The Wrong Fence

N-P Puts Up Scary, Ugly Fence

(Photos by Paul Wellman)

Seems like someone over at the News-Press got confused
by all the chatter about walls between the newsroom and the
editorial opinion at modern American newspapers. So instead of
actually re-installing that wall within the halls of the newspaper,
the paper’s top brass (namely Arthur von Wiesenberger, we hear)
decided to erect a wall outside of the building, further separating
the paper from its increasingly disenchanted and dismayed

SBNP%20Fence.JPGThis new wall, which is actually a green
mesh fence that blocks off the newspaper’s main parking lot from
Anacapa Street (not to mention what must be a public easement
shortcut to Ortega Street), was installed last Friday, just as the
embattled newsroom staff was digesting their turkey dinners. That’s
when The Indy‘s photog-about-town Paul Wellman captured
these thrilling puttin’-up-the-fence shots. The one above is what
the building now looks like with its fancy green perimeter, while
the one below features Martin Duran of Fence Factory installing a
chain link fence with “privacy mesh screening” along Anacapa

SBNP%20Fence1.JPGAccording to shocked N-P
insiders, no one on the staff was warned about the fence. The
‘s newsroom is currently investigating whether the
newspaper even went through the proper city planning hoops in
erecting the ugly green eyesore; our early reports suggest that the
fence may not have been legally permitted, but we’ve got a few more
of our own journalistic hoops to jump before confirming that. (Look
to Thursday’s print edition for our update on that.) But if we find
that the N-P did go through the proper hoops, what was the
city thinking in allowing the paper to block views of the paper’s
beautiful and historic, if forever tarnished, building? Don’t we
have planning laws in place to allow citizens to comment on such
publicly placed fences?

But the biggest question is, of course, why? Why did Wendy McCaw
and her cabal go for a fence? Was it to block out the pro-objective
journalism placards displayed by so many newsroom employees? Was it
to shut out the rest of the world, which clearly isn’t looking so
favorably on the newspaper these days? Was it to stop photogs like
Paul Wellman from getting shots like these? Was it to further hide
from the truth? Or most frighteningly, was it to shut the
union-enlisting employees in?

Whatever the answer, it’s obvious that the paper will stop at
nothing to make itself the ugly duckling in the middle of Santa


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