Wednesday, November 28, 2012

First drink free at Press Club's Christmas Party TONIGHT

You and your friends are invited to join the Press Club for our annual Christmas Party tonight (Thursday, Dec. 6) from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Banquet Room at Chevy's Foster city, 979A Edgewater Blvd.

The first drink is free and there will be complimentary appetizers.

The Press Club will hold its annual meeting and election at 7 p.m.

Please bring some canned goods to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank.

Rich Lieberman launches radio show

San Francisco media blogger Rich Lieberman is now a weekend talk show host on KOMY 1340 in Monterey, pulling the 8-11 p.m. shift. According to FishbowlLA, Lieberman’s opening guest were Frank Somerville, Dan Ashley, Ken Wayne and John Rothmann. This coming weekend his guests will be “Seinfeld” actor Patrick Warburton and Alan Colmes.

Pulitzer winner Jose Antonio Vargas speaks to Los Altos audience about immigration reform

Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who discovered that as a teen he had been brought to the U.S. illegally, told a near-capacity crowd at Los Altos High School that there's a need for immigration reform.

Here's a link to the Mountain View Voice's report of the Nov. 18 talk in which Vargas said he is confident that President Obama will pass comprehensive immigration reform within a year.

Vargas was born in the Philippines but grew up in Mountain View and continued in journalism with stops at the Mountain View Voice, San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post.

Above, Vargas talks about the Oregon driver's license he obtained. Photo by Michelle Le of the Voice.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November 2012 Press Club board minutes

Nov. 14, 2012 — San Mateo Daily Journal offices

PRESENT: Darryl Compton, Melissa McRobbie, Antonia Ehlers, Dave Price, Marshall Wilson, Ed Remitz, Laura Dudnick.

The meeting was called to order at 6:40 p.m.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCE: Darryl reported on finance and membership. The club is slightly in the red by $800.

BOOT CAMP DEBRIEF: This year, we had 120 high school students participate in Boot Camp. Board members agreed that there needs to be stronger year-round communication with high school advisors. The feedback on the various workshops was positive. Jim Wagstaffe, our keynote speaker, offered a remarkable presentation. Ideas for next year included condensing the schedule and shortening the day. Another idea was to offer a separate workshop for parents (on a different date) highlighting careers in journalism and explaining career paths, so local students have more parental support.

ANNUAL AWARD CALL FOR ENTRIES: The board discussed reducing the number of categories and reaching out to journalists in catetories that have lighter entries (magazines, web, documentaries). The contest is open to journalists in print, electronic media, magazine/trade press and public relations categories. Entries will be judged by qualified professionals outside the Bay Area. Complete online entry forms and uploaded content are due by Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013.

PRESS CLUB HOLIDAY PARTY: Come and celebrate the holidays early, Cinco de Mayo style! The San Francisco/Peninsula Press Club holiday party will be held on Thursday, Dec. 6 at Chevy’s Restaurant in Foster City. The event is sure to be a blast! All members of the media are invited and encouraged to bring other media professionals. The party will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Banquet Room. Chevy’s is located at 979 A Edgewater Boulevard. Your first drink is free, as well as complimentary appetizers. After the party, the Press Club Board of Directors will attend the December meeting.

* Please bring some canned goods to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank.

BOARD OPENING AND OFFICERS FOR 2013: There is an open seat on the Press Club Board of Directors. Board members discussed potential candidates.

COLLEGE OF SAN MATEO JOURNALISM PROGRAM UPDATE: Dave Price, Marshall Wilson and Antonia Ehlers provided an update on the CSM journalism program. School officials have agreed to “suspend,” not eliminate the program. Board members brainstormed about ways in which to save the program and offer journalism classes to college students in San Mateo County.

OTHER BUSINESS: The board discussed recent attacks on news crews and expressed its support. Laura asked for items for the upcoming newsletter.

The meeting was adjourned at 9 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Antonia Ehlers, Secretary

Menlo Park discussion will focus on how local history will be written if newspapers go away

"History Endangered: When Newspapers Are Gone, How Will Local History Be Written" is the topic of a talk Palo Alto Weekly Publisher Bill Johnson will give on Sunday, Nov. 18, to the Menlo Park Historical Association. Everyone is invited to the free lecture, 2-4 p.m. at the Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma St., Menlo Park. For information call (650) 208-4530 or go to

Judge in Justin Bieber case says California's new anti-paparazzi law is unconstitutional

Justin Bieber
A Los Angeles Superior court judge threw out charges related to California's new anti-paparazzi law Wednesday in the case of a freelance photographer who was charged in connection with a freeway chase with Justin Bieber, the LA Times reports.

Judge Thomas Rubinson ruled that while prosecutors could proceed with two traffic-related charges against photographer Paul Raef, the two counts related to the anti-paparazzi law did not pass Constitutional muster.

Passed in 2010, the law punishes paparazzi driving dangerously to obtain images they will sell. But Judge Rubinson said the law violated First Amendment protections by overreaching and potentially affecting such people as wedding photographers or photographers speeding to a location where a celebrity was present.

Attorney David S. Kestenbaum, one of the lawyers representing Raef, told the LA Times he was pleased by the judge's decision, which showed his client was simply doing his job.

"The judge said that when you are talking about people doing their job and yet running the risk of additional criminal punishment, it has a chilling effect from anyone from newsgathers to wedding photographers and even real estate agents," Kestenbaum said. "It just a lesson in constitutional law.

The ruling comes less than six months after Bieber was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol on the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley and cited for driving his Fisker sports car at high speed. The pop star said then he was being chased by a freelance paparazzo later identified as Raef.

Union wants security guards for crews in Oakland

The Chronicle reports that SAG-AFTRA leaders at Bay Area TV and radio stations are pressuring management to hire security to accompany news crews when they are in Oakland, where reporters and photographers have been robbed. Veteran Oakland Tribune photographer Laura Oda has been robbed of cameras twice since July and last week a KPIX CBS5 crew was robbed of its camera during a live shot. During that incident, photographer Doug Welk was punched in the mouth. Meanwhile, station managers met with Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan on Tuesday to discuss the robberies.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

UC Berkeley students covering Richmond

UC Berkeley lecturer Eric Simons and Tiffany Neely go over topics to cover with senior lecturer Bob  Calo (center). Photo by Alejandra Bayardo of the Chronicle.

The Chronicle this morning has a story about a UC-Berkeley Journalism program that sends students out to cover the gritty city of Richmond for a semester. The students, 18 of them this year, will write stories for the website Richmond Confidential. They cover everything from crime to city government, from features to sports. A fan is Police Chief Richard Magnus, who told the Chronicle: "The challenge we face as a city government is that people's views of Richmond are still formed by the images portrayed in mainstream media, which only comes here to cover a notorious crime or scandal. I think the (Richmond) Confidential really gets out a lot of stories about the interesting things going on, but not just in feel-good stories. They are doing some very strong and tough journalism."

College district ponders future of KCSM-TV

The San Mateo County Community College District's board on Wednesday (Nov. 14) will discuss what will become of KCSM-TV, the noncommercial station the college has operated since 1964. The station is losing about $1 million a year and the college put it up for sale last year. But last month, the college board decided to throw out the six bids it received, saying they lacked the money they claimed or wouldn't meet FCC requirements for local control.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Robbers attack CBS5 photographer

KPIX CBS5 photographer Gregg Welk was punched and robbed during a live shot outside an Oakland high school, the latest in a spate of holdups targeting the media.

According to the Chronicle, Reporter Anne Makovec and Welk were on the air shortly after noon Wednesday outside Oakland Technical High School near the corner of 42nd Street and Broadway. They were at the school to do a story on the passage of Prop 30, the tax measure preventing deep cuts to education.

As Makovec was finishing her report, five men rushed up and grabbed a $6,000 camera from the tripod. Viewers saw the live picture being jarred and turned sideways for about two seconds.

One of the assailants punched Welk in the mouth before the group fled in a Mercedes-Benz, which apparently was accompanied by a Lexus, police said. Welk declined treatment by paramedics but saw his doctor.

"He is fine, and he is actually working today," KPIX spokeswoman Akilah Bolden-Monifa said Thursday.

Bolden-Monifa said the station would continue to report in Oakland but declined to specify whether any changes would be made to protect its crews.

Sources told the Chronicle, however, that all KPIX crews covering stories in Oakland would be accompanied by security guards, day or night, effective immediately.

The incident comes amid a series of robberies in which media representatives have been victims throughout Oakland, often in broad daylight.

Veteran Oakland Tribune photographer Laura Oda has twice been robbed of cameras since July.

Late one night in June, a KTVU news crew was robbed of a computer, camera and tripod by several men who pushed their way into their van parked on Redwood Road in the Oakland hills.

In May, a man stole a camera and tripod from a KNTV crew at 20th Street and San Pablo Avenue.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Local investors buy Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Ten months after Florida-based Halifax Media Group bought the Santa Rosa Press Democrat from the New York Times Co., it now plans to sell the paper to a group of local investors.

According to a report in the Press Democrat, the main buyers include Darius Anderson, a Sonoma developer and Sacramento lobbyist, and Doug Bosco, a former congressman who remains active in Democratic Party politics.

Anderson earlier this year led a different six-person partnership that bought the Sonoma Index-Tribune newspaper, which publishes twice a week. The sale of the Press Democrat will also include the weekly Petaluma Argus-Courier and the North Bay Business Journal.

Another investor is Steven Falk, former president and publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle and currently head of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

The fourth principal buyer is Bill Hooper, president of Anderson's development firm, Kenwood Investments, and a former executive with Clear Channel Outdoor, the billboard advertising company.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Falk, who is chief executive of the investor group known as Sonoma Media, said the deal could close as early as next week.

Halifax CEO Michael Redding didn't return a call to a Press Democrat reporter who wrote the report about the sale, but said in a statement that because “90 percent of our company is based in the Southeast, it makes geographic sense for Sonoma Media to own the business.”