Friday, March 18, 2016

Ben Bagdikian, journalist, author, former UC-Berkeley j-school dean, dead at 96

Ben Bagdikian, former dean of the UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and media critic who played a key role in publishing the Pentagon Papers, died March 11 at his home in Berkeley. He was 96.

Over five decades, Bagdikian was a national and foreign correspondent for newspapers and magazines, the author of eight books and a professor and the dean at Berkeley.

In 1971, while assistant managing editor of The Washington Post, he helped that newspaper publish the Pentagon Papers, a secret history of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. At the time, a federal court had barred The New York Times from printing excerpts of the papers, so Bagdikian personally obtained the documents from former defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg.

His 1983 book, “The Media Monopoly,” predicted the consolidation of American journalism by major conglomerates.

He retired from UC-Berkeley in 1990.

Bagdikian’s many accolades include a Peabody Award, a Pulitzer Prize (which he shared with a team at the Providence Journal and Evening Bulletin), a Guggenheim Fellowship and a James Madison Award. (Photo by Richard Barnes)

Here are the obits from The New York Times , The Los Angeles Times and Washington Post.

Friday, March 4, 2016

High school journalism boot camp set for March 12 at City College of San Francisco

Save the date, Saturday, March 12, 2016.

That’s the day the Journalism Department at City College of San Francisco and the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club will co-host a boot camp for high school journalism students on the campus of City College of San Francisco, 50 Phelan Ave., San Francisco.

Registration starts at 12:30 and workshop sessions begin at 1 p.m. Go to the Diego Rivera Theater. Workshop topics include investigative reporting, transition to college journalism, broadcasting, social media and webcasting and photography.

The key note speaker will be Joe Fitzgerald, columnist for the San Francisco Examiner.

There’s still time for high school journalism advisers to sign up their students for the boot camp. Please email Press Club President Antonia Ehlers to let her know you’re coming.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Oakland Tribune to cease as a daily after 150 years as BANG consolidates, 33-43 jobs cut

Six daily newspapers in the Bay Area will be consolidated into two, one serving Oakland and the East Bay and the other Silicon Valley, and about 33 to 43 of the company’s 200 journalists will lose their jobs.

The move means the end of the 150-year-old Oakland Tribune as a daily newspaper. It’s last edition will be April 4.

The Bay Area News Group is offering 23 buyouts to newsroom employees 60 or older, who have been with their paper for at least 20 years. In addition, 10 to 20 employees will be fired, according to the Chronicle.

The company now has about 200 news employees, so this represents a reduction of 16.5% to 21.5% in staffing.

In the East Bay, The Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, The Daily Review and The Argus will combine to become the new East Bay Times, which will debut April 5.

Subscribers in Oakland, Hayward and Fremont also will receive new community weeklies.

In Silicon Valley, the San Jose Mercury News and the San Mateo County Times will become the Mercury News, dropping the words "San Jose" from its title, according to BANG's vice president for audience, Dan Smith.

He says the changes were prompted by a survey of subscribers.

Digital First Media, a New York publishing company controlled by the hedge fund Alden Global Capital, owns BANG. Digital First had been for sale for a couple of years, and rumors were circulating earlier this year that it might be acquired by Gannett Co.

The Chronicle reports that union officials at the newspapers are pushing for “fair wages and job security” at their papers, where some workers have gone eight to 10 years without a raise.

As part of the move, BANG says it will create an East Bay-focused website,, replacing the current and BANG is calling it a "newspaper rebranding."