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Posted on February 22 at 3:42 p.m.
Let me get this straight. From the Independent story:
"Dawn Hobbs and Tom Schultz threatened or coerced people preparing copies of the News-Press for delivery to vendors, carriers and subscribers about six months ago. (Barry) Cappello said the filing of the charge was delayed until Hobbs and Schultz could be identified."
It took six months to ID Hobbs and Schultz? What, were they wearing ski masks, or had nylon stockings pulled over their heads?
Who did the "investigation," Travis Armstrong and Scott Steepleton? Yeah, I can see Travis and Scott tracking down unidentified rogue reporters and bringing them to justice over embellishing the truth to News-Press workers. I'm sure this duo's testimony would stand up in court.
And the timing of the News-Press filing this charge happens to be exactly in sync following the Teamsters' filing of an unfair labor practice charge?
Yeah, this all sounds perfectly logical, according to what Barry Cappello would like people to believe.
It's as open-and-shut a case as the last one the high-priced News-Press team of defense attorneys handled so similarly in late 2007's successful prosecution by attorneys for the National Labor Relations Board.
On Teamsters, <em>News-Press</em> Trade Unfair Labor Practice Charges
Posted on February 5 at 12:26 p.m.
Starshine wrote: "Readers take issue with everything from my name and photo to my choice of topics and apparently flaccid sense of humor."
From the samples given of how critics have expressed their biting opinions about Starshine's column, particularly some males, it's apparent that these guys harbor deep-rooted fears of flaccidity, if you know what I mean. And a beautiful, intelligent woman like Starshine writing well and clearly describing her comedic views would tend to spark performance anxiety among such males who simply fail to express themselves adequately or with conviction.
Keep up the good work, Starshine! As for you guys, just try to keep up with Starshine's sense of humor. Life should be fun and enjoyed, not a time to be nasty. If anyone has an intelligent opinion, let's hear it!
P.S. Always wondered when Psychology 101 would come in handy.
On How to Love Hate Mail
Posted on May 31 at 7:56 p.m.
Lou Cannon's letter responding to McCaw is available via a link on Craig Smith's blog. Very interesting reading! Cannon had said he would release it to the public if the News-Press refused to print it (the same way it refuses to publish other letters or op-ed pieces or news stories that fail to endorse the biases of management).
On <em>News-Press</em> Fires at Lou Cannon
Posted on May 2 at 1:22 p.m.
May I say that David Pritchett and Cathy Murillo deserve a round of applause for the rally hosted by operationcoldshoulder.com in front of the courthouse this morning.
Attended by about 65 people, the rally went well. An interesting sidenote is that a videographer supposedly working for the News-Press videotaped the event, and it wasn't for security chief Nick Montano, but reportedly for the News-Press's Web site. Now, that I'd like to see posted!
Channel 3's John Palminteri, along with a Channel 6 reporter, also covered the event, along with other videographers documenting the ongoing News-Press situation.
There was even a journalism class from Santa Barbara City College covering the rally as an assignment.
To paraphrase Robert Duvall from "Apocalypse Now," there's nothing like the smell of napalm or a News-Press rally early in the morning! ;)
On <em>News-Press</em> Circ Slides Nearly 10%
Posted on April 26 at 1:02 a.m.
Just when I thought the morale at the News-Press could not get any worse, this happens. Security chief Nick Montano's efforts to order the systems folks to spy on employees and report who was visiting enemy Web sites failed. So, this must be the backup plan, to block access to alternative news sources that report information that the News-Press wants to suppress, such as Jerry Roberts' recent news conference giving his side of the story.
First, it was do not attend farewell gatherings for staff who were fired or decided to quit. Undercover spies will report that you did, and you will be fired for disloyalty.
Second, don't participate in or show support for past employees in protest rallies, or you will be fired for disloyalty.
Third, do not look out the window at De La Guerra Plaza when a protest rally is occuring; that can be construed as a show of support, and you will be fired for disloyalty.
Fourth, if you're walking around outside while on lunch break or walking to or from your car and encounter a former employee, you must avoid eye contact, keep walking and talk out of the side of your mouth while pretending to ignore your former co-worker, or you will be fired for disloyalty.
What's next, spy cameras installed throughout the building with ongoing monitoring of employees? Anyone say something negative about the work environment, or pro-union, will be greeted with an envelope containing their final paycheck by the HR director, and told they are being fired for disloyalty.
Advice to anyone considering taking a job at the News-Press to help "turn it around" and improve it. Been there, done that, and learned the hard way that is definitely not a desirable trait to bring to the job.
To succeed at the News-Press, you need the personality traits, human relations skills, character and leadership abilities of folks such as editorial page editor Travis Armstrong, associate editor Scott Steepleton and human resources director Yolanda Apodaca. These three individuals have played vital roles in the "transition" of the Santa Barbara News-Press since July 2006 to what it is today, as key advisers to owner Wendy McCaw and co-publisher Arthur von Wiesenberger, neither of whom has journalism experience.
Perhaps this trio can tour the country to share their insights on how other newspapers can experience similar transitions, so media nationwide can benefit. They can take Dr. Laura with them to chronicle their successes in her column.
On Independent.com Banished from <em>News-Press</em> Computers
Posted on April 24 at 3:30 p.m.
All I can say about this matter is that based on my firsthand experience when I started as Assistant City Editor at the News-Press on Oct. 30, 2006, there was absolutely no security on my computer after tech support set it up for me. And I had no idea who may have accessed what sites before I even started using the computer. Even though I was allowed to input a password which was supposed to restrict access to only myself, I knew not to assume anything, so I tested it. I was able to simply click on my e-mail icon on the desktop monitor without using my password and open up my e-mails, reading everything I had sent and received the previous day. I was also able to send e-mails to others as if they were coming from me, and access the Internet with impunity. This greatly concerned me so I called tech support and urgently requested that they fix this breach of security immediately. I knew that anyone could simply turn on my computer and read my e-mails and send out e-mails posing as me. I figured a worst-case scenario would be for someone to e-mail a death threat to the president of the U.S. and I'd have the Secret Service knocking down my door the next day. The News-Press is in a peculiar situation claiming that any employee committed any wrongdoing on any computer unless it can prove who was using the computer at an exact time and date, and that the users had access security. Now the News-Press may also have to prove it had an absence of malice in reporting these allegations against Jerry Roberts, or else a jury may find it guilty of libel and slander and possibly award Roberts a huge financial verdict. My 30-year journalism career has included serious investigative reporting, but I always made sure I had my facts confirmed by several sources before going to print. Based on my experiences, I would have opposed running this story considering the shaky information supporting its allegations. Since there is no byline on the story, it shows me that the News-Press itself lacked the confidence to reveal who even wrote it. It makes me wonder if non-journalist attorneys or PR folks spun it. It appears that the current News-Press managers-, reporters- and editors-in-training have to learn the principles of journalism ethics the hard way, via a steady stream of courtroom trials, judges' findings and possibly even juries' verdicts, while depriving the community of professional local news coverage.
On Shameless News-Press Breaks Out the Kiddie Porn
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