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Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Monday, March 31, 2008

Bias in the Newsroom? Mayor Gets Cold Shoulder

Craig Smith points out that the News-Press failed to cover the State of the City speech Mayor Blum gave last Thursday. In years past, there had been a photographer as well as a front page article on the speech. According to Smith's post, a News-Press reporter finally committed to cover it after watching a rerun on government access television.

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25 Comments:

Anonymous Wendy's War said...

What’s sinking the News-Press is that coverage of local news is MIA. What State of the City? Have UCSB and Goleta slipped into the ocean (except for sports)? Where’s the upper East, the lower East, the Westside, county government, the battle for Naples, the schools, the Mesa, Carpinteria?

We instead see multiple day things like those about a parakeet in Pasadena and a turtle in Ventura.

Who cares?

McCaw and Weisenburger are like a clueless Bush standing on the aircraft carrier, proclaiming “Mission Accomplished.” They don’t get that they’ve created an insurgency – a network of local news and balanced opinion -- allowed to flourish and morph by the internet, that will continue for decades, as McCaw’s once monolith of a “daily” crumbles.

3/31/2008 6:03 AM  
Anonymous Snow Job said...

Wendy and crew "get it". You don't.

Subscribe to the daily sound for home delivery if you want the mayor's sound bites. Speaking before a commercial entity like the chamber of commerce is not newsworthy.

This was not a state of the union address; it was a campaign solicitation. Don't dress up this pig with lipstick just so you can whine about Wendy.

3/31/2008 7:32 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Perhaps all that's needed is a name change, Say the "McCaw-TravistyPress" or maybe the "Daily Pound"? That way folks won't have an expectation of local news coverage.

As a disinterested bystander, even I think it is pretty low to not cover the mayor's speech...and still claim to be a local newspaper.

3/31/2008 8:12 AM  
Blogger Greg Knowles said...

That is truly a sad state of affairs. I have done my best not to get sucked in by all the News Press drama over the last many years, but I thought I would just make that quick comment.

3/31/2008 8:28 AM  
Anonymous christine said...

It really is sad how the shift in "local" news has left a void in the SBNP. They report nothing for my area, the Santa Ynez Valley- and I mean nothing. Thank God for the Santa Ynez Valley Journal!! They used to have a whole section devoted to local news, for petes sake! Now, a "staff report" gives us brief glimpses of 2 day old news.

I really want my paper back.

I truly hope I meet Travis Armstrong in person one day. I have so much to say to him.

3/31/2008 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Guardian Angel said...

Excellent article on the chamber of commerce meeting in Monday's home delivered Newspress by Angel Pacheco. He is a fine writer and the article has depth, information and no bias.

3/31/2008 8:54 AM  
Anonymous xyz said...

That was a McCaw, bird variety, and not "a parrakeet in Pasadena" --- and also a national-interest story about vicious cruelty to a turtle, wrecking an autistic child's dreams. I care about both, the joy of finding a lost pet and the attention to animal cruelty.

However, I also care about what's happening in the neighborhoods of Santa Barbara --- and what the council and commissions are doing. Probably the reporter did not attend the state of the city meeting because the editor, Steepleton, either didn't know about it or, following orders about lack of publicity about the mayor, didn't task the reporter to report.

3/31/2008 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Wrong parakeet anyway said...

Day old Blum is not easy to digest, but a three day old puff piece? Come on, News-Press, did your reporter report by watching city TV over the weekend? No comments from anyone other than Blum, since they are tough to get from a barcalounger?

Wendy promised "best local news to be had" -- is she delivering?

3/31/2008 9:12 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

I guess I'm still amazed that anyone cares what Marty Blum has to say.

3/31/2008 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Huse said...

UCSB is proposing 3300 new housing units on campus, and has the News-Press even made a cursory report?

Could the News-Press find the Goleta Water District, Goleta West Sanitation Districvt, or Goleta Union School District to inquire about the impacts?

3/31/2008 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Guardian Angel said...

People, people, people, get your Auntie Wendy panties untwisted. Angel Pacheco attended the meeting and wrote a fine article about it.

It was not breaking newsworthy so it appeared on Monday. It was lengthy and nicely written.

Thank you NewsPress and Angel for getting the local newstories right, and in due time.

4/01/2008 12:30 AM  
Anonymous Blythe Blogger said...

Guardian Angel, are you kidding me? "No news before its time"? News really isn't like wine (or even pizza!), it's more like a hamburger, to paraphrase one of the co-publishers. It's not very tasty or alluring once it gets cold, which happens rather quickly after it emerges from the grill. This is not a "features" piece, or a story in the Life section, and even those are often connected to a season or a particular event or time of year. Can you imagine waiting 'til a week after the president orates to report on the State of the Union?

4/01/2008 6:10 AM  
Anonymous Snooze, not news said...

Blythe, this was a paid invitation event for a special intereset group. You err comparing this to a state of the union address to elected officials and the nation.

It was not news except for the fact it was a bit more realistic than the prior chamber of commerce fluff pieces in the past.

But news, surely you joke? It was a pricey breakfast event. This is no more news worthy than attending a charity ball. They should have sent Lorraine Wilson to cover it.

4/01/2008 8:59 AM  
Blogger Eileen Hamilton said...

As a lifetime subscriber to the News-Press (OK it was my parent's subscription when I was a child) I want to thank Wendy for all she’s done. Because of her I now subscribe to the LA Times (which has excellent coverage of a wide range of topics) and get my local news from internet sources, The Independent, and The Daily Sound. Would I love to have my local paper back? You bet. Am I crying and whining about it? No way. I’ll re-subscribe to the News-Press as soon as Wendy no longer owns it. She has the right to run her paper anyway she wants (even if it means running it into the ground) and I have the right not to pay good money for it. I just hope the paper is still worth salvaging by the time she bails out.

4/01/2008 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Snow blob said...

Why bother to report on the president's state of the union speech? It's only a political effort to boost the Republicans and not as newsworthy as if Bush's dog went missing and sparked a nationwide doghunt prompting Dog Chapman, the Bounty Hunter, to enter the search.

4/01/2008 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Laughing stock-watch said...

speaking of self-serving editing----anyone see the N-P letter to the Editor from Kathy Lucien thanking "outstanding citizen like Travis Armstrong"...I mean, is that whacked or what---printing such drivel....(by the way-you don't have to pay to read it---its visible as a teaser on the letters page)

4/01/2008 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Snowflake said...

There are plenty of people that like Travis and appreciate the stands he is taking lately against growth. You need to grasp this fact. He has his genuine fans. This is reality in this town.

4/01/2008 9:23 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I won't be printing any comments which attack the messenger here -- the letter from the editor was just that and they have a right to say as they wish. The News-Press obviosuly has a right to publish what letters they want as well -- but the biased proof is in the pudding, no?

4/02/2008 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Friend of Bill said...

To Laughing Stock, why are you still even reading the teasers of the NewsPress since you hate it so much. Methinks you need a 12 Step Program to break your nasty habits here.

4/02/2008 7:48 AM  
Anonymous browned out said...

Since we're on the topic of missing pieces, did anyone notice that The Independent hasn't mentioned a word about Janet Wolf pooping all over her constituents?

Seems relevant.

4/02/2008 9:47 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

"pooping" -- that's a creative way to get through moderation BO! As this post isn't about what Janet did or didn't do -- it might be more effective to explain your concern?

4/03/2008 5:11 AM  
Anonymous NEWS reader said...

Sara---where's the "yabba dabba" on the tacky--not to mention inaccurate---phrasing of 9:47........BTW- the Independent did something called a "news article" [foreign concept to those who get their "news" from the N-P op-ed pages] on what ACTUALLY took place at the hearing in question.

4/03/2008 5:51 AM  
Anonymous Rain and Snow said...

The News-Press has lost about a quarter of the people buying its paper, and the associate editor, who is really the main editor, and who reportedly doesn't live in Santa Barbara county, parcels out news duties each day to three "general assignment" reporters, according to Craig Smith's version of what Wendy McCaw's lawyer told a federal judge this week.

The News-Press blames its historic collapse in readers on the union and even the internet, instead of on Wendy McCaw's business decision to stop regularly covering big chunks of local news.

Does the Indy have a bigger and more experienced news staff than the News-Press now? Did it cover the Mayor's speech? How about the Daily Sound? Even Noozhawk? KEYT? Where does the News-Press rank now among local media in having reporters and editors covering local hard news? How many did it have before the Mess? Anyone know?

4/03/2008 7:32 AM  
Anonymous browned out said...

Yes, Sara. That's my point exactly. You have to read the NewsPress to know that Janet Wolf was the sole supervisor adamant to leave a glaring rezoning loophole in the Goleta Valley planning process. This act is in exact opposition to her campaign promise to be against rezoning while the planning is process.

It is a slap in the face to the people of unincorporated Goleta Valley. Why did she do it? Only the dealers she works with behind closed doors know the answers to that. Her constituents will have to watch her closely to be sure.

The NewsPress is holding her accountable, as they do so well.

Daily Sound? I don't always catch it, so I don't know if they reported it or not.

The Independent? More like The Co-dependent, kissing up to and enabling the fans of overdevelopment. As usual, their article talks about the woes of the affordable housing advocates, and ignores the concerns of the current residents. BTW, if you were at the hearing you'd know that Uninc. Goleta Valley hosts more affordable housing per capita than any other south coast region, so please consider that before popping off.
--
Yes, blogger named "news reader", I was there, and I read the Indy's lame article. Which developer-backed organization do you work for?

4/03/2008 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Building Industry = "Affordable" Advocates said...

Everyone knows the affordable housing advocates is just a buzz word for the building industry. They are the only people who are still pushing this agenda.

It is amazing how many progressives got duped into their pro-growth agenda simply because they tarted it up with the name affordable, which in fact is a meaningless term.

From now on just substitute building industry every time you hear the words "affordable housing". They only support those few trashing affordable units so they can get their bonus density and every re-zoning and modification they can choke out of a project.

The joke's on us if we keep letting them play this charade.

4/05/2008 10:30 PM  

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