Sunday, June 25, 2006

Kudos and a Question

Good Evening, Friends,

It's been awhile since we've shown the spotlight on our friends and co-workers, so I wanted to take a moment to recognize the folks who've done nice work lately before getting into a question for you guys.

So, first off, it looks like the paper took home a few nice prizes from the Press Club awards last night, which you can read about here: Our members didn't end up with any of the big awards, but talented folks like Brian Harr, Tom Gapen, Mariel Garza, Patrick O'Connor and David Crane all earned well-deserved recognition. Kudos to all of them and the others who garnered nominations.

UPDATED: My apologizes for not recognizing Jon Gerung, whose stunning animated presentations have been a welcome presence to Working on his own time, often with his own equipment, he's made some amazing stuff, ranging from James Dean to Superman, all worth checking out.

And outside of that, there's been a plethora of good stuff to read, see and hear lately from our members. I'm sure I'm going to forget a bunch of deserving people, but here are a few that jump out at the moment... First off, the peerless Mr. Bartholomew had a touching piece yesterday on the anniversary of the Sylmar tunnel collapse, one of those ones I wish I'd have written but don't think I would have done it justice in the way he did. Also, Alex had a nice one on the possible sale of Six Flags, made especially striking by the fact that he's only a week into his new gig up in Santa Clarita.

Photowise, David took a nice trip down the heart of Americana with me, displayed in today's Route 66 story (his greatest trick, however, was putting up with me and my hot car the entire day) and Hans is gonna show you some mindblowing shots of Mexican wrestling in Monday's paper.

And outside of the print edition, has taken a dramatic turn for the better since our alumnus member Josh has taken over. He and his crew have given it more relevant content, kept it fresh throughout the day and found a way to make themselves part of the reporting process, rather than just presenters. To that end, Steve Rosenberg's got a hilarious new blog, with far more information than I'd ever want to know about kids' bathroom habits, and Val put together a nifty audio presentation the other day. It's cool to see that part of the operation coming into its own, rather than just being an alternative version of the print product.

But that's enough back slapping for one night... now onto the question part. Those of you who are active in the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles or SPJ-LA may have heard of the current controversy that's come up about LAPD press credentials and I wanted to get your input. LAPD media relations, apparently flooded with requests from blogs and nontraditional media (such as entertainment shows) for press passes, is looking to establish a new system for issuing credentials. Before they do so, they're reaching out to various journalistic groups to gather some suggestions about how to handle issuing the cards. This wouldn't effect us immediately, because everyone who currently holds a pass would be grandfathered into whatever new rules they come up with.

In my steward capacity (and also, to a lesser extent, through my position as an SPJ associate board member) I've gotten involved with some of the groups who're looking to adopt a position to take back to the cops. The initial suggestion from the LAPD went something along these lines: a two-tiered system where people who regularly cover crime would have essentially a police lines pass, while the other people would get an official card that would not get them across the line. The other, related suggestion, is that news orgs would be issued some sort of a better access pass that they'd keep at the office and hand out to whomever they wanted to assign to a big news event.

Personally, I think both ideas are lousy. With the first, anyone who doesn't regularly cover the cops but happens to witness breaking news would be turned away because they didn't have the proper credential. I'm not a cops guy, myself, but there've certainly been plenty of times I've been asked to cover something breaking because I happened to live nearby or had some connection to the story. Next time there's a disaster, does this mean that everyone who's normally a GA reporter or on a different beat should just stay back at the office while the cops folks do all the work? And for the second proposal, that might work with a 400mm lens or an Academy Awards credential, I'd hate to see the day where a reporter missed a story because they had to leave a scene, drive back to the office to get the supercredential, then return in time to watch the cops clean up and go home.

But it won't do us any good to just point fingers and say the idea's a bad one-- hopefully we, and the other groups involved, will be able to come up with different suggestions that they can use so they'll come up with a policy that works well for everyone. So, with that in mind, anyone got any good ideas? It'll be awhile before this gets sorted out, I'm sure, but I'd be interested in hearing what you all have to say. Thanks.

And that oughtta do it for now-- thanks for your help and time, as always. Let's hang out again soon...


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Various News

Good Evening, My Friends,

I had a couple quick things I wanted to shoot out to you all real quick. I've been tied up in some other things lately, so I've been a little remiss in my union emails, but hopefully I'll get the desk cleared off and back in order soon. So, without added delay, here goes:

First off, the electronic technology statement issue's still unresolved. Our counterparts down at the Press-Telegram are supposed to have a meeting with HR down there to get an explanation of the monitoring clause; once that's resolved, we should be able to clear things up quickly. In the meantime, just hang onto your sheets. Ron agreed to wait until the issue's clarified, so don't worry about handing them in or, if you already have, don't lose sleep over them. I'm sure we'll get it worked out soon.

Secondly, we've got a pair of open jobs, so if anyone's interested, direct them to the posts below.

That's all for now and stay tuned for our other ongoing adventures,

The Daily News has an opening for a sports copy editor. Main duties include editing copy, writing headlines and some layout and pagination may be involved.

Hours: 40 hours per week, including nights and weekends.

Qualifications: A college degree is required, preferably in journalism, plus 1 year of daily editing experience showing consistently strong performance.

Apply in writing to Jon Clifford no later than 5 p.m., June 26. No phone calls accepted. Applicants must supply a complete resume, samples of editing work, plus names, addresses and phone numbers of their three most recent immediate supervisors.

The Daily News has an opening on the News/Copy desk for a full-time copy editor. Strong knowledge of grammar, style, punctuation and spelling are required as well as an ability to edit for smoothness and flow. Headline skills also are required. Computer-design skills are a plus. A college degree is needed and three years' editing experience is desired, but entry-level applicants will be considered. Written editing, spelling and identification tests will be given, and a tryout may be required.

Hours will be as needed, but the basic shift is 3 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Candidates must supply a complete resume, including names and phone numbers of their last three supervisors, to Ed Richeson no later than 5 p.m. June 30. Phone calls will not be accepted.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Welcome, Welcome.

Hey Gang,

Two quick notes on this warm Wednesday evening...

Firstly, please join me in welcoming our newest member, Scott Melesky. Scott joined the paper last winter and works in the always hectic, always stellar Sports department as a copy editor. He's a sharp guy who, like many of us, comes from a union background and joined to have a greater sense of security in the work place. Members like him, who are willing to work hard and enjoy their jobs, yet still see the value of having the union as an advocate, are just what we need. So thanks for your support sir, and welcome.

And while I've got the spotlight in sports, let me give thanks to Richard Perkins, who's been a tireless, eloquent advocate for our cause. I wish I had a tenth of his energy and passion and we're all better off because of his efforts. Rock on, dude, rock on.

Now, on a completely separate note, I've gotten confirmation from the union office that the automatic dues deduction is going smoothly in my trial run. Now that it looks like that works ok, I'll get the paperwork together and send or give it to all of you so we don't have to worry about doing the monthly checks. Hopefully, I'll have that together by mid next week at the latest, so thanks for your patience on that.

That's all for now, folks-- thanks again for everything you all do.