The Peoria Journal Star has exactly ONE member left on its editorial board after all the GateHouse Media imposed cuts. ONE. But do not look for them to ever make use of THIS guy when there’s a vacation to be taken. For one thing, he charges at minimum $150 for each ghost-written editorial. I doubt GateHouse would spend $150 on each issue for all editorial content combined (gotta make the yacht payment, don’t ya know).
The Monroe News, which serves southeastern Michigan, was sold to New Media Investment Group, which is the holding company for the GateHouse Media newspaper group. The Monroe News was an employee owned paper.
“The changing media environment has been very tough on single, stand-alone newspaper companies like us,” said Steve Gray, chairman of the MPC board of directors. “Despite the team’s best efforts, it became clear that our employee shareholders needed to be able to diversify their holdings.”
The paper was family-owned from its founding in 1927, becoming fully employee owned in 1999.
My advice to Monroe News staffers: Start a group blog immediately. That way, you will have some place to write when GateHouse starts firing people.
From the Better Government Association:
When faced with questions about potentially wild spending, Streamwood Park District [Illinois] officials engaged in a concerted effort to keep government information out of the public’s eye, the Better Government Association has learned.
The northwest suburban agency repeatedly ordered board members and staff not to talk to a reporter or “any other person requesting information” and circulated a link with a photo of a reporter so they knew who to avoid at a recent public meeting, according to emails obtained by the BGA under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, the state law that guarantees access to certain government records.
The emails also contained a script of what the park district’s board president should say if a reporter asks questions at the meeting and instructions on how park district employees should respond if they are contacted.
“The key is we do not fuel the fire and go to the press and try to reason or explain things,” Jennifer Hermonson, the district’s superintendent of business services and FOIA officer, wrote in one of the emails, which also included redacted material.
In a perfect world, the FOIA would not be needed. Reporters should be able to ask for information, and be cheerfully given that information. Why? Because public servants SHOULD be willing to let any member of the public look at all public records.
But too often governments hires specialists who will use interpretations of the act to deny records and bottleneck the process.
Let’s say its the year 2015 and you want to invent the news organization. Newspapers do not exist. Neither do radio, television or news Websites. So, in this scenario, it’s YOU job to invent a way to deliver news to the public. Would you decide to base your business on an organization that cuts down trees, pumps them, presses the pump into paper, ships the rolls of paper hundreds and/or thousands of miles to printing plants where multimillion dollar machines will print ink on the paper so that little boys and girls can get up in the morning and hand deliver news that was written by 5 p.m. the previous day to every third house on your block? Or, would you develop a system that lets writers press one button on their computer and deliver that same story INSTANTLY to ever single home on the planet? Which news organization would you invent from whole cloth if you had the option?
I have filed an Freedom of Information act request with the City of Peoria for information related to the legal costs for defending itself from the lawsuit filed by the victim of an illegal police raid.
I filed it on Wednesday, I believe, and I have received not even a brief email acknowledgement of it.
I’m making note here to get it on the record.
I’m making a few dollars over at Peoria.com. I’m still accepting donations here:
From the Daily Beast:
“I think the news media lost an incredible amount of credibility during the Iraq War, and leading up to the Iraq War—certainly centralized news,” Ruffalo said in Venice. “So you’ve seen a lot of long-term investigators move into the digital realm, and they’re doing some darn good work in that realm. It doesn’t come to us as centralized as it does in The New York Times or The Boston Globe, but it is coming to us. I think we have a lot more information and it’s getting aggregated a lot better than the centralized model. We’re at the infancy of a new news media. To some degree, the old model has moved to the 24-hour news model, but they’re losing viewers and they’re losing readers because they’re not as credible as they used to be, and we want credibility.”
“We all want investigative journalism, and so there are great investigative journalists still out there who are a lot freer to follow stories in ways that I don’t think they could’ve in the past because of editors, because of the pressures thatThe Boston Globe and these reporters are under,” he continued. “They had to make money. A lot of longform investigative journalism like ProPublica and Truthout are not beholden to anybody; they’re reader-funded. So I think it’s an exciting time to be an investigative journalist.”
The adviser for Butler University’s student newspaper has been removed from the position and replaced with a university spokesperson, an unusual situation that raises conflict-of-interest questions.
Loni McKown, who was entering her sixth year as the adviser for the Butler Collegian, said she received a letter dated Sept. 4 informing her that she was no longer the Collegian adviser.
“It is not unusual in the least bit for university administration to not like the student news media,” McKown said, describing the university’s relationship with the Collegian as “hostile.” “I believe I have been removed from the position because I do my job well.”
Marc Allan, a spokesman for Butler, confirmed Wednesday that he was selected to be McKown’s successor, and he will continue his job in the university’s public relations department.