Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Rather than think of the paper as a dying dinosaur, think of it as something coveted?
That's right, we said COVETED!
Retro has it...covered.
Retro is fresh, and so appeals to the twentysomething set who haven't seen it yet in newsprint. That's why it's a good move, although purists in the comments area here think it's too tabloid.
Our only quibble was yesterday's very thin Helvetica below the fold on the Shards of Agony piece. Too light! Almost lost it...
There is a fine line between the splashy moderne look of many fonts inc. and different fonts that mesh well. The helvetica was great on Sunday's A1 for the skyboxes, in color.
And now to read my paper, the Los Angeles Times!
(after some Boston Globe gossip...next up)
Read that here:
Click and go...
and follow his quest to find the perfect Irish Coffee in town...
Betcha the fab barteneder at Alcazar (down the street from The Daily Sound) knows how to conjure one...if it's anything like those Mojitos she does...look out!
Congrats Daily Sound -- looks fab!
Meanwhile you can check out what people are saying about the Los Angeles Times' new look over at Matt Welch's place, next up.
Monday, October 23, 2006
LAT goes retro, but of course...!
The half rules are a bit odd, though? for the subheds and bylines. Sunday looked a lot better, (thank heavens) than we thought it was going to. All that color bounced the eye in fab ways. But, that ad on the front of Calendar? Bad move. There are other ways to get close to Hollywood like you did inside.
And, the masthead seemed larger, even.
Monday's editorial page was interesting. Of course, some people may need to understand what editorial pages are for. Like say, the fool editor up here.
You are so fab LAT.
All you have to do is take a look at the dwindling page count and advertising, and it could be yours, this whole territory. Yours!
That new house ad looks much better in the colored version too.
Suggest a possible color hed at bottom of monday's A-1? Or another bolded sans serif hed to be even more daring.
Sunday was a coup. The boxes didn't detract.
Center the half rules? that new folio on the front is great too.
So, our weekly weighed in at 238 pages...Not too shabby, no. Very fab for them at The Independent.
Fab job, LAT.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
FAB news! LA Times ad overheard on KTYD, for WEST mag...
We need a newspaper up here, instead of the pithy, useless unethical rag we have.
KTYD is the place for your spots, LAT.
By now, most all have heard of the lawsuit filed against the SBNP by former employees regarding their working conditions. How disgusting in this day and age to think one can run a paper like some kind of Dark Age citadel.
One might ask of Mr. Alcorn after reading his editorial "Why would god do something like that?" -- Why would you, as CFO, do something like that to your employees? Or perhaps one might ask the same of Ms. Apodaca. If they have violated the law with their practices, we trust Mr. Anticouni to sort it all out in the courts.
Basically, in Santa Barbara -- we need you LA Times, because you are a newspaper, and not a standing joke.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Now, last Thursday he had a piece in about fall bulbs. Nice section by the way...overall. Perhaps you might want to consider expanding the Food and Home Secs and pumping up the goodwill/Human Interest?
We love the Times when it runs that stuff. Important! It balances the pain and bleakness?
But you NEED great writers like Mr. Smaus to do it.
He was your best?
Go back in the biz of selling related books? It was an inspired idea!
Maybe Russ Parsons?
We'd buy it.
The NP published "Headlines" once. You could do it too, for LAT?
We love you, Los Angeles Times. And we are holding our breath up here, for all of you.
Santa Barbara could use an FCC hearing too. Huh?
click title or cut and paste this link:
(or try red title and click it!)
Oct. 10, 2006. 07:35 AM
click title or link:
Sunday October 8, 2006
old fashioned link:
Put up or shut up: Newspapers aren't the only forum for great journalism
Commentary: Some critics want to buy the Los Angeles Times from Tribune to protect the quality of local journalism. But there's another way to do that.
By Robert Niles
(Click the red title and go)
All quiet on the Western front lines, sort of...
Read Craig Smith today, and see how to lose your last shred of dignity in Santa Barbara, blondly.
Read me & weep
Next up, USC weighs in on newspapers of the future... (Thanks to Kevin Roderick's LAObserved this morning for tipping us off) He's already got this going on, by the way, fabulously, over at LAOBserved. Don't miss it.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Let's face facts about the Newspaper Industry...
It was expensive.
Now that cost is coming due.
But don't make the mistake of thinking you can keep on cutting the human element out, because for one thing content will suffer and then you will lose your reputation and brand.
Instead, capitalize on the fact you are a newspaper. And get back into the biz of being a newspaper. The Los Angeles Times does this very well already. Increasing the writing/graphic content is only going to make things better and bigger aka circulation. The web is an adjunct for the 20-something set. First you have to teach them how to read, though, and you will do this by hooking them electronically with all the splashy, graphic stuff they are used to.
Staff morale at papers has been in the dumps since the 80's. It's a fear factor kind of thing where too many managers have spoiled the broth, and too many incompetent HR directors didn't give a flying f*ck. It used to be so all about team building didn't it? All those meetings, except, usually the managers were less smart than the workers themselves, and teams weren't ever actually built, were they? Remember those stupid posters that were all about striving for excellence that had dolphins and skiers standing in as corporate...right. You know what I'm talking about, and if you don't, they can be found here, courtesy of Allposters.com
(read motivational posters)
Salaries got very inflated for middle managers who were always talking poormouth about why nobody beneath them deserved a raise. Then you had the horror stories about goings on elsewhere as the media conglomerates were buying up newspaper chains by the score. And fear, absolutely. And then layoffs which were done in a terribly cruel fashion and only made the industry sadder, not prouder.
This has ruled the whole newspaper industry for the last 20 years.
And now, the bill has come due. So this is what the publishers like Mr. David Hiller are facing. The corporate parent wants to know where the money is. Well? Why did you listen to all the BS from the suits who wanted to look good and made you spend so many bazillions on all their tech-y stuff in the first place? The programs were dumb, huh? I won't name names but it rhymes with Bad Seed, or Sage Seed, which it wasn't.
Don't make the publishers hang for the fiscal mistakes, just make them understand by listening to and working with the staff.
It's time to repair the damage done to employee MORALE, newspaper by newspaper.
Your staff is the GOLDMINE.
As far as we are concerned The Los Angeles Times is the best o' the West along with San Fran.
Don't blow it out here. And, under Mr. Jeff Johnson we LOVED what the paper has done. You appeal to the sophisticated demographic here in Santa Barbara.
The Times should bring him back as an advisor. If he'd consider it, at this point. '
You really don't want a Santa Barbara-style fiasco on the venerable LAT's hands.
Read an excerpt here, and click red title above for the whole piece...
Let's do for news what we did for software
By Doc Searls on Sat, 2006-10-07 09:34.
There have always been problems with distributing urgent public safety information. These problems show up, over and over, with every hurricane, tornado, flood and wildfire. At this moment in history, problems fall in three areas of responsibility (and, for that matter, responsiveness):
- The old official channels (radio, TV, newspapers) are scaling back on live news coverage (or on news coverage, period)
- The new official channels (web sites and services, "reverse 911") are still, as we've been saying since 1995, "under construction".
- The new unofficial channels (cell phones, blogs, RSS feeds, phone trees) are still no substitute for the Real Thing, whatever it will become.
Lately I've been thinking about some simple hacks we can do in #3 that will give some needed assistance to #s 1 and 2 as well.
What got me thinking was the Day Fire, which lasted almost a month. What began as a trash fire ended as the 5th largest wildfire in California history. By the time it was contained early this week, the Day Fire covered 162,702 acres , or about 250 square miles — a total that exceeds the dimensions of Chicago. In the middle of its last week, the Day Fire was fought by nearly five thousand people, armed with 226 engines, 45 'dozers, 41 water tenders, 28 helicopters, 9 helitankers and more than 10 air tankers. Its cost so far have exceeded $70 million. As of yesterday (October 6), 831 personnel remain assigned to the fire. (Although it's contained, the fire is not yet out.)
Yet news coverage of the Day Fire was notably minimal — even as rivers of dark smoke flowed over the heads of millions, and ash fell like snow. Why?
Ken Reich worked for the L.A. Times for 39 years, retiring in June, 2004. Before The Times, he worked for Life magazine, United Press International and the Riverside Press-Enterprise. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1960 and received an M.A. in political science from UC Berkeley in 1962. While at The Times, Ken covered the Presidential campaigns of Eugene McCarthy, George Wallace, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, was the paper's Southern correspondent in 1970-72, served briefly as Op-Ed Page Editor, was the lead writer on the preparations for the 1984 Olympics, covered insurance and the law, for three years wrote a Consumer Column, and covered earthquakes and volcanoes off and on for 25 years.
His blog will be keeping a close watch on events to the south, we imagine. He represents the esteemed generation of journalists like Mr. Vanocur and Mr. Cannon who were so very present during all the rallys for the Santa Barbara News-Press journalists of late.
To read more about Mr. Cannon and Mr. Vanocur there is an interview here, from Pacific Coast Business Times HERE
Or here is the link:
We loved this, but she has a VERY impressive list of credentials too...
"Dow Jones' MarketWatch headlined a recent profile on her, "In-your-face Finke keeps Hollywood honest: Nobody writes tougher stuff than this LA Weekly scribe." The article said "Finke is a rarity at a time when many entertainment writers are either too awed, ill-informed or lazy to do serious reporting on Tinseltown. In fact, no writer relishes taking the rich and famous down a peg as much as this LA Weekly print columnist/Web journalist."
Click the red title above and go over to an interesting read about our new LAT publisher to the south...this news ought to raise and eyebrow or two up here in Santa Barbara.
Next up, Ken Reich, an LAT retiree, equally impressive bio -- for his take on Mr. Hiller out of Chicago.
Friday, October 06, 2006
The Los Angeles Times loses a BRAVE HEART in Jeff Johnson
Up here in Santa Barbara, this matters.
We don't have to know Mr. Baquet, or Mr. Johnson personally to understand the dark days ahead for The Los Angeles Times, because it all happened here when the New York Times jettisoned the Santa Barbara News-Press back in 2000.
It wasn't the first sale the paper had been through, but it was the sale that killed the soul of our newspaper here in Santa Barbara.
You can almost hear the hushed whispers of the newsroom now, down in Los Angeles. You get it tangibly through the web. It's in the rage over at LA Weekly's Nikki Finke's column, just as it has been up here in our Nick Welsh.
One look at the fat-cheeked lawyer out of Chicago in today's paper and you know what he's been sent West to do. Rape the place. Just like what happened here in Santa Barbara.
Oh, the big guns would like to keep it all hush-hush. God forbid if the true stories came out. A lawyer's reputation in our tidy community might be at stake too, wouldn't it?
But we're a small town here, so it's different. It's oh so visible when almost an entire newsroom staff walks. Today we got a glimpse of the figures from The Los Angeles Times. It's on page A-20, six columns over, graf number one.
"The Times' workforce has dropped from 5,300 to about 2,800 since Tribune's takeover in 2000 -- with the editorial operation suffering only a fraction of the cuts that hit other divisions."
And that's when you love the Los Angeles Times. Because they are going to tell the public the truth about what is going on. This quality alone makes them venerable.
You can feel what's happening like a buzz saw slicing right into a tree. Little groups of people who have been working in fear since 2000 are assembling over coffee or organic tea laced with pomegranite essence. The silence is so thick you could slice it. Chicago's already pulled off the first round, so they've gotten used to it. Never knowing when the axe is going to fall. If you imagine this hasn't created a dog-eat-dog atmosphere for the entire staff, you are very wrong.
And all of it, all the pain is suffered just to make more and more profit out of Wall Street.
Do you care are about the lives you are about to ruin, Mr. Hiller? Do you Chicago Tribune? Did you, New York Times?
It's high time the truth about what is really going on in the industry comes out.
And it's high time the American people stood up to protect the press in our country, from politicians on down to the last migrant worker in a strawberry field.
What has happened in and to the industry is unethical and wrong.
Remember this, Mr. Hiller, on your second day in Los Angeles.
Whatever comes next for Mr. Johnson, we give him a standing ovation from Santa Barbara. He has the rare quality of being an ethical man.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Free-Market Capitalism. Simple.
Since November is coming up pretty soon, well, it's time to think politically once again. In the Star's opinion installing solar in California could be done ala New Deal, and put many to work right here in our state.
Think of all the fab art and projects that came from The New Deal as well.
We need a return to civics rather than going back to the Dark Ages.
If newspapers depend on Wall Street alone, we are in VERY big trouble.
A newspaper is a newspaper first and foremost. The Star hopes all in the industry remember that. It's not about he who has the best advertising wins, is it?
Lose our newspapers and you lose everything.
Let the Free-Market capitalists control the Press? Nope. A very bad move indeed.
Especially for politicians.
What if Wall Street crashes like it did in 1929?
History always repeats itself.
Act too much like Marie Antoinette around Santa Barbara and it won't bode well here.
Next up, Wikipedia's take.
What we want to know is how come there is so much anti-labor sentiment right now?
Look at the homeless problems all over the country. What we need is something like FDR's "New Deal" in The Star's opinion. Put people to work, right here, and stop outsourcing.
Quit letting the mega-corporations RULE!
Next up, what was The New Deal, anyway?
Well, take a look a Hoover Dam. Or our main Post Office right on Anacapa Street!
The WPA! That's American.
Let us now praise famous men.
That was part of it too.
James Agee and Walker Evans. Journalists.
Here is an excerpt:
"The board's decision will resonate well beyond nurses, though. The union rights of building trades workers, newspaper and television employees, technicians and many others are on the line. As The New York Times points out, the board made specific reference to retail workers, providing a blueprint for reclassifying employees of Wal-Mart, grocery stores and other retail operations as supervisors. "The assignment of an employee to a certain department (e.g., housewares) or to a certain shift (e.g., night) or to certain significant overall tasks (e.g., restocking shelves) would generally qualify" a retail worker as having the supervisory responsibility of "assigning," the board's majority wrote."
Don't miss this read, or the next one over at Firedoglake, this morning. When we did a little research over the summer as the melt down began at the News-Press we found links about the Kentucky River Cases, and the NLRB.
Our sense then was that they wanted a union because they needed a voice, but why The Teamsters and not The Newspaper Guild? It didn't make sense at first. With this new ruling though, now it makes a lot of sense. The whole industry looks like it will be in for a big fat change at newspapers all over the country, as people get reclassified on the job.
Now, put the country's newsprint media into the hands of just a few, add in all the outsourcing, and you come up with a pretty devastating forecast for the American Press. It doesn't look good. Wire stories just don't cut it, do they? Your newspaper should not be just a wrapper for filler ads by big conglomerates. Take the Sunday paper for example and deconstruct it by taking out all the ads. Then take out the classified and home sections which are advertorial anyway. How many sections do you have left?
Then, check the bylines. Where are they coming from? Are they local, or wire?
How many stories are prescient to you? How many are local news?
Next up, Firedoglake! It's all about labor, so don't look at it in terms of blame towards political parties, okay? We want you to read this and grapple with what has just happened and what it might potentially mean for the press in our country. It's VERY important.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Click that red title and see how to make one for yourselves. It's the REAL THING!
And all pressmen make them! (It's part of the tradition)...
And part of the lore of the industry, and the history...
Another tip of the hat to Ed and Co. down just a bit to the south of us.
We will be linking to him as well! (just think virtual newspaper.com)...and there you have it.
Virtual Newspaper.com (thoughts on this...concept)
Feel free, to let us know if you'd like to run an essay here? About the biz! Or memories of good times in the industry, or even funny stories of newspaper heroics behind the scenes.
Because we are all one big family in a way! And we can show what it is like at papers, or what it was like once, perhaps.
The industry is so profoundly American. Regardless of the technology used to produce it, isn't it?
Ed even has a Pressman's hat, you can make! So you see, we are all linked, even here in the web because we share collective memories of the newspaper biz! (which is like no other -- let me tell you!)
Ed's blog is one to follow, for an inside view of what a pressroom is. They have so much heart at his blog. He honors the pressmen who came before him -- like with the piece about the hat. Because that's how it goes, when you work for one. A tradition we used to have at The News-Press was making up a page for a person who was retiring.
It was a front page! And all the little funny memories would be written up in Editorial, pictures gathered, and so forth. The Camera Department would make a velox print, and if you were really special...really special, you got a real newsprint page because the pressmen set that up.
I wonder if they have traditions like that at The Los Angeles Times?
At any rate, instructions and a photo of a pressman's hat are in order courtesy of Ed. And anyone feel free to leave stories?
Ahhh, nostalgia for the good times. Once, long ago.
We do own the domain Santa Barbara Star Free Press, in addition to this blogspace, but at present the site is under construction. Perhaps, it will just be about all the fab people in the industry, afterall!
Next up, that hat!
Seeing it makes me smile inside all over the place.
More sad news from The Santa Barbara News-Press
We are very sad about this news. Starshine was a wonderful columnist and tremendous asset to the News-Press. We met her many years ago now, before the birth of her two sons, even! She harkened from the era of "The Brat Pack" generation of kids, then, and she was a fresh wind blowing into a pretty staid place.
Now, she has matured...not just as a woman, but also as a writer. Our guess is that you will not be seeing the last of her in print anytime soon. She has her own web page -- www.roshell.com -- Click and go!with a fab leopard motif!
I think they just lost...one of the best...oooof! That's all we can say. They just lost a big sparkler in Starshine. But she isn't the only one by far. So many have left since 2000 it's unreal almost. One by one they have scattered to the winds. How can one person be responsible for so much destruction and pain. The question is why? Why would anyone destroy a newspaper one person at a time?
Our hat is off to those who have chosen to leave, but also those who have chosen to stay as well. It must be exceedingly difficult to work there now, under the current regime.
The whole quagmire bears looking into by a larger authority. And we expect it shall be. In the meantime, you've got Starshine's web page to keep you company!
Here is a reprint of Starshine's letter of resignation:
(One interesting bit of trivia is that Yolanda Apodaca started at the News-Press as a switchboard operator. And now she is running editorial? Hmmm...it just gets curiouser and curiouser by the moment, doesn't it?)
TO: Yolanda Apodaca
CC: Scott Steepleton
October 3, 2006
I hereby resign from the News-Press. And since you no longer control what I say and how I say it, I'm going to tell you why.
For 11 years, I have been proud to work for this company. I was honored to have managers who were smarter than me, and had something to teach me. They weren't bullies. They weren't liars. And remarkably, they were able to manage our newsroom by employing scruples rather than lawyers.
But they're all gone now, and the only thing our current leaders have been able to demonstrate is the heartbreaking mess that ensues when ambition far exceeds talent, and hubris trumps wisdom.
At a good newspaper, as ours was, truth is held in higher esteem than power. It makes me sick to see Wendy McCaw topple that hierarchy here, and to watch you both help her do it.
While I will desperately miss the camaraderie of my noble colleagues and the relationships I developed with countless readers, I am grateful for one thing. That when I look in the mirror, I won't see what you do.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
For Santa Barbarans who subscribe to The Los Angeles Times.
Baquet must be facing enormous pressure down there. Just like the departed editors here in Santa Barbara have. But, we see him as a great heroic figure. In the newsroom they're calling him "Dean d'Arc" -- he is NOBLE! Isn't that old-fashioned?
It's the noble ones who count.
Not the spineless ones. High time the press is revered again for its nobility, isn't it?
Lots of links and info here. He's one to follow in the web.
The BEST coverage of the recent terrible wildfire "The Day Fire" was on Doc Searl's blog. Read "blog" as local news, here. He had in depth coverage, and photos. What we aren't seeing up here is local news. The Independent is a weekly, and The Santa Barbara Daily Sound is filling the local news gap. The city of Santa Barbara wants to read local news and not just a selection of wire stories.
Why are the local stories being suppressed? It can't be for a lack of writers, can it?
During this entire debacle, our news about Santa Barbara and the press came from other sources like the Los Angeles Times and the Santa Maria Times. But our city is not exactly their beat, because they have their own.
Down in Los Angeles, three giant moguls want to buy the Los Angeles Times. Probably because they want to read a paper. Call it nostalgia if you will, but newspapers are important. As you will see if you follow the read out of MIT. Just click the red title and go.
A paper's identity is created by the bylines people follow, and the columnists.
Let them write, and you might have a newsworthy product to offer. Our guess is that that's what the editors were talking about when they want "journalistic integrity" and "ethics" back in the local press.
Frankly, we feel there should be another daily up here. And David Geffen or Eli Broad look like great choices to own it. Our sense of Mr. Broad is that he fits into this community like a glove. There is a cachet and glamour the biz has, and always has had.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Visitors! Dontcha just love how newspress.com thinks they're being all sneaky?
Location: California, Santa Barbara, United States
Hostname: host103.newspress.com (184.108.40.206)
Entry Page: sbstarfreepress.blogspot.com/
Exit Page: my.myway.com/
Well, look who else has been by! Our Government!
And I'm sooooo glad.
Because these are the good guys.
And when they finish with you, all your dishonorable practices are going to be out, aren't they?
An audit by them is in order, of your business practices since the sale from The New York Times, isn't it?
I'm so glad they are here!
Returning Visits: 10
Location: District Of Columbia, Washington, United States
Entry Page: www.sbstarfreepress.blogspot.com/
Exit Page: www.sbstarfreepress.blogspot.com/
Referring URL: No referring link
It's great to know they have their eyes on you.
All the honest people do.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
(or click title)
The Los Angeles Times needs men like him running things. Men with spine and heart.
Dean Baquet from The Los Angeles Times
It was the year of the flip! In 1970.
It was the year of Feelin' Groovy...
Read all about "The Last Hurrah" of the Boom Generation.
You'd think, given the historical matrix this part of the Baby Boom was born into, there would be a bit o' something left there coming out of the 60's rock and rollers?
Click the title and go. Or link: