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!