Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Police strike two news photographers with batons during Berkeley protests

Police roughed up photographers for the Chronicle and KTVU Channel 2 during protests in Berkeley, the Chron reported.

Chron freelance photographer, Sam Wolston, said a Berkeley police officer struck him about 7:30 p.m. Saturday as he crouched to take pictures between a line of officers and protesters outside Berkeley police headquarters on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The baton strike came after officers had touched Wolson twice, apparently to stop him from moving near the line, he said.

A YouTube video of a CNN news report, posted at, shows the officer hitting Wolson with a baton 31 seconds into the segment.

Also Saturday, a police officer struck an unidentified KTVU photographer with a baton.

“We became caught in the current,” reporter Katie Utehs said on that night’s broadcast, as a video showed the incident. “Jabbed by a baton, pushed back from the police line, as people hurled rocks at officers.”

The Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists wrote a letter Sunday to Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan and Mayor Tom Bates to protest the treatment of journalists covering the protest and ask for an investigation into “inappropriate uses of force by officers against members of the news media.”

November 2014 Press Club board minutes

Nov. 12, 2014, 7 p.m., San Mateo Daily Journal offices

PRESENT: Kristy Blackburn, Peter Cleaveland, Laura Dudnick, Antonia Ehlers, Jon Mays, Jane Northrop, Dave Price, Ed Remitz, Jim Watson, Executive Director Aimee Strain. ABSENT: Marshall Wilson

FINANCE/STATE OF THE BOARD: The board discussed the club’s current situation with its new executive director, Aimee Strain. The club has $21,000 in its accounts. Revenues have been decreasing but membership is at 181, up 30-40 from previous years. Aimee said she needs a good email list to contact members. Many of the email addresses have expired on existing lists. Regarding finances, Aimee said she is still sorting through the books. Price made a motion to direct Aimee to get bids from three CPAs to do an audit and provide advice regarding financial controls and straightening out our IRS non-profit status. Apparently the non-profit status has lapsed. The motion was approved unanimously.

MEMBERSHIP: There was a discussion about attracting new members, and the question was asked what the club could do to attract new members. Ideas included starting a series of events, possibly like TED talks, for journalists. No decisions were made.

CHRISTMAS PARTY: The date will be Dec. 11 at Chevy’s in Foster City. (Note: After the meeting, Chevy’s closed and the party will be moved to El Torito in Foster City.) Board members discussed the idea of having the party next year in San Francisco to make the event more accessible to members there.

HIGH SCHOOL BOOT CAMP DEBRIEF: Antonia praised Laura for her presentation, saying it was great for students to hear from a younger journalist about her experiences in the news business. Attendance was down this year, and Antonia said she had spoken to some high schools that hadn’t heard of the boot camp and would have sent students had they known. More of an effort to reach out to individual schools needs to be made next year.

GRANT PROPOSAL FROM THE TALON STAFF AT LOS ALTOS HIGH SCHOOL: The board agreed to provide funding for one of the cameras requested in the grant.

STATEWIDE JOURNALISM UMBRELLA ORGANIZATION: The board briefly discussed a Dec. 5 meeting in San Francisco to discuss a proposed statewide umbrella organization. Steve O’Donoghue, director of the California Scholastic Journalism Initiative, is proposing an organization that would span scholastic, college, university and professional organizations for the purpose of reducing costs, enhancing collaboration and partnerships, and increasing member services. The meeting is scheduled for 4-6 p.m. in the Regimental Room, 10th Floor, Marines Memorial Club, 609 Sutter St. Attendees are asked to RSVP to O’Donoghue:, (415) 509-1518.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m. Minutes taken by Secretary Dave Price.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Press Club's Christmas Party is Thursday

We hope to see you this Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Press Club Christmas Party.

The event will be held at El Torito in Foster City. Come and meet your fellow Bay Area journalists who work in print, radio, TV, broadband and public relations. The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with our annual board meeting (open to all members), followed by drinks (first one free) and appetizers at 7 p.m.

The party is a great opportunity to renew your membership.

Do you have friends who are interested in joining the Press Club? Please invite them to attend — they can sign up that evening. Hope to see you there!

El Torito is located at 388 Vintage Park Drive, Foster City.

We need to get a head count to the El Torito staff ASAP. Please R.S.V.P. to Press Club Executive Director Aimee Strain at Thank you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Uber executive investigated for snooping on reporter

The AP is reporting that Uber Technologies is investigating whether one of its general managers violated the popular car-booking service's privacy policies by snooping on a reporter's ride.

The probe stems from allegations that Josh Mohrer, general manager of Uber's New York office, used a company tracking tool called "God View" to monitor the location of a BuzzFeed reporter earlier this month. Internet news service BuzzFeed first reported the investigation.

In a statement, Uber said access to the personal data of anyone using its car service is limited to "legitimate business purposes." The San Francisco company said employees violating the rules may be disciplined or fired.

News of the investigation followed a separate BuzzFeed story, which reported that another Uber executive recently threatened to look into the personal lives of journalists that have criticized Uber. Emil Michael, Uber senior vice president for business, made his remarks in New York during a dinner that was also attended by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and a list of prominent guests including actor Ed Norton, New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman and Huffington Post CEO Arianna Huffington, according to a USA Today column published Wednesday.

The USA Today column was written by Michael Wolff, a prominent journalist, who said he invited BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith to the Uber dinner without informing his guest that all conversations were supposed to be off the record. Wolff said most other guests at the dinner didn't hear the conversation between Michael and Smith.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Longtime Merc reporter Betty Barnacle Dillane dead at 83

Betty Barnacle Dillane, a dogged police reporter for the Mercury News for decades, died Nov. 13 of complications from Alzheimer's disease. She was 83.

She was one of the first women hired by the then-San Jose News in the 1950s. The Merc obit said she developed such a trustworthy relationship with police that she was permitted to flip through their files to find reports she thought were newsworthy.

"No one worked the phones like Betty," said former Mercury News copy editor Michele Jurich, noting Dillane's skill in getting people to open up to her.

Dillane's obit notes that she was gracious, kind and welcoming to women in the newsroom. Her thoughtfulness showed up in her obituaries, which she wrote during her last years with the Mercury News, and she often received thank-you notes from grateful families.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Palo Alto High School opens $13 million journalism center

Palo Alto High School has opened a $13 million Media Arts Center to houses the school's bustling journalism program which includes a student newspaper, daily TV show, website and magazines focusing on campus life and sports. The 23,000-square-foot, two-story building includes 119 Apple desktop computers, 13 LCD television screens, six soundproof interview booths and a high-tech room for Paly's daily broadcast show, "In Focus." The Palo Alto Weekly says it is a "next-century Media Arts Center designed to serve the school and community for generations."

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bay Guardian closes after 48 years

The San Francisco Bay Guardian, a voice for the city’s progressives for 48 years, is putting out its last issue today.

Publisher Glen Zuehls of San Francisco Media Co., which acquired the paper from Bruce Brugmann and his wife, Jean Dibble, two years ago, said the Guardian has been losing money.

San Francisco Media also owns the Examiner and the city’s other alt-weekly, SF Weekly. The paper’s staff was told the Guardian was closing at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

“They shut down everything — our sites, our social media, our passkeys, right away,” Editor Steven T. Jones told the Chronicle. “We’ve all been laid off, effective immediately. ... I need an escort to go to the bathroom and get back to the office to pack up my stuff.”

• Examiner: "The Guardian has not made money for years," said Zuehls.

• Guardian Publisher Marke Bieschke says he believes the Guardian will "live in some other form."

• The Guardian was "one of the most venerable, staunchly independent and defiantly weird" alt-weeklies.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Jury rejects reporter's claim that he was targeted by BART deputy police chief

BCN reports that a federal jury in San Francisco on Monday rejected a journalist's claim that he was unfairly arrested during a 2011 protest at a BART station in retaliation for articles critical of the transit agency. 

David Morse, a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center, sued now-retired BART Deputy Police Chief Dan Hartwig in 2012 to challenge his arrest during a protest at the Powell Street station in San Francisco on Sept. 8, 2011.

Hartwig, the supervising officer during the incident, ordered Morse to be arrested for allegedly blocking a fare gate in violation of a state law that prohibits interference with the safe and efficient operation of a railroad. Morse had written a series of articles criticizing BART police in the previous two-and-a-half years, beginning at the time of the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant III by then-BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle at an Oakland station on New Year's Day in 2009.

He claimed he was unconstitutionally targeted for arrest because he had exercised his right of free speech as a journalist. Hartwig, who was represented in the case by BART lawyers, did not dispute that Morse is a journalist, but claimed he was breaking the law by blocking the fare gate along with other protesters.

After four days of trial and one day of deliberation, a seven-member civil jury in the court of U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley unanimously returned a verdict exonerating Hartwig.

Morse's lawyer, Dan Siegel, said, "We're disappointed," but said no decision has been made on whether Morse will appeal.

BART attorney Dale Allen said, "There was no evidence of any animosity going from Deputy Chief Hartwig toward David Morse."

The demonstration was aimed at protesting Grant's death, the fatal shooting of Charles Hill by a BART officer in San Francisco in 2011, and BART's decision to cut off cellphone service during previous demonstrations.

After being arrested, Morse was handcuffed, detained at a police substation for more than two hours and then cited and released. A judge dismissed charges against him nine months later.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Press Club will host boot camp for high school journalists on Sept. 26.

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club's eighth annual High School Journalism Boot Camp is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, at The College of San Mateo. This event is intended to help high school students sharpen their journalistic skills. There will be speakers, workshops, panels and critiques of school papers. For more information, download the flyer and registration form.

San Carlos may ban home delivery of unsolicited newspapers

The San Mateo County community of San Carlos is looking at banning newspaper companies from throwing newspapers on the driveways of homes if the resident hasn't subscribed. The Daily News reports that the City Council has asked its attorney to draft an ordinance that would ban unwanted newspapers and commercial solicitations from landing on residents' property and the sidewalks in front.

The Daily News says the action was prompted by Councilman Cameron Johnson, who said residents frequently told him they don't want the free San Francisco Examiner dumped on their driveways.

"It's a nuisance, it does signal to people that no one is home ... and I think the waste issue is very important," Johnson said.

Johnson said he called the Examiner requesting that it stop delivering papers to his house. After a few weeks however, the newspapers started showing up again.

"I can make it so people can't call me at home and I can make it so people can't send me email, but there is no way to stop the San Francisco Examiner from throwing their newspaper on my lawn," Johnson said.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Rent hike forces Bay City News to move from SF to Oakland

The Examiner reports today that the Bay City News Service is leaving its Market Street home in San Francisco for slightly smaller digs in Oakland due to a rent hike.

Tech businesses are bidding up the price of office space in San Francisco, and BCN wasn't able to find a place that fit in its budget.

"Our landlord here has proposed almost doubling our rent," Wayne Futak, BCN's general manager, told the Examiner. "We don't plan to change our coverage at all by being in Oakland, just fiscally it's less expensive."

Dan McMenamin, BCN's managing editor, is quoted as saying that the move won't diminish the wire service's coverage.

"We are a regional news service, so we didn't see a need to stay in San Francisco," he said, adding later, "I don't see it as a huge deal."

BCN provides news stories and calendar items to about 100 newspapers, radio stations, television newsrooms and websites.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Reporter attacked while another is robbed

In the past two days, one local TV news reporter was attacked while covering a story while another was robbed in a news van.

On Sunday afternoon, KTVU reporter Cara Liu was assaulted by a woman in Oakland while covering a murder story at a flea market near the Coliseum, according to media blogger Rich Lieberman. Lieberman quotes a KTVU source as saying the Liu was shaken and unnerved, and that her injury was not serious.

 This morning at about 5, KRON reporter Jackie Sissel was robbed at gunpoint while sitting in a news van on the Interstate 280 overpass near 18th and Pennsylvania Avenue. He was preparing for a story on recent work that was completed on the freeway when two men with bandannas hiding their faces got out of a car, opened the van doors and put a gun to Sissel's head, SFGate reported.

The assailants stole a laptop computer, a wallet and a camera tripod before fleeing in their car. No arrests have been made.

 The incidents are the latest robberies of news crews over the past couple of years. The TV stations have hired security guards to accompany news crews.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New GM for KRON named

Ashley Gold Messina, an executive with WDCW-TV in Washington, D.C., has been named vice president and general manager of KRON, replacing Brian Grief, who left in January.

Messina has been with WDCW since 2001 when she joined the station as an account executive. She's currently vp and general manager of the CW affiliate. Both WDCW and KRON are owned by Media General.

She starts on Sept. 10. Here's the company's news release

August 2014 Press Club board minutes

Aug. 13, 2014, 6:30 p.m., Celia's Restaurant, San Mateo

PRESENT: Kristy Blackburn, Darryl Compton, Laura Dudnick, Antonia Ehlers, Jane Northrup, Dave Price, Ed Remitz. ABSENT: Jon Mays, Peter Cleaveland, Marshall Wilson, Jim Watson.

FINANCE/MEMBERSHIP: Darryl indicated there was no change since last month.

HIGH SCHOOL BOOT CAMP: It will be Sept. 26 from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at CSM. The idea of merging the boot camp with the J-Day event sponsored by the Journalism Education Association, Northern California (JEANC) won't happen this year. Kristy, who is apart of JEANC, said that they won't have a J-Day next year, just a session for advisers. So we'll consider the idea of merging our boot camp with J-Day in 2016. Jane, Kristy and Antonia will take on the task of contacting high school advisers about the boot camp.

GRANT PROPOSAL FROM THE TALON STAFF AT LOS ALTOS HIGH SCHOOL: The board unanimously voted to provide a $350 grant for apparatus that will enable students to use their smartphones to shoot high-quality news video. There was some discussion about whether the club, with its revenues declining should be making grants. It was agreed that the board would talk about its finances at next month's meeting.

NEWSLETTER: Laura suggested that the club scrap the newsletter and use Facebook instead. The idea was unanimously approved. Members who receive the emailed newsletter will be notified about the change. Laura volunteered to take on the task of posting information on Facebook.

STEVE O'DONOGHUE'S PROPOSAL FOR A STATEWIDE JOURNALISM ALLIANCE: Directors received an email Aug. 5 about the alliance. O'Donoghue will provide more information at a meeting at the Marines Memorial in SF on Dec. 4.

O'Donoghue stated: "I am in conversations with CNPA about a concept where there would be one umbrella journalism organization for the entire state, horizontally and vertically. That is, high school, community college, university and professional levels, educators, reporters, publishers. The idea is each individual entity would remain autonomous in terms of its mission and activities, but combine for business and advancement of the cause. E.g., one large non-profit where we pool endowments, investments, to increase revenue. We share services (e.g., conference booking, registration), combine for First Amendment fights regardless of level, and perhaps set up regional groups to improve resources for far flung corners of the state." Directors said they were open to the idea, although Dave wondered what it would cost.

JOURNALISM CONTEST JUDGING: Darryl said we would get entries from Florida in September.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m. Minutes taken by Secretary Dave Price.

July 2014 Press Club board minutes

July 16, 2014, 6:30 p.m., Celia's Restaurant, San Mateo

PRESENT: Kristy Blackburn, Peter Cleaveland, Darryl Compton, Laura Dudnick, Antonia Ehlers, Jane Northrup, Dave Price, Ed Remitz, Marshall Wilson, Jim Watson. ABSENT: Jon Mays

GREATER BAY AREA JOURNALISM AWARDS DEBRIEF: Laura said that we should get a photographer for next year and that we shouldn't read the names of people who aren't present. There was also talk of the Mariachi band next door. The board agreed that we should investigate other venues. Dave was going to check into the Poplar Creek Golf Club and Antonia would get information about the Elks Club.

FINANCE/MEMBERSHIP: Finance statement showed a $13,211.78 balance for all accounts. Membership stands at 169.

HIGH SCHOOL BOOT CAMP: Marshall reports that CSM has offered two dates, Sept. 21 and Oct. 3. Sept. 21 was the board's first choice. Directors agreed to contact high school advisers. Antonia asked Laura to be the key note speaker. The board talked about break out sessions. Marshall suggested a session for advisers.

FRESH IDEAS FOR UPCOMING YEAR: Ed proposed mentoring for high school newspaper advisers by the club's advisers.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:08 p.m. Minutes taken by Secretary Dave Price.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Journalist originally from Marin County detained by Iran

A Marin County native who now works for The Washington Post, Jason Rezaian, is among four journalists believed to have been detained by the Iranian government in Tehran, the Chronicle reported today.

The reason for his detention was not immediately clear. The situation is made more difficult by the fact that Iran and the U.S. have not had formal diplomatic relations since the hostage crisis of 1979.

Rezaian, 38, has been the Washington Post's Tehran correspondent since 2012. Before that, he frequently traveled between the United States and Iran, working as a freelance writer for several magazines and newspapers, including the Chronicle.

Between 2005 and 2007, Rezaian wrote a blog for The Chronicle called "Inside Iran," which discussed the political and cultural affairs of the largely isolated nation. (Photo credit: Mike Kepka, Chronicle)

Friday, July 11, 2014

New leader for group that includes the Examiner, SF Weekly, Guardian

Glenn Zuehls, an executive who has worked in print media for more than two decades, has been named the publisher of the San Francisco Media Co., which produces The San Francisco Examiner, SF Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

He replaces Todd Vogt, who announced to the company’s staff in May that he was heavily leaning toward selling his share of the company to his partners, Oahu Publications Inc.

“Vogt told the gathered throng that he's arrived at a fork in the road in his relationship with the Hawaiian outfit: Either he must sell his shares in the media conglomerate to them, or -- with the aid of as-yet non-existent partners -- he'll buy them out,” the SF Weekly reported May 6. “He informed the newsroom he's highly likely to cash out come May 30. Vogt reiterated to SF Weekly moments ago that's still the case.”

The story the Examiner posted about Zuehls’ appointment made no mention of Vogt.

Dennis Francis, president of Oahu Publications, the parent company for the San Francisco Media Co. and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, announced Zuehl’s appointment on July 2, a day after the three papers moved into new offices at 835 Market St. 

The Examiner said Zuehl played an instrumental role in the 2010 merging of Hawaii's two primary papers, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser. In an era when newspapers were declining in production, the Star-Advertiser has since increased newsroom staff and circulation, the Examiner said. Zuehls said he will focus on strengthening advertising for the San Francisco Media Co.'s three papers.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sam Goldman, journalism teacher, sports information director, dies

The following is from the Chronicle: Bay Area sporting events won't be quite as much fun to cover without Sam Goldman's sweet personality and his contributions to a reporter's sweet tooth.

Goldman, who died Tuesday (June 17) at 87, was a fixture in Bay Area press boxes for decades. He treated media members to butterscotch and peppermint candies while referring to each person as "Great Leader" or "Coach." Actually, Goldman coached dozens of reporters.

He was a longtime journalism teacher at San Bruno's Skyline College. He was a sports-information director (SID) for Skyline, San Francisco State and what became known as the West Coast Conference. In fact, he was the conference's first SID.

A graduate of San Francisco's Mission High and San Jose State, Goldman long will be remembered for his warmth, enthusiasm and his regard for sports journalism.

He is survived by his wife, Adele — who often accompanied him at sporting events — four daughters, six grandchildren and a great grandson.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Eternal Home Cemetery, 1051 El Camino Real, Colma. (Photo credit: San Francisco State University)

Bay Area journalist Kevin Weston dead at 45

Kevin Weston, a journalist at the Oakland Post and San Francisco Bayview and the youth communications director with New American Media, died at his Oakland home on Sunday following a two-year battle with a rare form of leukemia. He was 45.

"Rest in power, Kevin," San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim said Wednesday before adjourning a meeting in his honor.

The Oakland Tribune, in its obit for Weston, said served as editor-in-chief of YO! Youth Outlook Magazine, executive producer of YO!TV and was a social justice activist, poet, youth advocate and hip-hop entrepreneur.

His writing had appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune and the Sacramento Bee.

In 2012, Weston was a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University.

Weston was also a founding member of the Chauncey Bailey Project, an investigative team formed after the August 2007 murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey Jr. Bailey was reporting on a story regarding the suspicious activities of the Your Black Muslim Bakery when we was slain on broad daylight in downtown Oakland. (Photo from the Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Heather Holmes' purse stolen during live shot at Oakland Police Headquarters

While doing a live report about crime in Oakland for Channel 2’s “Ten O’Clock News” on Monday night, a thief broke into the station's live truck and took the purse of reporter Heather Holmes. The live shot on Monday night was right in front of Oakland Police Headquarters, according to KPIX, media blogger Rich Liberman and SFGate.

Monday, June 16, 2014

David Burgin, longtime newspaper editor, dies

C. David Burgin, a longtime editor who merged the Palo Alto Times and Redwood City Tribune and held top positions with the Examiner and Dean Singleton's Alameda Newspaper Group, died Monday at his home in Houston after a lengthy illness. He was 75.

According to the Associated Press, Burgin died of the effects of four serious strokes he had suffered since 1997, said his wife, Judy Burgin.

Burgin had served as editor-in-chief of seven U.S. daily newspapers, starting with New Jersey's Paterson News in 1977. His first top management jobs came at The Washington Star, where he rose through the ranks of sports editor and city editor to assistant managing editor and hired such young talent as future New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd and sportswriter Ira Berkow.

He talked two Washington bartenders, future Boston Globe business writer Chris Reidy and future Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Daley, into trying newspaper work.

After getting his first assignment of running a newspaper in 1977, as editor-in-chief of the Paterson News in New Jersey, The Tribune Co. hired him a year later to merge two of its Bay Area dailies, the Palo Alto Times and Redwood City Tribune, into the Peninsula Times Tribune, which closed in 1993.

The Tribune Co. later sent him to improve and expand the Orlando Sentinel.

In 1985, Hearst Newspapers hired Burgin to revive the fading fortunes of its flagship San Francisco Examiner. He was fired by publisher William Randolph Hearst III after seven months on the job.

In a 1996 profile published in the SF Weekly, Burgin said he was fired after spurning an invitation to meet with the Hearst Corp. board.

After doing consulting work for a year, Burgin took the offer of former Washington Star colleague William Dean Singleton to be editor-in-chief of the Dallas Times Herald, which Singleton had just bought from the Times Mirror Corp.

From 1986 to 1990, Burgin worked to try to save two Singleton dailies from extinction, running the Dallas daily for two years before the owner of its crosstown rival, The Dallas Morning News, bought and folded it.

Singleton took the proceeds to buy The Houston Post, another struggling No. 2 newspaper in its market, and hired Burgin as its editor-in-chief for the next two years.

In 1990, Singleton hired Burgin to run a newspaper group he had just bought in the Bay Area, the Alameda Newspaper Group (later the Bay Area Newspaper Group), which included the Oakland Tribune.

Singleton sold the Houston Post in 1995 to its dominant crosstown rival, the Houston Chronicle, which folded the Post.

Burgin began to acquire a reputation for trying to revive fading and dying newspapers, having been associated with so many of them, Judy Burgin said.

"He was brought in when there was trouble. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it was too late," she said.

He remained as editor and vice president of Singleton's Bay Area Newspaper Group until 1997 when he suffered the first of a series of four serious strokes.

But convalescing easily bored him, his wife said, so he took over a book publisher, Woodford Publishing, and in 2000 rejoined the no-longer-Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner. He was fired a year later.

His health continued to deteriorate, but he never lost his penchant for ideas for an increasingly struggling newspaper industry, Judy Burgin said.

"It was heartbreaking to him what was happening. He had ideas for how to fix it, but he was too sick to act on them," she said.

A memorial is tentatively scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, June 22, at the Houston Country Club.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Merc moving to downtown San Jose; gets free parking from City Hall

The San Jose Mercury News, which has sold its longtime home at I-880 and Brokaw Road, announced Thursday that it has leased two floors of a downtown San Jose office building for its news, advertising and executive offices.

The Merc said a "deal-closer" for the move was the parking incentive the city is offering to businesses moving downtown — the paper will get 200 parking places in a city garage, 160 of them free of charge for four years and half price for the fifth year. The deal with the Merc was approved by City Council.

The Merc will occupy the seventh and eighth floors of the 13-story Legacy Civic Towers at 4 N. Second Street, two blocks from San Jose City Hall. The building is a few blocks from the building at 51 N. San Pedro St. that it left in 1967 when it moved to its current location.

The newspaper said it will occupy 33,186 square feet of the building. Loopnet, a commercial property website, said space in the building was leasing at $1.25/square foot/month.

The move is expected to happen in September. The Merc's owner, First Digital, sold its current 36-acre campus to Supermicro Computer for $30.5 million last fall.

The Merc last year moved its printing to company plants in Hayward and Concord, but the paper was arriving late in San Jose. So now the Merc is printed on a contract basis at Southwest Offset on Charcot Avenue in San Jose, less than a half mile from the newspaper's home at I-880 and Brokaw.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

May 2014 Press Club board minutes

May 14, 2014, 6:30 p.m., San Mateo Daily Journal offices

PRESENT: Peter Cleaveland, Darryl Compton, Antonia Ehlers, John Mays, Dave Price, Ed Remitz, Marshall Wilson, Jim Watson and Jane Northrup ABSENT: Kristy Blackburn, Laura Dudnick

NEW MEMBERS: Antonia emailed a ballot to the board regarding the two director vacancies, and the board voted unanimously to elect Jim Watson of the Foster City Islander and Jane Northrup of the Pacifica Tribune as directors. The board welcomed the two new members with enthusiasm.

FINANCE/MEMBERSHIP: Darryl submitted the Finance Statement to the board. He noted that Hillsdale Shopping Center will cover the cost of the high school contest plagues. Peter moved and Marshall seconded the acceptance of the finance report, and it was approved unanimously by the board.

AWARDS BANQUET: Antonia went over the list of presenters at the May 31 banquet.

UPCOMING CONTESTS: Darryl said judges are needed for upcoming contests from Houston and New Orleans.

HIGH SCHOOL CONTEST AND SCHOLARSHIPS: The high school contests will be presented May 16 at the San Mateo County History Museum (the old courthouse). Ed suggested we send a survey to past scholarship recipients to see what they're doing now. Marshall moved to rename the high school contest in honor of Jack Russell. Peter seconded and it was approved unanimously by the board.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:52 p.m. Minutes taken by Secretary Dave Price.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

37th Annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards

Bay Area print and online journalists, photographers, radio and television personnel and public relations professionals were presented with 192 awards of excellence in eight divisions and 41 categories at the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club's 37th Annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards dinner tonight.

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club's Annual Professional Journalism Awards Competition dinner was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Foster City. The winners were selected from 392 entries from media professionals in the 11 Greater Bay Area counties. Awards honored work done in 2013. Entries were judged by the Press Clubs of Cleveland, Florida, Houston, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Orange County, and San Diego.

The San Mateo Daily Journal received the highest number of awards, 17. First Place Overall Excellence went to: The Daily News, San Francisco Business Times, The Spectrum Magazine, KCBS Radio, Junipero Serra High School and The Press Democrat.

The keynote speaker for the “Evening of Excellence” was Reed Albergotti, reporter for the Wall Street Journal and co-author of “Wheelman: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever.”

The Press Club lost its longtime board and founding member Jack Russell this year. They have named the $1,500 high school scholarship “The Jack Russell Memorial Scholarship,” it was awarded to Clare Varellas of Aclianes High School, Lafayette.

The $1,500 collegiate scholarship named for the late San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen was awarded to Brian Rinker from San Francisco State University.

Special recognition was given to the General Excellence winner of the Press Club’s High School Journalism Contest, co-sponsored by the Hillsdale Shopping Center. The Oracle newspaper of Henry N. Gunn High School, Palo Alto, was represented by its editors, Catalina Zharo and Danielle Yacobsen.

The complete list of award winners follows:

37th Annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards 


Overall Excellence
    • First Place: Daily News Group, “The Daily News,” Daily News Staff
    • Second Place: The Press Democrat, “The Press Democrat,” Press Democrat staff
    • Third Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “San Mateo Daily Journal,” San Mateo Daily Journal Staff 

    • First Place: The Daily Post, “Protect neighborhoods - vote 'no' on D,” Dave Price
    • Second Place: The Press Democrat, “SR tax debacle ends as poorly as it began,” Paul Gullixson
    • Third Place: Daily News Group, “Maybell senior housing project just too dense: Vote no on Measure D,” Mario Dianda 

    • First Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Columns by Michelle Durand,” Michelle Durand
    • Second Place: The Daily Post, “Columns by Dave Price,” Dave Price
    • Third Place: The Press Democrat, “Columns by Paul Gullixson,” Paul Gullixson 

    • First Place: Palo Alto Daily News, “Culture Shlock by Malcolm Fleschner,” Malcolm Fleschner
    • Second Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Columns by Jon Mays,” Jon Mays
    • Third Place: The Daily Post, “Theater reviews by John Angell Grant,” John Angell Grant 

    • First Place: The Press Democrat, “Columns by Lowell Cohn,” Lowell Cohn
    • Second Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “The Sports Lounge-Columns by Nathan Mollat,” Nathan Mollat
    • Third Place: Daily News Group, “John Reid Columns,” John Reid 

Breaking News
    • First Place: The Press Democrat, “Andy Lopez Shooting,” Martin Espinoza, Julie Johnson, Brett Wilkison, Kevin McCallum, Mary Callahan, Randi Rossmann, Derek Moore, Press Democrat staff
    • Second Place: Daily News Group, “Couple killed while walking dog,” Jason Green
    • Third Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Ayres molestation trial ends,” Michelle Durand 

News Story
    • First Place: The Daily Post, “Naked cop and the hooker,” Jeramy Gordon
    • Second Place: Daily News Group, “Fed case against ex-officials goes to jury,” Bonnie Eslinger
    • Third Place: The Daily Post, “How child abuse case crumbled,” Angela Ruggiero 

Continuing Coverage
    • First Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Mills AP scores invalidation saga,” Angela Swartz
    • Second Place: San Francisco Examiner, “Evictions in San Francisco,” Jessica Kwong
    • Third Place: The Daily Post, “Naked cop and the hooker,” Jeramy Gordon 

    • First Place: San Francisco Examiner, “Lee Family Ellis Act Eviction,” Jessica Kwong
    • Second Place: The Daily Post, “Menlo Park downtown plan,” Jeramy Gordon
    • Third Place: The Press Democrat, “POWER GROWERS: Big players dominate in vineyard holdings,” Cathy Bussewitz, Janet Balicki, Ted Appel 

Feature Story of a Light Nature
    • First Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Schools says meditation helps struggling students,” Angela Swartz
    • Second Place: San Francisco Examiner, “A Bridge to the Past,” Jessica Kwong 

Feature Story of a Serious Nature
    • First Place: Daily News Group, “Woodside woman receives brother's Purple Heart,” Jason Green
    • Second Place: Santa Cruz Sentinel, “Story of Recovery,” Jondi Gumz
    • Third Place: San Francisco Examiner, “On the Front Line of Eviction Aid,” Jessica Kwong 

    • First Place: Santa Cruz Sentinel, “Three homes sell for $1.5 million and up in one day,” Jondi Gumz

Business/Technology Story
    • First Place: The Press Democrat, “Brew Baron: Petaluma company on track to generate about $90 million in revenue this year,” Sean Scully
    • Second Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Salmon season opens: Commercial fishermen anticipate plentiful catch bolstered by breeding efforts,” Samantha Weigel
    • Third Place: Santa Cruz Sentinel, “Biking with the Boss,” Jondi Gumz 

    • First Place: The Daily Post, “Sex, lies and the 12-step process,” John Angell Grant
    • Second Place: Daily News Group, “A slapstick shredding of civility,” Joanne Engelhardt
    • Third Place: Daily News Group, “Understanding 'Loudest Man on Earth',” Joanne Engelhardt

Specialty Story
    • First Place: The Daily Post, “Chrysler SRT8 is braun and brains,” Jeramy Gordon
    • Second Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Ready to serve: Warfighter Brewing Company helps veterans band together,” Samantha Weigel 

Sports Story
    • First Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Trip to dentist jump-starts Chavez's baseball career,” Nathan Mollat
    • Second Place: San Francisco Examiner, “A Hollywood Occasion at Warriors' Season Opener,” Jessica Kwong
    • Third Place: Daily News Group, “Grown-Man Killer,” Vytas Mazeika 

Sports Game Story
    • First Place: The Press Democrat, “Heart of a champion: Goal-line stand, comeback from 17-point deficit show SF's grit,” Phil Barber
    • Second Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Glory Gators,” Nathan Mollat
    • Third Place: Daily News Group, “NorCal Champions: Thrilling 5-set victory over Sonora sends Knights to Div. IV state title game,” John Reid 

    • First Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Dosa reality: Restaurants battle over branding,” Erik Oeverndiek
    • Second Place: The Press Democrat, “Four-legged frauds,” David Bomar
    • Third Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Alleged trumpet thief facing music,” Michelle Durand

Graphic Design
    • First Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Super Bowl,” Julio Lara
    • Second Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “The defense begins,” Julio Lara
    • Third Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “More than just super,” Julio Lara 

Page Design
    • First Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Breaking Bad,” Erik Oeverndiek
    • Second Place: Daily News Group, “Niners Knockin',” Greg Frazier
    • Third Place: The Press Democrat, “Candlestick Park 1960-2013: The place where we were blown away,” David Bomar 


Overall Excellence
    • First Place: San Francisco Business Times, “,” San Francisco Business Times Staff
    • Second Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “Palo Alto Weekly,” Palo Alto Weekly Staff
    • Third Place: Central City Extra, “Feb, May and Nov 2013 issues,” Tom Carter, Jonathan Newman, Marjorie Beggs, Ed Bowers, Geoff Link 

    • First Place: San Francisco Business Times, “Housing's worst enemy in S.F. is housing activists,” Jim Gardner
    • Second Place: Silicon Valley Business Journal, “How not to plug a leaker,” Greg Baumann
    • Third Place: San Francisco Business Times, “Return to exurbs won't fix region's broken housing,” Jim Gardner 

    • First Place: East Bay Express, “Columns by Robert Gammon,” Robert Gammon
    • Second Place: Bay Area Reporter, “Political Notebook,” Matthew Bajko 

    • First Place: Los Gatos Weekly Times, “Columns by Dick Sparrer,” Dick Sparrer 

    • First Place: Los Gatos Weekly Times, “Columns by Dick Sparrer,” Dick Sparrer
    • Second Place: Pacifica Tribune, “Columns by Horace Hinshaw,” Horace Hinshaw 

News Story
    • First Place: Central City Extra, “Gentrified,” Mark Hedin
    • Second Place: East Bay Express, “Warning: Quake in 60 Seconds,” Azeen Ghorayshi
    • Third Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “Having a say,” Gennady Sheyner 

Continuing Coverage
    • First Place: East Bay Express, “The Real Purpose of Oakland's Surveillance Center,” Ali Winston, Darwin Bond Graham
    • Second Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “Merrill Newman held in North Korea,” Sue Dremann, Eric Van Susteren 

    • First Place: East Bay Express, “Tunnel Vision: Delta in Peril and Rivers in Peril,” Joaquin Palomino, Robert Gammon 

Feature Story of a Light Nature
    • First Place: Central City Extra, “Farmers on the roof,” Paul Dunn
    • Second Place: Silicon Valley Business Journal, “Guaranteed Returns,” Preeti Upadhyaya
    • Third Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “Christmas bird count a 'hoot' for birders,” Sue Dremann 

Feature Story of a Serious Nature
    • First Place: East Bay Express, “Life, Death, and PTSD in Oakland,” Rebecca Ruiz
    • Second Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “Legal limbo,” Elena Kadvany
    • Third Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “Drowning in debt,” Elena Kadvany 

    • First Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “Palo Alto's painful dilemma,” Gennady Sheyner
    • Second Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “The mess at Mitchell,” Gennady Sheyner
    • Third Place: San Francisco Business Times, “Gilead reaches for a cure,” Ron Leuty

Business/Technology Story
    • First Place: Silicon Valley Business Journal, “Ag 2.0 - How Silicon Valley aims to turn greens to gold,” Nathan Donato-Weinstein
    • Second Place: San Francisco Business Times, “The biggest biotech you've never heard of,” Ron Leuty
    • Third Place: East Bay Express, “Public Research for Private Gain,” Darwin Bond Graham

    • First Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “Amour,” Susan Tavernetti
    • Second Place: Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, “New Era,” Crystal Chow 

Specialty Story
    • First Place: East Bay Express, “Waste: The Dark Side of the New Coffee Craze,” Vanessa Rancano
    • Second Place: San Francisco Business Times, “Retro's renaissance,” Renee Frojo
    • Third Place: San Francisco Business Times, “Tequila sunrise: New Bay Area brands are giving tequila fresh flavor and sophistication,” Blanca Torres 

Sports Story
    • First Place: East Bay Express, “Real Warriors,” Mark Anderson
    • Second Place: Los Gatos Weekly Times, “Back on the Bus,” Dick Sparrer
    • Third Place: Pacifica Tribune, “Surf'n at Brink Pool,” Horace Hinshaw 

Sports Game Story
    • First Place: Los Gatos Weekly Times, “Wildcats claim CCS D-II football crown,” Dick Sparrer

    • First Place: Silicon Valley Business Journal, “Scalding toilets, naked guys, pot farms,” Greg Baumann 

Graphic Design
    • First Place: Silicon Valley Business Journal, “Rivers of Wine,” Ryan Lambert 

Page Design
    • First Place: Silicon Valley Business Journal, “Doing business in 140 characters,” Ryan Lambert, Alex Martin
    • Second Place: East Bay Express, “False Witness,” Brian Kelly 
    Magazines/Trade Publications
Overall Excellence
    • First Place: The Spectrum, “The Spectrum Magazine - Redwood City's Monthly Magazine,” Steve Penna, James Massey, Anne Callery, James Kaspar
    • Second Place: India Currents, “India Currents Magazine,” Vandana Kumar, Jaya Padmanabhan

    • First Place: India Currents, “Sanberged and Prototyped,” Jaya Padmanabhan 

    • First Place: India Currents, “India Currents Columns,” Anita Felicelli, Arpit Mehta, Lakshmi Mani
    • Second Place: Air Journey Publications, “Weekenders,” Michelle Carter
    • Third Place: The Spectrum, “As I was saying . . .,” Steve Penna, Anne Callery 

Feature Story of a Light Nature
    • First Place: Traditions Magazine, “Setting the Stage: Tom Arvetis inspires Chicago community,” Antonia Ehlers
    • Second Place: Traditions Magazine, “Lynn Swann Honored at Serra by Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Antonia Ehlers
    • Third Place: India Currents, “From the Man Village Into the Jungle,” Kalpana Mohan 

Feature Story of a Serious Nature
    • First Place: India Currents, “The Last Straw,” Kavya Padmanabhan
    • Second Place: Harvard Education Letter, “Healthy Students, Healthy Schools,” Lisa Rosenthal
    • Third Place: Traditions Magazine, “Serving Salinas: Tri-School Students Make a Difference,” Antonia Ehlers 

    • First Place: India Currents, “Analysis by India Currents Staff,” R. Benedito Ferrão, Ranjani Iyer Mohanty, Mimm Patterson, Sarita Sarvate, Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan 

Specialty Story
    • First Place: Traditions Magazine, “Beatlemania: Serra music director "gets back" to where they once belonged,” Antonia Ehlers
    • Second Place: Air Journey Publications, “On safari on the wings of a DC-3,” Michelle Carter
    • Third Place: Flying Magazine, “African Fly-It Yourself Safari,” Michelle Carter 

Sports Story
    • First Place: Traditions Magazine, “The Next Generation,” Jonathan Allen
    • Second Place: Traditions Magazine, “Brains and Brawn: Student-athletes thrive in the Ivy League,” Jonathan Allen 

Page Design
    • First Place: Traditions Magazine, “Beatlemania: Serra music director "gets back" to where they once belonged,” Michelle Wilkinson
    • Second Place: Traditions Magazine, “The Next Generation,” Michelle Wilkinson
    • Third Place: Traditions Magazine, “Brains and Brawn: Student-athletes thrive in the Ivy League,” Michelle Wilkinson 


Photography-Spot News
    • First Place: The Press Democrat, “Hot pursuit,” Kent Porter 

Photography-General News
    • First Place: Oakland Tribune, “Same-sex marriage celebration,” Jane Tyska 

    • First Place: The Press Democrat, “Spires tell stories of early days,” Kent Porter
    • Second Place: Daily News Group, “Warm weather visits Bay Area, but it's no heat wave,” Kirstina Sangsahachart
    • Third Place:, “Lightning crackles across Bay Area skies,” Scot Tucker 

Photography-Sports Action
    • First Place:, “Giants, Pence seal 2013 with sizzle,” Scot Tucker
    • Second Place: Daily News Group, “NorCal Champions: Thrilling 5-set victory over Sonora sends Knights to Div. IV state title game,” Tony Avelar
    • Third Place: The Press Democrat, “49ers hit a switch...,” Kent Porter 

Photography-Sports Feature
    • First Place:, “Chiefs soar to rout frustrated Raiders,” Scot Tucker 

Photography-Photo Series/Picture Story
    • First Place: Oakland Tribune, “Matthew Ouimet Receives Liver and Kidney Transplant,” Jane Tyska
    • Second Place: Oakland Tribune, “Funeral for Baby Drew Jackson,” Jane Tyska
    • Third Place:, “The faces of San Francisco's homeless youth,” Lisette Poole 


Overall Excellence
    • First Place: KCBS Radio, “KCBS Radio,” KCBS News 

Team Breaking News
    • First Place: KCBS Radio, “Asiana Crash,” KCBS News Team 

Feature Story of a Light Nature
    • First Place: KCBS Radio, “Letter to Mick,” Mike Sugerman 

Feature Story of a Serious Nature
    • First Place: KCBS Radio, “16th and Mission,” Mike Sugerman 

Sports Story
    • First Place: KCBS Radio, “America,” Anna Duckworth 

Special Program
    • First Place: KCBS Radio, “Marsy's Law,” Doug Sovern 

    • First Place: KCBS Radio, “SF General,” Holly Quan 

Use of Sound
    • First Place: KCBS Radio, “Letter to Mick,” Mike Sugerman 


News Story
    • First Place: KTVU Channel 2, “License Plate Loophole,” Jana Katsuyama, John Klossner, Michael Kelly 

Feature Story of a Light Nature
    • First Place: KQED 9, “Burning Man Art: Beyond the Playa,” Lori Halloran, Thuy Vu, Byron Thompson, Mike Elwell, Joanne Elgart Jennings 

Feature Story of a Serious Nature
    • First Place: KNTV NBC Bay Area, “Sysco Foods Dirty Secret,” Vicky Nguyen, Kevin Nious, David Paredes, Felipe Escamilla, Jeremy Carroll, Mark Villarreal, Matt Goldberg, Raji Ramanathan, Michelle Nguyen
    • Second Place: KTVU Channel 2, “Charities or Scams?,” Rita Williams, Cristina Gastelu, Tony Hodrick, Dina Munsch, Ron Acker
    • Third Place: KNTV NBC Bay Area, “The SamTrans Way,” Vicky Nguyen, Kevin Nious, Jeremy Carroll, Matt Goldberg 

Public Affairs Program
    • First Place: KQED 9, “KQED Newsroom 11/15/13 Episode,” Monica Lam, Robin Epstein, Sheraz Sadiq, Thuy Vu, Scott Shafer, Bud Gundy, Linda Giannechini, Joanne Elgart Jennings
    • Second Place: KTVU Channel 2, “Second Look: It's a Wrap!,” Rita Williams, Frank Somerville

    • First Place: Al Jazeera America, “Mike Anderson Composite,” Mike Anderson
    • Second Place: KSRO.COM, “Bollini Composite,” Chris Bollini 

    • First Place:, “Bollini Composite,” Chris Bollini
    • Second Place: Al Jazeera America, “Mike Anderson Composite,” Mike Anderson 


Overall Excellence
    • First Place: Junipero Serra High School, “Junipero Serra High School Marketing/PR Campaign,” Bruce Anthony, Sandy Brook, Antonia Ehlers, Pam Robbins, Randy Vogel, Michelle Wilkinson
    • Second Place: NATAS SF/NorCal, “National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, San Francisco/ Northern California Chapter,” Keith Sanders, Patty Zubov, Kevin Wing, Sultan Mirza, Darryl Compton 

    • First Place: NATAS SF/NorCal, “Off Camera,” Kevin Wing, Patty Zubov, Keith Sanders, Karen Owoc, Darryl Compton
    • Second Place: Broadcast Legends, “Broadcast Legends Newsletter,” Jim Schock, Peter Cleaveland, David Jackson, Steve Kushman, Darryl Compton 

Press Kit
    • First Place: NATAS SF/NorCal, “42nd Annual Northern California Area Emmy Awards,” Julie Watts, Craig Franklin, Patty Zubov, Linda Giannecchini, Keith Sanders, Darryl Compton 

Annual Reports
    • First Place: Cynthia Stone Media, “Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula Annual Report,” Marcus Jackson, Joannie Casenas, Randi Shafton, Jocelyn Swisher, Cynthia Stone 


Overall Excellence
    • First Place: The Press Democrat, “,” Press Democrat staff 

Overall Excellence – Web only
    • First Place:, “,” Jesse Garnier, Scot Tucker, Sarah Todd, Miles Garnier, Robert Hernandez, Andreas Tsortzis, Gerhard Stochl
    • Second Place: California Healthline, “California Healthline,” California Healthline 

Staff Columns Sports
    • First Place:, “MURPH'S PLACE: No title, no problem for Belmont Little League,” John Murphy 

Breaking News
    • First Place:, “Two dead, dozens hurt in SFO crash landing,” Coburn Palmer, John Marshall, Mike Hendrickson
    • Second Place: New America Media, “Barred from federal programs, DREAMers May Qualify for Medi-Cal,” Viji Sundaram
    • Third Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “Merrill Newman returns home,” Sue Dremann, Veronica Weber, Eric Van Susteren 

News Story
    • First Place:, “Spending accusations spin Elks lodge into 'turmoil',” Jessica Kwong, Jesse Garnier, Scot Tucker
    • Second Place: Bay City News, “Thousands attend funeral for slain Santa Cruz officers,” Jeff Burbank
    • Third Place: Bay City News, “Residents salvage belongings from burned-out apartment complex in Redwood City,” Chris Cooney 

Continuing Coverage
    • First Place:, “SFBay Muni coverage,” Jerold Chinn
    • Second Place: Silicon Valley Business Journal, “Can online education grow up?,” Lauren Hepler
    • Third Place: Bay City News, “PG&E pipeline disputes,” Julia Cheever 

Feature Story of a Light Nature
    • First Place: Bay City News, “Man who walks with mules headed to Golden Gate Bridge,” Jeff Burbank
    • Second Place: Bay City News, “San Francisco police chief reflects on success of Batkid,” Melissa McRobbie
    • Third Place: Bay City News, “A's win marathon game in the 19th inning,” Sasha Lekach 

Feature Story of a Serious Nature
    • First Place: Bloomberg, “Oil Firms Break Promise on Biofuels as Chevron Defies California,” Peter Waldman, Ben Elgin
    • Second Place: San Francisco Daily Journal, “A Jury of Their Peers?,” Saul Sugarman 

    • First Place: The North Bay Bohemian, “Epic Local Government Failure Results in Closed Libraries,” Jonathan Greenberg 

Business/Technology Story
    • First Place: Bloomberg, “JPMorgan Probe Prosecutor Put Away Tomato Racketeer,” Karen Gullo
    • Second Place: Bloomberg, “NCAA $6.4 Billion Threatened by Suit Over Player Likeness,” Karen Gullo, Curtis Eichelberger 

    • First Place: Metro Silicon Valley, “Slayer Pays Tribute to Guitarist Jeff Hanneman with Latest Tour,” Sean McCourt
    • Second Place: Santa Cruz Weekly, “Chop Tops Go International,” Sean McCourt
    • Third Place:, “'Star Wars' Revisited at the Tech Museum,” Sean McCourt 

Sports Story
    • First Place:, “Knights' Heneghan has everything but a D-I offer,” John Murphy
    • Second Place: Bay City News, “Fans pack AT&T Park for World Baseball Classic,” Sean McCourt
    • Third Place:, “Challenges could not bring down Russell White,” John Murphy 

    • First Place:, “Red and Gold accused of being too white,” Jesse Garnier
    • Second Place: San Francisco Business Times, “Franz with benefits: Roche picks Lufthansa CEO as new chairman,” Ron Leuty
    • Third Place: San Francisco Business Times, “Executives who made their banks charity cases become philanthropists,” Mark Calvey Multi 

    • First Place: Oakland Tribune, “Matthew Ouimet Receives Liver and Kidney Transplant,” Jane Tyska
    • Second Place:, “A fresh spin through the old Stick,” Jesse Garnier, Scot Tucker

    • First Place:, “MURPH'S PLACE: Hazing is antiquated, dangerous,” John Murphy
    • Second Place: San Francisco Business Times, “Genetic jungle - Trying to make sense of FDA's 23 and Me warning,” Ron Leuty
    • Third Place: San Francisco Business Times, “Wells Fargo warns of looming retirement crisis,” Mark Calvey 

Best use of Twitter
    • First Place: Silicon Valley Business Journal, “Twitter @SVBizJournal,” Alex Martin

ABC digitizes KGO's news tape library

ABC Owned Television Stations this spring has finished digitizing, cataloging and storing the news tape library of KGO, making stories dating back to the 1970s readily available to producers at KGO and other ABC O&Os, TVNewsCheck reports.

The project has reduced an old tape library filling 2,000 square feet into a device the size of a medium-size shipping box containing a little over a petabyte of data. The digitizing was done robotically, with a machine that archived about 1,000 tapes, or 50,000 stories, per week, according to Jim Casabella, director of advanced technology for the station group.

It was important to digitize the tapes now because some of them, particulary U-matic tape, was deteriorating and might not be readable in the future.

The difficultly, Casabella said, was finding old videotape machines that could playback the tape.

ABC has also digitized the tape libraries of WABC New York, WLS Chicago and WPVI Philadelphia. KABC Los Angeles and KTRK Houston are next. Digitizing aging news videotape is important from a historical point of view, Casabella said.

“I would encourage people to face up to the fact that they need to preserve their libraries.”

“You can’t make a business case for doing it, but on the other side of the equation is the fact that the three or four stations that have been doing news for the past 35 years in these markets have created the only video library of the important events in their cities,” Casabella said. “There isn’t anything else. If those are gone, that video record is gone.”

While KGO's new digital library isn't available to the public, San Francisco State University's Leonard Library offers a collection of old news footage online at The SF State collection includes film from KRON, KPIX, KTVU and KQED.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

State Supreme Court says police must disclose names of officers in shootings

According to AP and BCN, the California Supreme Court today ruled that police departments must in most cases divulge the names of officers involved in on-duty shootings.

In the 6-1 decision, the high court rejected blanket bans that cite unspecified safety threats to officers as a reason for withholding the names.

The court said exceptions could be made to keep the names of undercover officers private and in cases where credible threats exist.

"When it comes to the disclosure of a peace officer's name, the public's substantial interest in the conduct of its peace officers outweighs, in most cases, the officer's personal privacy interest," Justice Joyce Kennard wrote.

The case before the court concerned the fatal shooting of an unarmed man, Douglas Zerby, 35, by two Long Beach officers on Dec. 12, 2010.

The officers were responding to a call in which a neighbor said an intoxicated man was brandishing a gun. Zerby, who found to have sustained 12 gunshot wounds, turned out to have been holding the nozzle of a garden hose.

The Los Angeles Times, later joined by other media and the American Civil Liberties Union, sought to learn the officers' names.

The city and the Long Beach Police Officers Association opposed the disclosure, arguing the officers could be threatened or harmed.

The city and union contended the officers were entitled to an exemption under California's Public Records Act of 1968, which generally requires disclosure of government records but allows exceptions when the public interest would not be served.

"In today's Internet age, we believe that releasing the name of an officer is tantamount to releasing the officer's home address and other personal information," said union president Stephen James.

But the court majority said an exception should be granted in officer-involved shooting cases only when there is evidence that a particular officer or officer's family would be endangered.

"Vague safety concerns that apply to all officers involved in shootings are insufficient to tip the balance against disclosure of officer names," Kennard wrote.

Kennard said releasing names helps hold peace officers accountable and trumps general safety concerns.

"In a case such as this one, which concerns officer-involved shootings, the public's interest in the conduct of its peace officers is particularly great because such shootings often lead to severe injury or death," Kennard wrote.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Oracle, Henry M. Gunn High School takes top Press Club honor

Gunn High School's Oracle newspaper staff

Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto took top honors at the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club’s 2014 High School Journalism Awards which were presented Thursday afternoon (May 22) at the San Mateo County History Museum in Redwood City.

Gunn’s newspaper, The Oracle, was recognized as the first-place winner in the General Excellence category. The paper’s editor and advisor will be honored at the Press Club’s Evening of Excellence May 31 at the Crowne Plaza in Foster City.

In all, 13 Peninsula high schools participated in the competition, each with a first place plaque, second, third place and honorable mention certificates. The competition drew 563 entries in 12 categories from 255 students. 40 individuals received awards.

The contest was judged by professional journalists who are members of the Press Club and is co-sponsored by the Hillsdale Shopping Center, San Mateo.

Here is a complete list of the winning entries:

News Story
    • First: Corine Forward, “Gunshots rattle school into lockdown,” The Eastside Panther, Eastside College Preparatory School, East Palo Alto 
    • Second: Amanda Russell, “Thieves wheel away bikes, then roll out of sight,” The Eastside Panther, Eastside College Preparatory School, East Palo Alto 
    • Third: John Pablo, “Scurrying pests cause worrisome mess,” Tom-Tom, Jefferson High School, Daly City

Feature Story
    • First: Lily Hartzell, “Coping with the challenges of homelessness gives student strength,” Raven Report, Sequoia High School, Redwood City 
    • Second: Shana Vu, Sophia Kakarala, “Teen Sexuality - The Double Standard,” The Roar, Santa Clara High School, Santa Clara • Third: Arianna Bayangos, “Bullying on social media,” The Highlander, Carlmont High School, Belmont 
    • Honorable Mention: Regina Wen, “Teacher-Student-Mom,” The Aragon Outlook, Aragon High School, San Mateo 
    • Honorable Mention: Sabrina Leung, “Flushing out gender separation,” The Highlander, Carlmont High School, Belmont 
    • Honorable Mention: Madison Riehle, “Teens feel pressure to be 'perfect',” The Broad View, Convent of the Sacred Heart, San Francisco 
     • Honorable Mention: Lucas Furrer, “The wacky world...,” Serra Friar, Junipero Serra High School, San Mateo

Sports Story
    • First: Max Herrera, “Dons power their way past Woodside 27-12,” The Aragon Outlook, Aragon High School, San Mateo 
    • Second: Spencer Walling, Isaac Wang, “Examine your head: Concussions in high school sports,” The Aragon Outlook, Aragon High School, San Mateo 
    • Third: Daniel Wang, “A day in the life of an athlete,” The Highlander, Carlmont High School, Belmont

    • First: Outlook Editorial Staff, “Grades are private; Students should be aware of with whom they are shared,” The Aragon Outlook, Aragon High School, San Mateo 
    • Second: Corine Forward, “Panther Editorial-Words of wisdom for freshment,” The Eastside Panther, Eastside College Preparatory School, East Palo Alto 
    • Third: Dalia Jude, “Don't cower from reality: Intruder drill needs improvement,” Raven Report, Sequoia High School, Redwood City

    • First: Jessica Adair, “Columns by Jessica Adair,” The Highlander, Carlmont High School, Belmont 
    • Second: Dominic Gialdini, “Columns by Dominic Gialdini,” The Highlander, Carlmont High School, Belmont 
    • Third: Dana Ysabel Dela Cruz, “Column by Dana Ysabel Dela Cruz,” The Thunderbolt, Mills High School, Millbrae

News Photo
    • First: Alex Wildman, “Choir defends title as Carlmont Cup Champions,” The Highlander, Carlmont High School, Belmont 
    • Second: Cristina Ashbaugh, “Video Production Club begins airing sports games online,” The Aragon Outlook, Aragon High School, San Mateo 
    • Third: Miguel Cardenas, “Beshirs hears cheers for shears,” Tom-Tom, Jefferson High School, Daly City

Feature Photo
    • First: Grace Yi, “Senior ballerina Jenn Stewart solos in the "Inspire" dance show.,” The Highlander, Carlmont High School, Belmont 
    • Second: Lucy McGarr, Elizabeth Daskalakis, “Little Big Game Rally,” The Burlingame Bee, Burlingame High School, Burlingame • Third: Stephanie Kim, “Behind the scenes: construction,” The Oracle, Henry M. Gunn, Palo Alto

Sports Photo
    • First: Breana Picchi, “Tyler Mucci, 12, Flys Into Action,” The Bear Cat, San Mateo High School, San Mateo 
    • Second: Maddy Jones, “Sophomore forward Nika Woodfill controls the ball.,” The Paly Voice, Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto 
    • Third: Scott Liu, “Dons vs. Knights in last basketball game of season,” The Aragon Outlook, Aragon High School, San Mateo

Layout and Design
    • First: Oracle Staff, The Oracle, Henry M. Gunn, Palo Alto 
    • Second: Panther Staff, The Eastside Panther, Eastside College Preparatory School, East Palo Alto 
    • Third: Highlander Staff, The Highlander, Carlmont High School, Belmont

Web Site Design
    • First: Paly Voice Staff, “,” The Paly Voice, Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto 
    • Second: Gareth George, Angela Zhang, “,” The Bear Cat, San Mateo High School, San Mateo 
    • Third: Nathan Chau, “Mills Thunderbolt Website,” The Thunderbolt, Mills High School, Millbrae

Web Site Content
    • First: Paly Voice Staff, “,” The Paly Voice, Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto 
    • Second: Serina Hersey, Julia Li, Nathan Chau, Dana Ysabel Dela Cruz, Jason Chun, Luisa Simpao, Jacob Ng, “Mills Thunderbolt Website,” The Thunderbolt, Mills High School, Millbrae 
    • Third: Sarah Klieves, Shira Stein, Scoop Staff, Scot Scoop News Carlmont High School, Belmont

General Excellence
    • First: Oracle Staff, The Oracle, Henry M. Gunn, Palo Alto 
    • Second: Verde Staff, Verde Magazine, Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto 
    • Third: Highlander Staff, The Highlander, Carlmont High School, Belmont

Friday, May 9, 2014

Knight Fellows offer new ideas in journalism

Twenty Knight Journalism fellows at Stanford on Monday night presented their visions on what journalism is and what it will look like moving forward. They have spent the past year, while taking breaks from their professional jobs, developing concepts and prototypes that will push journalism forward. summarized some of the top ideas:

• – According to Umbreen Bhatti, many journalists say they don’t cover legal stories because they’re too complicated and, except at a courthouse, few can be found who want to cover such stories. In response, she has created a tool for television journalists that “does some of the work for them,” interviewing potential sources for a database-like platform that helps journalists cut through the barriers and tell stories regarding the legal system.

• The Dazzles are Shazna Nessa’s way of allowing readers to help decide what is good journalism. The goal is to allow journalists to know what resonates with our audiences so that we may better serve them.

• – Pitched by Ana Maria Carrano, this is a platform that aims to allow journalists and citizens to record and share audio—“think document cloud for voices,” she said. After speaking with more than 50 journalists who said they transcribed up to 10 interviews a week (each one taking up to two hours), she wanted to capitalize on the pieces of the interviews that don’t make it to print.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bay Area Telemundo station to launch morning newscasts and is beefing up its staff

TVNewsCheck reports that NBC-owned Telemundo station
KSTS 48 announced that on June 2 the station will launch two new weekday morning newscasts – the market’s only Spanish-language local morning news – designed to deliver local breaking news, weather and traffic as well as stories of interest to the Bay Area’s Latino community.

Additionally, the station will be debuting a new state-of-the-art high-definition studio, adding nearly 20 new anchors, reporters and others to the team, launching live weather coverage to its evening newscasts and working more closely with sister station, KNTV, including sharing key bilingual talent, local programming and newsroom resources.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fire at old KNTV studio destroyed more than an abandoned building

Scott Herhold of the Mercury News says the fire that roared through the old KNTV building in San Jose on Sunday not only gutted an aging and empty structure, but it destroyed the last remnants of the early era of local television — a time that was more fun and less calculated than today’s broadcasts.

“From the weekday 'Record Hop,' which drew its inspiration from 'American Bandstand,' to a kids' show called 'Hocus Pocus,' to the used-car ads late at night, the KNTV building served as host for shows that marked a generation in San Jose,” Herhold writes.

“The early days were, well, funky. At the corner of Park Avenue and Montgomery Street stood an old house, left in place by the Gillilands (former KNTV owners), that became the station's first newsroom. Things were so crowded that one of the editors sat on a commode with a plywood board on her lap to edit the day's film.” [MORE]

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Judge to allow laptops, tablets during proceedings in the Yee case

Bay City News says U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer of San Francisco will allow reporters and members of the public to use laptops and tablets during hearings in the case of Leland Yee, Raymond Chow and others, provided that the laptop users agree to abide by court rules.

The rules are that laptops and tablets can be used only to take notes and transmit stories. They may not be used for photography, audio recording or broadcasting of proceedings.

In addition, cellphones may not be used for any purpose in the courtroom and any phones brought into a hearing must be fully turned off. Reporters wishing to bring laptops and tablets into the courtroom must submit an application stating that they understand and agree to the rules.

They will then receive a court-issued badge indicating they have court permission to use the equipment. Laptops may not be used unless the court has accepted an individual's application and issued a badge.

The next hearing in the case is a status conference before Breyer at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Further information and the application form are available on the courts website for the case:

High school journalists on the Peninsula win national recognition for school's website

The Carlmont High School website.
Student journalists at Carlmont High School in the Peninsula city of Belmont won a prestigious award over the weekend at the National High School Journalism Convention in San Diego.

Carlmont’s was honored with a Pacemaker Award by the National Scholastic Press Association.

“It’s significant for a lot of reasons,” Justin Raisner, an English and journalism teacher who is the adviser to the journalism program, told the San Mateo Daily Journal. “One is the recognition of what we do and just the affirmation that we are doing it right; but not only are we doing it right, but we’re doing it as well as, or better than, anyone else in the country.”

“For high school students, this is really exciting because a lot want to pursue media or journalism in college. So we’re hoping this will open a lot of doors that some students might get recruited from colleges and maybe get some scholarships,” Raisner said.

Students update the website daily with news stories, and the site attracts 6,000 unique visitors a month, according to Raisner.

The site is currently run by student editors-in-chief Sarah Klieves and Shira Stein.

The students post online content on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as CarlmontHighlander.

Out of 1,112 participants, the following Carlmont students were honored with awards:
    Justine Phipps, sports writing, “superior” (a.k.a. top ranking) 
    Dana Benelli, news writing, “superior” (a.k.a. top ranking) 
    Shira Stein, news editing and headline writing, “excellent” (a.k.a. second best) 
    Karissa Tom, graphic design: advertising, “excellent” (a..ka. second best) 
    Jessica Adair, feature writing, honorable mention 
    Isabella Paragas, editorial cartooning, honorable mention

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Press Club to award $1,500 scholarships

April 25, 2014 is the deadline for submitting entries to the 2014 scholarship competition sponsored by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club.

Competition is open to high school, community college, college and university students from the 11 Bay Area counties who are planning a career in print, broadcast or photo journalism.

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club typically selects one high school student and one college student to receive the $1,500 scholarships named for Herb Caen, the late San Francisco Chronicle columnist.

Scholarship funds will be paid to schools the recipients plan to attend, or are attending, to defray college-related expenses.

Work published, broadcast or webcast from fall 2013 to the April 25, 2014, submission deadline is eligible. This is a change from previous competitions Print and photo entrants should send:
    • A one-page resume. 
    • Three to five clippings mounted on letter-sized white paper; photos on CD; and video on DVD-R. Print entrants must include at least two clippings of news writing and may complete the submission with examples of opinion and feature writing. 
    • A letter of recommendation from an instructor in journalism, communications or English.
Entries should be sent to:
    San Francisco Peninsula Press Club Scholarships
    Attention: Darryl Compton, 
    Executive Director 
    4317 Camden Ave.
    San Mateo CA 94403-5007
Finalists will be interviewed in person by the Press Club’s Scholarship Committee. Winners will be honored at the Press Club’s 36th Annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards Dinner on May 31 at the Crowne Plaza in Foster City.

The deadline is April 25, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Appeals court says officials' private emails, texts are exempt from open records law

A state appeals court in San Jose has ruled that text messages, emails and other electronic communications sent and received by public officials on their personal devices are not public records regardless of the topic.

The ruling on March 27 by the 6th District Court of Appeal means the California Public Records Act (CPRA) doesn't extend to public officials' private devices.

The decision sets a legal precedent for South Bay counties but the issue is likely to remain unsettled until the California Supreme Court weighs in, the Mercury News said.

According to the National Law Review, the suit was brought by activist Ted Smith, who sought public records about a downtown San Jose redevelopment project.

The city complied with most of his request but refused to turn over “all voicemails, emails or text messages sent or received on private electronic devices” used by the mayor, members of the City Council, or their staff.

Smith sued and won a summary judgment ruling in superior court that found the CPRA extends to any official communication, regardless of where the record originated or how it is stored. The city appealed and the League of California Cities filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the city.

The appeals court on Thursday found in favor of the city. The appeals court ruled that, under the CPRA, communications “prepared, owned, used, or retained” by individual city officials on their personal electronic devices using private accounts were not equivalent to communications “prepared, used, owned, or retained” by the city.

The appeals court acknowledged the “serious concern” that city council members would conceal their communications on public issues by sending and receiving the communications on their private devices from private accounts, but it declined to re-write the CPRA, saying that was the job of the Legislature.

Smith’s attorney said his client will seek review of the decision by the California Supreme Court.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Thieves take equipment from KTVU van

The Chronicle is reporting that thieves broke into a KTVU news van parked in Oakland's Fruitvale District on Sunday and stole camera equipment. It was the latest in a series of crimes targeting the media in Oakland. The theft happened after Reporter Katie Utehs and photojournalist Jacob Unger parked their van in a lot at 35th Avenue and East 12th Street at about 10:45 a.m. Sunday to cover an event. When they returned to the van, they found that someone had smashed the locks on the passenger side and stolen a LiveU portable camera-backpack system used for live broadcasting, a laptop computer, a tripod and other gear.

Metro Newspapers buys papers in Santa Cruz, Gilroy, Morgan Hill and Hollister

Metro Newspapers, publisher of the Metro alt-weekly in San Jose, is buying four MainStreet Media Group newspapers: Santa Cruz Good Times, the Gilroy Dispatch, Hollister Free Lance and Morgan Hill Times.

Terms were not announced.

Metro principal owner Dan Pulcrano told the San Jose Business Journal that there were multiple bidders for the properties and that his group paid for the purchase with private investment and other financing that he declined to describe. He said the papers he bought are profitable.

"We believe the South County is a very good area to be in, with a lot of potential growth," Pulcrano said.

Pulcrano said he plans to seek local investors for each of the titles to create additional bonds with those communities.

In Santa Cruz, Metro, which already owns the Santa Cruz Weekly, is acquiring its primary competitor, the 39-year-old weekly Good Times. Starting next week, the Weekly and Good Times will be combined into one publication under the title "Santa Cruz Good Times, incorporating the Santa Cruz Weekly."

Pulcrano told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that he would be retaining "the majority of both staffs," but declined to state who would be the editor of the new product.

Currently, Greg Archer is the editor of Good Times, which has a staff of 19; Steve Palopoli of the Santa Cruz Weekly. Good Times publisher Ron Slack told the Sentinel that he would "probably" not be retained.

"We're actually excited about the future of print," said Pulcrano. "It has shown tremendous resilience. Even during the last 20 years of digital media, weeklies seem to have been the survivors."

Slack told the Sentinel that once MainStreet Media sold its papers in San Diego in late 2013, he knew that Good Times was also on the market. He said that he tried to put together a local investment group to purchase Good Times, but was unsuccessful, partly because the Gilroy and Morgan Hill papers were to be part of any sale.

Here's the press release from Metro Newspapers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

San Jose City Council offers incentives to lure Mercury News to downtown

The Mercury News, which has sold its building at Brokaw Road and I-880, is looking for a new home for its newsroom and business departments, and San Jose officials are trying to lure the paper to move downtown.

They're hoping a parking incentive program that would save the paper $864,000 over five years will do the trick.

Mayor Chuck Reed said the Merc would be a "marquee tenant" downtown.

"They do buy ink by the barrel, still," Reed said.

The Merc said in today's edition that it is still exploring other office space around Silicon Valley and hasn't yet committed to a downtown move.

Under the offer approved by council Tuesday, the Merc would get 160 of its 200 spaces for free for four years and at half-price in the fifth year, while all the spots would be the full $100 monthly price in the following 2½ years.

College backtracks on policy restricting employees from talking to reporters

Skyline College in San Bruno is backing off a policy that required employees to go through the public relations department before answering media questions, the San Mateo Daily Journal reported Wednesday.

The student newspaper, The Skyline View, complained in an editorial that the policy restricted all faculty and staff from speaking to reporters for any reason.

“This stops the flow of information at the very place we need to access it, our teachers and our mentors,” the editorial stated. “Without being able to ask questions we are losing the edge that makes us journalists. In this new system we would have to e-mail our questions to the Office of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations.”

The Daily Journal reported Tuesday that the head of the teachers union, Teeka James, objected to the policy, too.

“It’s a perfect example of prior restraint on employee speech,” she said. “An employee has the right to say their experience in the college. … It still has the effect of chilling conversation and making employees feel like they’ll be in trouble if they speak to the press. It’s unclear if it’s just a recommendation, but that’s the way people are perceiving it.”

A memo sent to employees last week said, “Please do not agree to conduct an interview with a member of the media. If you are asked to be interviewed, please gather information on what the nature of the interview is, get the questions the reporter plans to ask in writing and consult (Marketing Director) Cherie Colin.”

The memo advised employees not to “talk off the record with a reporter. Nothing is off-record when speaking to the media.”

Colin told the Daily Journal that the policy was designed to protect the brand of Skyline College, which is part of the tax-funded San Mateo County Community College District.

The college said last week’s memo simply restated a policy that had been in effect since 2006, though union head James said the policy was news to everyone she knew. After the Journal’s story on Tuesday, college administrators sent out an email apologizing. They said they would reevaluate the policy.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Jack Russell, San Mateo Times reporter, columnist, editor, Press Club co-founder, dead at 87

John Henry "Jack" Russell, who worked for the San Mateo Times for 39 years and was co-founder of the Peninsula Press Club, died Saturday (March 15) at age 87, according to an obit in the San Mateo Daily Journal.

Russell was born in San Jose, graduated from Fremont High School in Cupertino and served in World War II as an infantry Sergeant. After the war, he enrolled at San Jose State University and became editor of the Spartan Daily newspaper, where he met the love of his life, Marion Summers. They married in 1951.

He started at the San Mateo Times in 1952 where he was a reporter, columnist and editor. He retired in 1991.

"He was a wealth of knowledge," said Micki Carter, who worked with Russell at the paper. "He was really such a sweet guy. He had an excellent sense of news."

Carter, former managing editor of the Times, described Russell as a people person, saying that he would always look for "the story behind the story."

"He was in the newspaper business back in the days when it was fun; when people actually depended on print for their information," said Carter, who taught journalism at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont from 1996 to 2012.

John Horgan, a columnist for the San Mateo County Times who worked with Russell for almost 30 years, echoed Carter's sentiments.

"That generation, by and large, existed in completely different era for journalism," Horgan said. "I guess you could call it the golden years."

Horgan said Russell was well versed on a variety of different subjects, which is one thing that made him a good editor.

Russell was on scene for some of the biggest news stories of the last half century, including the 1978 Jonestown Massacre, child star Shirley Temple Black's bid for Congress in 1967 and the 1964 Republican National Convention at San Francisco's Cow Palace.

Horgan remembered Russell as a sports enthusiast who loved boxing long after the sport's heyday had come and gone.

"He was very bright, he was very well read," Horgan said. "He appreciated art, he appreciated good writing."

He said Russell was a Democrat back in the days when the majority of voters in San Mateo County were Republicans. "When he was a younger man back in the 50s and 60s, San Mateo County was very conservative. It is nothing like it is now," Horgan said. "A Democrat couldn't get elected back then."

In April 1963, Russell co-founded the Peninsula Press Club (now the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club). He was the first president of the club. Other founding members were vice president John Kane from the Redwood City Tribune, treasurer Vince Mager from the South San Francisco Enterprise Journal, secretary Mary Jane Clinton from the San Mateo Times, and program chairman Bob Foster from the Times.

He served as vice president of the San Francisco-Oakland Newspaper Guild.

Russell, a Belmont resident, was a member of the Sons in Retirement Branch 90 and a 10-gallon blood bank donor at Peninsula Memorial Blood Bank.

He is survived by his children Kevin Russell, Valerie Russell, Tracy Stoehr and his grandchildren Caleb Hanscom, Catherine and William Stoehr.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Belmont at 10 a.m. Friday, March 21, followed by a private interment. Due to Lent, no flowers please.

A public visitation will also be held on Thursday, March 20 from 6-8 p.m. at Crippen and Flynn Carlmont Chapel in Belmont. (Photo credit: Micki Carter)