maturity of Daily Sound Publisher/Trust-Fund-Baby Jeramy Gordon and his puzzling admiration of John Stossel and Robert Novak as syndicated opinion columnists.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That last swipe at Jeramy Gordon wasn't necessary -- no publisher in Santa Barbara, in any publication, is putting in longer hours to bring all of us the news.

9/03/2007 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And how "experienced" was Barnwell when he began his campaign 4 years ago? As for Williams, granted he was a political hack. But Schneider wasn't exactly Harriet Miller when she threw her hat into the political ring.

It's ironic that CS would choose a newspaper to gush over but then exhibit their blatant bias with respect to the upcoming council race. Should we assume the Daily Sound will be too?

9/03/2007 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why all the negative tension?
We don't want to hear your sarcastic, condescending remarks on individual trying their best to report news in Santa Barbara. Bashing others is not a solution.

9/03/2007 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CS: your tone is getting tiresome. longtime Blogabarbara readers deserve more than your sarcastic retorts and arrogant judgments of others

9/03/2007 5:30 PM  
Anonymous city watcher said...

4:46: Barnwell had been on the Planning Commission for 4 or maybe 8 years before he ran for City Council and for years before that on the Rental Mediation Task Force. Schneider had been on the Housing Authority Commission. These are volunteer positions, requiring a lot of time and although not Council experience, definitely experienced in at least some of the issues that come before the Council.

I don't think that Hotchkiss, Francisco or Giddens have cared enough, apparently, to volunteer their time on these mostly thankless but important civic participation opportunities. Cooper is on the Transportation/Circulation committee but has withdrawn and I don't know about the others.

Volunteering for a city committee does show a willingness to transcend one's own self-interest and ego, but of course being on a commission is not a prerequisite for Council. I don't think Williams was on any city committee or commission, nor were Falcone or Horton - but I am not sure about that.

I look forward to the remaining interviews which will definitely help me decide for whom to vote.

9/03/2007 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its time to boycott citizen stringers remarks just like I dont read Travis's or the News Press. It is strange but CS seems worse than I remember Travis, Wendy, or the Baron. Several weeks and nothing but mainly ill founded attacks...

SDG its not to question your motives but if you are so upset over the unfairness and mean qualities of the Newspress editorials why do you let this person rage on your blog?

9/03/2007 6:49 PM  
Anonymous boB said...

I would like to think that it was an accident, but I doubt that. Someone needs to find some new material and not rename that dude:

".......or parts 1 through 12 of the boB-the-Tortoise saga do we really need here?.......

I'M boB ----> 8-O

He's Bob ---> O-^

9/03/2007 8:05 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

6:49 pm -- yes, CS shows up here a bit differently than I but the truth is that readership is up on the days CS posts the Political Play. Give me another view and I will post it as a community post...

9/03/2007 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Jeramy Gordon is a "Trust-Fund-Baby" then what on earth is News-Press Publisher Authur Wiesenberger?

9/03/2007 9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good riddance to Josh Molina - I never attended a city meeting where I thought we were sharing the same time and space on the same planet. He was one of the hugely biased reporters I am very happy to see gone.

And I liked Josh as a person, but his reporting totally sucked and I say this with certainty because he and I attended too many of the same meeting which were unrecognizable once he wrote them up.

No news was better than his sound-bite slant. And that is what you people thought was the real news. It was not and that served our community very badly.

9/03/2007 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Daily Sound has the best local columnists who are emerging as truly independent critics of the faltering status quo in this town.

The incumbents threw out every single campaign promise they made to protect the neighborhoods and sold us down the river. That is not going to be forgotten on election day. Nope, not at all.

You would be surprised to learn how may stauch Democratic voters have moved into the conservative, no growth, no affordable housing camp. The city council missed this one totally. They sold us out. And the Blue line is symbolic of this sell-out. And I still don't think they understand why.

9/03/2007 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this guy (gal) it so tells the true fabric of our community.

That he/she has to take a mean shot at everyone and anyone for some unknown reason.

Because Jeramy has a trust fund means he does not have to work, yet chooses to do so - that is something to praise not to attack.

sara - I'm with you. It makes things interesting and illustrates the deep self focused angry Santa Barbara liberal base.

Makes me feel somewhat sane for few minutes.

9/03/2007 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh Molina is and was a talented newsman who had a nose for a scoop. His reporting is missed and the San Jose Mercury News is lucky to have him. It took him 10 years of hard work, starting at the SBCC Daily Channels, to develop into a top city hall reporter, so let's give Lindbergh a little more time before we start putting the pressure of that comparison on him.

9/04/2007 7:34 AM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

I think CS embarrasses him/herself just about every time a post is thrown up. First I'm Al Qaeda, now the Daily Sound is a product of the wealthy trust fund elite and they slant because John Stossel has a column. Next time (s)he will probably tie it all up and we'll learn that John Stossel is Al Qaeda. Sara has to keep it going, though, because the comment threads are so strong when that person posts. Keep em coming, CS, because while your posts are otherwise meritless, they do have entertainment value.

9/04/2007 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Jon Stossel said...

If the Daily Sound is so great for its political reporting, then why no article yet of the financial reports for all these candidates?

Some reports were due at the end of July.

The swipe at the Daily Sound publisher is out of bounds and probably not even true. Why not just comment here about the original subject, the good or bad work of the Daily Sound political reporting.

9/04/2007 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Citizen Stringer, what are you rambling about? Get to the point already.

9/04/2007 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 9:16 ...

In what way was Josh Molina? You don't even have to give specific examples, just in which direction did you perceive him to be biased?

I'm tired of hearing that "bias" accusation with no explanation or examples. Back it up or shut it up.

9/04/2007 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For centuries now hasn't the Western world used a calendar that ends the week with Saturday and starts the week with Sunday?

9/04/2007 8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh Molina was not biased he was naive.

9/04/2007 8:47 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

To 4:04pm:

Josh = Friend of Das. Josh always painted Das in a better light than he deserved.

9/04/2007 10:40 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

bill, bill, bill -- you must really want Das to guest comment again! Gotta give Das credit for that...and I don't think there was a love affair between the two in the paper. Maybe you should get to know Das -- you might like him!

9/05/2007 12:24 AM  
Anonymous Back to the Point said...

This Play of the Week is about the local political reporting of the Daily Sound newspaper.

So is the reporting good or not?

As this posting points out, that fact that they had any profile articles at all is a big improvement over all the alternatives.

Disappointing, though, is that the profile of Litten yesterday did not explore any other issues than his narrow range environmental platform. What else would that well-known Libertarian be supporting if he were elected?

9/05/2007 8:56 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

CS: I'm not sure I understand your little swipe at Jeramy Gordon. Are you trying to say he's immature? If so, what do you have to back this up? Did he get a DUI like Trav?

Did you ask Gordon is he is a trust-fund-baby or is that just your biased reporting?

9/05/2007 12:14 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Sara: Been there done that regarding Das. The point about D.W. is that the more you "know", the less there is to "like". Unless you're into charlatans.

9/05/2007 11:41 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Ouch. Let's take it easy....

9/06/2007 6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Das learned his political future lies catering to the Golden Triangle and not bothering anymore with the constituency that got him elected --which was the first time anyone got elected not carrying the entire Golden Triangele (Riviera, Upper East andSan Roque).

9/06/2007 5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the DS, and it has matured, but why on earth did they pick Loretta Redd and Cheri Rae as their editorial columnists? They basically share the same no growth, no build NIMBY attitude that Wendy and Travis had. I was hoping/still hope Jeramy adds a few other viewpoints from the community as op-ed writers.

Regarding the comment above that the "distribution still sucks" I see it differently. It's free online (unlike the NP) in it's "as printed" form so why waste the trees printing and distributing hard copies of it?

9/06/2007 11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most local's like
Cheri Rae's Column, She tells it like it was, and what it shall be.

9/07/2007 2:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto (tells it like it is) for Loretta Redd who is no longer listed as a columnist in the DS - too bad, because she was darn good.

9/09/2007 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loretta Redd is still a columnist with the Sound. Her column runs on Tuesday! And I agree, both her and Cheri Rae tell it how it was and should be.

9/10/2007 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"both her and Cheri Rae tell it how it was and should be."

You've just illustrated the entire problem with the NIMBY "neighborhood preservationist" cause.

They want time to stand still - which, unless they've also protested against - seems scientifically impossible!

9/11/2007 12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the restaurant columnist!

9/11/2007 8:38 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home