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Near Windansea Beach on Tuesday, January 12, at about 10:00 a.m., I spotted what appeared to be a construction project at the intersection of Neptune and Playa Del Sur. I stopped to speak with Jose Sanchez and learned that he and a crew of three others were repairing the sidewalk and storm drain.

When I asked Sanchez if there was anything else he could tell me about the project he said, “Citizens called in to complain. There's an existing sidewalk. We’re just pouring cement.” He then added, “Technically, we’re not supposed to talk with any media people. We have an information officer you can call…Bill Harris.”

Sanchez was kind enough to make a call (unasked) and provide me with that number. I called the number as soon as I got back to my car and Bill Harris answered the phone.

“Hi, I’m Carolyn, a neighborhood stringer with the San Diego Reader. I just stopped by Neptune and Playa Del Sur in La Jolla and saw a sidewalk and storm-drain repair in progress and was wondering if you could give me a bit of information about it.”

“Carolyn…city policy is to not talk with anyone from the Reader. If you’d like, you can call the mayor’s office and speak with the media team. If the policy has been changed, I’ll be glad to talk with you,” said Harris.

“Sorry to hear that, I wasn’t aware of such a policy,” I said. Per Harris, the policy has been in place for approximately four years. When I asked what had transpired four years ago that could have resulted in the implementation of such a policy, Harris said, "no comment.”

I apologized to Harris for whatever happened in the past, anxious to share my “peace-pipe” with him and the City, to begin friendlier relations.

I phoned the mayor’s office and asked to speak with the “media team,” as Harris had suggested. I was connected with a woman by the name of Christina. I explained the situation to her and asked if she knew whether or not the policy of “not speaking with anyone from the Reader” was still in place. Christina said, “I wouldn’t be the one to talk with about that.” I asked if she could connect me with someone who could help me find out a bit more. Christina asked for my contact information and said she would have Darren Pudgil — director of communications for Mayor Jerry Sanders — get back to me.

It’s now Thursday. I've called the mayor's office twice and have yet to receive a return call. And to think I thought I was just going to write a little neighborhood news story about a sidewalk and storm-drain renovation.

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Comments

PistolPete Jan. 14, 2010 @ 5:24 p.m.

LMAO!!!!!!!!!

In lieu of my common cynicism, I think a song is in order... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xqEiN...

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DMaass Jan. 14, 2010 @ 5:54 p.m.

I'm siding with the Reader on this one. Media reps/PIOs salaries are paid with tax dollars to answer media questions, not to answer questions from media they like.

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CuddleFish Jan. 14, 2010 @ 6:46 p.m.

Wait, is Carolyn Matteo speaking for the Reader??? I thought, per jayallen when we talked this before, that Stringers weren't reporters submitting articles, they were just people writing up stuff they saw and posting it on this site.

Why is she apologizing, if she isn't representing the Reader, and if she doesn't know what she is apologizing for?

Jayallen, this is precisely the situation you were warned about in your thread re boundaries.

Bizarre ..................

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CuddleFish Jan. 14, 2010 @ 6:48 p.m.

And hey Dave, you gonna start a blog here soon? They gonna have to give you a byline and start paying you soon! CityBeat may not be too happy about that! ;)

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DMaass Jan. 14, 2010 @ 7:01 p.m.

And here's a U-T piece that includes details on why the Reader was blacklisted: http://bit.ly/5vny5j

I think if you go back through the archives you'll that the rest of the editorial team--David Rolland, Kelly Davis and Seth Combs--are, at times, prolific in their comments on the Reader site.

However, Davis and I currently are in disagreement over the issue at hand, so I am probably irritating her. I'm of the belief that, when it comes to media access, if you give an inch you might as well give away the mile. Back in New Mexico, where I last worked, certain administrations did blacklist journalists, and good ones at that.

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Shane_F Jan. 14, 2010 @ 7:30 p.m.

DMaass, that U-T piece is amazing. I didn't realize the extent of the information lockdown Sanders put in with strong mayor. Big weak on Sanders for promising new transparency and delivering buckets of shade. He even invokes Ronald Reagan with his do-not-recall defense there. Yikes.

I have to think if The Reader has non grata status with the city, it would be largely related to Don Bauder's persistent spotlighting of City Hall shenanigans.

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CuddleFish Jan. 14, 2010 @ 8:26 p.m.

Wasn't Kelly Davis over here a bit ago popping Josh Board on that police shooting thread?

So as to the article, this Carolyn Matteo identified herself to Sanchez, and to whatever department it is this Harris person works for, and to the Mayor's office, as a Reader reporter?

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CuddleFish Jan. 14, 2010 @ 8:31 p.m.

Oooooh, looks like they are deleting Dave Maas' posts.

Come on, jayallen, cut the guy a break! :(

By the way, I looked: Carolyn Matteo is not currently listed as a writer for the San Diego Reader. Dang.

Wassup with y'all peeps?

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carolyngrace1111 Jan. 14, 2010 @ 9:30 p.m.

Dear Mr.Fish,

A breakdown in communication is never a good thing. We're all in this world together.

Again, I, as a human being, a representative of myself, a freelance writer and a Neighborhood News String for the Reader, apologize to the City for whatever transpired years ago and hope that this relationship between the City and the Reader will soon be healed.

P.S. Best brush up on those investigative skills, Mr. Fish.

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/staff/

Peace & Love, Carolyn

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CuddleFish Jan. 14, 2010 @ 9:49 p.m.

Okay, this is the list I was relying on:

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/about_us/

And by the way, you could use some help with your investigative skills too. :)

Are you a Hippie, Carolyn? I notice you sign your posts Peace & Love, thought that went out with Nehru jackets and Laugh-In.

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DMaass Jan. 15, 2010 @ 12:05 a.m.

I was mistaken: Comments weren't pulled down. I was just lost on this website.

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DMaass Jan. 15, 2010 @ 12:33 a.m.

I have just requested the same information from the City as the Reader's neighborhood stringer.

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SDaniels Jan. 15, 2010 @ 1:02 a.m.

Hey Carolyn, I think Fish's point is a small, but important one. If you represent yourself as a "stringer from the Reader," you know that your interlocutor or interviewee or whoever is going to perceive you as paid Reader staff. It probably isn't a good idea to let that perception stand, for many reasons. Anyway, MS Fish's reference to jayallen re: this topic goes back to a convo we had with him, in which we debated the function of the stringer as reportage in the Reader, and how many readers may assume that licensed, paid professional journalists may be writing these columns, which are actually written by nonprofessional community contributors and bloggers. Not that there is anything wrong with that, and I'm sure that some of you stringers are in fact journalists or deserve to be called such; just that the Reader should make it a little clearer what kind of animal we are dealing with here.

Peace & Love and Nehru Jackets

(none of these ever go out! ever! ;)

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CuddleFish Jan. 15, 2010 @ 1:40 a.m.

Go get 'em, Dave!

Daniels, my Nehru jacket is all moth-eaten, and so is my peace and love!

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CuddleFish Jan. 15, 2010 @ 1:45 a.m.

I think Fish's point is a small, but important one.

By SDaniels 1:02 a.m., Jan 15, 2010

There are no small but important points made by the Fish, there are only small, but unimportant readers who fail to appreciate my points.

:P

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Fred Williams Jan. 15, 2010 @ 2:01 a.m.

I'm reminded of an old joke:

USA and Russia are just the same.

In the USA, you can go to the White House and say, "I don't like Obama."

In Russia it's the same. You can go to the Kremlin and say, "I don't like Obama."

Dave and Carolyn, I'm glad you're putting some light on this situation. It's absurd that the Mayor says he's bringing "openess" to San Diego's government, while he's blacklisted the Reader, demands silence, and punishes dissent.

Orwell is rolling over in his grave.

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CuddleFish Jan. 15, 2010 @ 2:08 a.m.

Joke can't be that old, if it references Obama. And I very much doubt you could go to the White House and say that, anyway.

Something's strange about Carolyn's story.

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Fred Williams Jan. 15, 2010 @ 2:24 a.m.

I updated the joke. It comes from Yakoff Smirnoff, and was originally Reagan and Gorbachev.

What's strange is the city's Kremlinesque paranoia and blacklisting of journalists...

Contrast that with his hiring two former UT writers to spin the news.

America's Finest Potemkin Village...

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David Dodd Jan. 15, 2010 @ 5:55 a.m.

Here we go with the stringer stuff again. A stringer is a journalist. Period. How good of a journalist a stringer proves to be depends on the stringer's ability as a journalist. Some stringers make a living being stringers, submitting to multiple publications on a regular basis.

When you open the U-T and notice a byline of "Special to the Union-Tribune", that is a story written by a stringer. In The Reader, anyone who gets paid for submitting a story, even a stringer, is listed as "staff". This does not mean that the stringer has a regular column, nor that the stringer is on the company payroll. It is simply how the Reader chooses to define a stringer they have paid for a story. Maybe it's for accounting purposes. Regardless, such a designation is innocuous in terms of any comparison to an employee of The Reader.

Often, regular reporters on the payroll of a specific publication tend to look upon stringers as raw and unrefined writers lacking journalistic ability. Sometimes this is true. Sometimes it isn't as accurate as the regular reporters make it out to be. Some stringers are better journalists than the regular reporters on the payroll. Read the U-T and draw your own comparisons.

The great thing about stringer stories in The Reader is that they are often written in first person by people with no previous experience. They break many rules. It isn't journalism-in-a-box. It's just people telling a story. It's edgy and often personal. I mostly enjoy such stories.

The other part I enjoy is when someone like Sanford stops by to lend support and advice. This wouldn't happen in most other publications.

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PistolPete Jan. 15, 2010 @ 9:45 a.m.

Mindy-Why the attitude with Dave Maass? If anything, he's on the stringers side. I hope you're not holding his CB blog about Josh personally. As much as I support Josh and defend him, Josh IS a big boy who made his bed and is now lieing in it. If it wasn't Dave who blogged about Josh's situation, it would've been someone else.

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David Dodd Jan. 15, 2010 @ 10:34 a.m.

Pete, Dave Maass enjoys hurling insults at people and dedicates himself to hating on the Reader in his weblog. I think that he believes this will enamour himself to CityBeat readership. Actually, it is classless and childish.

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DMaass Jan. 15, 2010 @ 10:42 a.m.

Get over it refriedgringo. We're on the same side of this stringer issue.

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PistolPete Jan. 15, 2010 @ 11:25 a.m.

With all due respect to both you, refried, and Dave Maass, you may be correct about him hurling insults and hating on the Reader but the issue isn't that. It's the fact that Dave is defending the Reader's stringers.

You have every right to feel slighted by Dave and I'll stay out of that fight because you can obviously defend yourself.

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Jay Allen Sanford Jan. 15, 2010 @ 12:06 p.m.

As referenced above, I've weighed in on my definition of "stringers" and how it works (or doesn't work) here at the Reader: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...

Over the course of the subsequent 136 comments below that blog, I haven't changed my stance, but I DO acknowledge the value and growing importance of non-staff individuals turning in reports to the Reader. So much so that, when I see a solid stringer report on the Reader site, I say so in that report's comment section, and I've even been known to offer public advice to stringers, on how to both improve their reports and on aspects of the Reader's "house style" that could help them SELL their reports to the paper. I do it publicly so all aspiring stringers can checkitout and either use or ignore ---

We're all swimming in the same pool - why would I want to pee in it? Whatever makes the Reader a better, stronger paper only solidifies my own job security -

The issue here seems to be this stringer having identified herself as a Reader reporter. Man, if I had a dollar for every time someone wouldn't talk to me just because I'm with the Reader....

Anyway, my sideburns are probably older than a lot of people reading this, so I tend to apply to stringer identification the same rules that used to apply to freelancers writing on "spec," or speculation, which is just a trade term for "If I write it, maybe somebody will eventually pay me."

As a freelancer, the basic rule was that you tell prospective interviewees something like "I'm a freelancer, but I hope to sell this to ____," and name a few potential media buyers. Back when there were a lot of papers and magazines to sell to, this worked fine. Sometimes the interview would go ahead, sometimes not.

If you were on a specific assignment from a specific editor at a specific paper or magazine, THEN you could say "I'd like to interview you for ____," and name just the one publication.

If this writer was assigned to talk to the Mayor's office by Reader eds, then it was fine to identify herself as such. If she was working on "spec," I think the old rules would still apply, where she should have said "I'm a stringer reporter who hopes to sell this to one of the local news outlets." There are many to cite - UT, SDNN, Troubador, etc.

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Jay Allen Sanford Jan. 15, 2010 @ 12:06 p.m.

OR she could have identified herself as having a journalistic blog, which is true, withOUT mentioning the Reader. A local blogger like Rosey at sddialedin is a genuine reporter who just happens to do it on a blog, so most doors are opened for her, as anyone can look at her site and see she's a hard working journalist. Even if her "publication" is self operated and created.

I'm not surprised the Mayor's office would be down on talking to the Reader - even our cartoons mock city hall. A glance at any Reader issue's City Lights column could have provided fair warning that mentioning the Reader is no way to get a red carpet walk into city hall --- or several local nightclubs, as I can personally attest (if you ever meet me, I'll show you where my back teeth were knocked out by bouncers at one bar whose owner was angry about a Reader report....being shown the door isn't the worst thing that can happen to a Reader associate)

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DMaass Jan. 15, 2010 @ 12:22 p.m.

"If she was working on 'spec,' I think the old rules would still apply, where she should have said 'I'm a stringer reporter who hopes to sell this to one of the local news outlets.'"

Good point.

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carolyngrace1111 Jan. 15, 2010 @ 12:38 p.m.

Isn't the point really this...and the fact it means nothing?

http://bit.ly/4vjSOo

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CuddleFish Jan. 15, 2010 @ 1:02 p.m.

That may be the larger point, and it is one Dave Maass, a real reporter/writer, is looking into. The point as it pertains to you, Carolyn, is why you are speaking/apologizing for the Reader when you had no authority to do so. I don't say they will or would try, but one could envision the Mayor's office declaring the Reader had abjectly groveled and admitted wrongdoing for anything and everything, including Bauder's investigative articles, based on your representation of yourself. But here, perhaps, I am overextending my own authority. I am a reader, and a blogger, here. As such, the integrity of the Reader does concern me, but it is not my place to tell them how to run their operation.

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PistolPete Jan. 15, 2010 @ 1:23 p.m.

My point is simple, Mindy-Before you shoot the messenger, read the message. The same thing happened from the liberal media the other day regarding what Rush Limbaugh said about President Obama. I'm not a huge fan of either Rush Limbaugh or our president but before we burn Rush at the stake, we must first look into the message he's trying to deliver.

For those of you out of the loop, Rush Limbaugh came under fire from the liberal media for something he said about Obama addressing the Haitian earthquake one day after it happened but waited 3 days to address the Christmas Day near-bombing of an American plane because he was on vacation in Hawai'i. His message was racial and I think he is a bit racist but just because you don't like the man's politics doesn't mean the guy is incorrect for reporting what he sees as an injustice from the administration.

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carolyngrace1111 Jan. 15, 2010 @ 3:22 p.m.

Dear Mr. Fish,

I have the freedom and right to apologize to anyone for anything I wish to apologize for at anytime. Last time I checked...we still have a bit of Freedom of Speech remaining although it's definitely getting sketchy.

You make a lot of ASSUMPTIONS. Not once have any of your "REAL REPORTERS/WRITERS" asked ME WHAT I apologized for, WHY I apologized, or IF I was apologizing FOR the Reader. Is that your understanding of what a REAL Reporter/Writer does, Mr. Fish...makes assumptions?

But since you haven't asked and have built your erroneous case upon less than solid ground...I will help you out and tell you...I wasn't apologizing FOR the Reader, my apology was a GENERAL apology the way one would say....I'm sorry for your loss....to someone whose family member passed away.

And again, I will say... I AM SORRY FOR THE LOSS OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE CITY AND THE READER...and it is my hope that this matter can be resolved, so that there are friendlier relations between the CITY and the READER...in the best interest of all.

Peace & Love, Carolyn Grace Matteo Freelance Writer/Reporter/Neighborhood News Stringer Who often writes/sells stories to the San Diego Reader

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SDaniels Jan. 15, 2010 @ 5:19 p.m.

Hi, I’m Carolyn, a neighborhood stringer with the San Diego Reader."

“Carolyn…city policy is to not talk with anyone from the Reader."

“Sorry to hear that, I wasn’t aware of such a policy,” I said.

I apologized to Harris for whatever happened in the past, anxious to share my “peace-pipe” with him and the City, to begin friendlier relations.

Ok, I have no animosity toward anyone here, for the record. Just to be clear, though, about Carolyn's statements, I am reading that she represented yourself as being "with" the Reader, and did nothing to correct any impression that you were.

"Mr." Fish's point about this, and all subsequent comments that it isn't a good idea to give the impression that you work for a publication you do not work for, stands.

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SDaniels Jan. 15, 2010 @ 5:20 p.m.

Correction: that "she was."

Oh, and hey jayallen, nice one about the age of your sideburns ;)

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carolyngrace1111 Jan. 15, 2010 @ 5:48 p.m.

Ms. Daniels,

I'm sorry Ms. Daniels....what is your point? Are you arguing my intention? Were you on the phone with myself and Mr. Harris? Are you asking me questions about what I did and did not say during that conversation to learn more FACTS about the matter?

No you say,

"I am READING that she represented yourself as being "with" the Reader, and did nothing to correct any impression that you were."

Nice sentence. Faulty assumption.

Peace & Love, Carolyn

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SDaniels Jan. 15, 2010 @ 5:52 p.m.

You are sure big on titles, Ms. Carolyn. Perhaps why you decided to be "with" the Reader? ;)

Arguing your intention? Nope. Your words are your words. You said you were "with" the Reader, and went on to represent the Reader, even though not representing the Reader would have been to your benefit as a journalist, and even though a stringer is not "with" the Reader. I am not reading anything into your words; again, they are right there in off-gray and white.

Yeah, f'd up sentence. I wrote quickly, then tried to correct it, so why you're harping on it isn't clear.

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SDaniels Jan. 15, 2010 @ 5:56 p.m.

PS: Carolyn, I made my point, and don't wish to carry on an argument that would become increasingly toothless for both of us. I just wanted to say that the important thing is obviously what you discovered about the city not speaking with the Reader as policy. That is good work, and yes, deserves more coverage.

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carolyngrace1111 Jan. 15, 2010 @ 6:06 p.m.

Dear Shifters,

It is interesting that the focus of this matter has SHIFTED from the core of the issue. Makes one wonder about the intention of the SHIFTERS.

You can continue to DISTRACT from the core of the issue and make it all about ME, when it isn't, if that brings you some sort of self-justification or feeds your hungry ego.

But, I will remind you of the August 4th, 2006 Memorandum, from Jerry Sanders which states:

1)Members of the news media should be provided with accurate and timely information. (End sentence)

2)It is entirely appropriate for subject matter experts throughout the organization to speak with the news media and provide factual information. (End sentence)

So, in essence it should not matter WHO a stringer/reporter is, or is not affiliated with...should it?

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carolyngrace1111 Jan. 15, 2010 @ 6:30 p.m.

SDaniels, or however you'd like to be addressed,

The only title that has any meaning whatsoever to me, is MOTHER.

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CuddleFish Jan. 15, 2010 @ 6:43 p.m.

Carolyn's got an outsized understanding of herself in relation to the Reader, which is just what happens when you do what the Reader is doing. It happens. CNN does those iReports, and they had some college journalism student down in Mexico right in the heart of the cartel turf wars, riding with federales and digitally capturing what he saw which he fed into the CNN site, they brought him on the show and it was clear everyone was just thinking, Great work but you could have been killed dumba$$. I think this is precisely the situation you get in when you encourage anybody to try to do what only journalists are trained to do, as we discussed on that other thread. As someone who contributes to this site, their credibility and reputation would seem to be something they ought to be concerned about, however as I said previously, it isn't my site. Their business to clean up whatever messes are made.

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carolyngrace1111 Jan. 15, 2010 @ 6:58 p.m.

Dear Mr. Fish,

I believe you are a SHIFTER. Also, looks like you're a bit psychic in that you "assume my understanding of myself." A fish of many talents...

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Jay Allen Sanford Jan. 15, 2010 @ 7:12 p.m.

Getting back to the issue of the Mayor's office "boycotting" dialogue with the Reader, that's something they can do with impunity, even if such a boycott seems to belie official stated policy about being open with news media. Government officials have always picked and chosen who in the media they'll deal with.

The reasons behind the boycott may be legion, may be well-founded, or may be entirely specious - Carolyn's instinct is correct, in that those reason are themselves probably quite story-worthy.

My advice is for Carolyn to write up a set of written queries and submit through city hall's media desk, with an invitation to respond either in writing, or via an interview limited to only the written queries. Many, if not most, reluctant interviewees will find this acceptable and will change their mind about clamming up. By showing them the queries in advance, they know you won't be blindsiding them ---- if you DO then get a one-on-one intvw, by all means stick to the queries you submitted. Both parties are operating under a truce, and both must behave trustworthy ----

Yeah, you're going to get carefully considered responses as opposed to conversational dialogue, especially if they respond in writing, but you WILL be getting official responses.

As to how Carolyn introduces and/or represents herself when submitting written queries, that all 'pends whether she has an editorial greenlight from the Reader or if she's "on spec" - in this case, since city officials already associate her with the Reader due to her initial contact, she'll probably need to clarify one way or the other before getting a couple more toes in the door ----

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carolyngrace1111 Jan. 15, 2010 @ 7:16 p.m.

You know, Stringers articles are edited (often heavily so) prior to posting, and posting is at the discretion of the Reader.

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Steve Horvath Jan. 16, 2010 @ 11:32 a.m.

I was getting information for articles I was writing from Monica Munoz,media services mgr at the SDPD. That stopped really quick. I think I am on her permanent out of office reply. Last time I asked if she was ignoring me, she said she was really busy and had 10 days to get the informtion requested out. But I never did get the info.

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Burbclaver Jan. 17, 2010 @ 8:57 a.m.

In their position I wouldn't talk to the reader either. An untrained, unpaid, journalist, without press credentials, no editor, and no fact checking, wants to write a badly structured and researched article about me? Don't kid yourself. The reader has foregone having the right to be treated as a serious organ of the press by replacing journalism with free content merely to increase their page count and Google placings for their ad business.

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CuddleFish Jan. 17, 2010 @ 11:21 a.m.

That's one way of looking at it. The other way, is to see the Reader as a truly democratic form of journalism where anyone can participate in creating content for this large and popular local publication. It's an interesting, and messy, experiment, and in the end perhaps the worst form of journalism, except for all the rest.

:)

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Jay Allen Sanford Jan. 17, 2010 @ 12:07 p.m.

Not so much "replacing journalism with free content," as it is an entry level platform for both paid columnists and creative loafers. The staff stays about the same, nothing is being "replaced" - instead, more and more diverse and increasingly professional content is being contributed by freelancers, the best of whom get both a paycheck and a print publication byline.

What's not to like about a thriving writer's market? In the best of journalistic tradition, more people writing = more people reading. So what if the ads-slash-Google help pay for all this? That's also how it's always worked ---

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CuddleFish Jan. 17, 2010 @ 12:28 p.m.

Creative loafers? Care to offer names?

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Russ Lewis Jan. 17, 2010 @ 1:30 p.m.

"The other way, is to see the Reader as a truly democratic form of journalism where [practically] anyone can participate in creating content for this large and popular local publication." Which was in fact its stated intention in its very earliest issues back in 1972.

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antigeekess Jan. 18, 2010 @ 1:01 a.m.

"Creative loafers? Care to offer names?"

Literary loiterers? Prosaic peckers? Keyboard crackheads? Wayward wankers?

Those are names. How 'bout those?

:)

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SDaniels Jan. 18, 2010 @ 1:47 a.m.

With the exception of wayward wankers, further, what's wrong with any of those? :)

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SDaniels Jan. 18, 2010 @ 2:25 a.m.

I think that might be covered by a synonym: "keyboard crackhead" ;)

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PistolPete Jan. 18, 2010 @ 12:34 p.m.

Keyboard crackheads are Chargeless fans on YouTube. :-D

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antigeekess Jan. 18, 2010 @ 2:45 p.m.

Re 55/57/63:

So basically, it's the San Diego equivalent of the National Enquirer? SOME of what's in it MIGHT be true, just accidentally? But accuracy is just incidental, and not seen as a goal, requirement, or responsibility?

That's pretty much what it's sounding like, to me.

Specifically, from post 55: "What's not to like about a thriving writer's market?"

What's not to like is when it's fiction presented as fact, lies presented as truth, etc. If I'm not mistaken, the Reader has recently discovered that this is not appreciated by the subjects of such lies and misrepresentations, and a staff departure seems to have resulted.

"In the best of journalistic tradition, more people writing = more people reading."

I think the only thing quality has to do with quantity is that they're often found in inverse proportion to each other, and that "best" seldom equates to "more."

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CuddleFish Jan. 18, 2010 @ 4:59 p.m.

Oooh oooh ooh, storyteller/Mindy's going to lecture us on truthfulness!

Hang on, let me pull up a chair ....

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PistolPete Jan. 18, 2010 @ 6:32 p.m.

The problem with the Reader is that it has a bad reputation. The problem with these Stringer stories is they're either a)-copied from a Mexican newspaper or b)-boring. No offense to Carolyn but her story about the seals was a hundred times better than this story. The only good thing about this story is that it exposed more hypocrisy and corruption from America's Finest City.

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SDaniels Jan. 18, 2010 @ 6:51 p.m.

Why does the Reader have such a bad rep, though? I always thought it was rather benign, but it seems that CityBeat folk get down on it for a variety of reasons, none of which have yet been explained to me.

I personally appreciate the stringers, and read many of them, esp. those treating Baja stories, which are hard to come by here. There are dedicated folk actually translating stories from major Mexican news sources, and posting them here for us. It's just that one has to take them with a larger grain of salt than usual (esp. the Baja stories, as refried has demonstrated time and again), though good judgement should be applied with any news source...

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PistolPete Jan. 18, 2010 @ 8:33 p.m.

The Reader is known more for being like a newsletter that you'd find at the office of your apartment or condominium complex. It tries hard to be like a normal newspaper but since it's a weekly and not a daily, that not going to happen. As for the Mexican stories, I'll put it into perspective like this...

I'm a transplant. When I first moved here, I didn't want to have a thing to do with Mexico. Refried changed my outlook on that. It now intrigues me because I've taken into consideration how he views living south of the border. However, MOST natives who have been there and continue to go there get there news from there straight from the source. For example, I'm a Chicago boy. I watch WGN News @ 9 out of Chicago on Cox channel 2 at 7:00pm on occasion. I also read The Chicago Tribune, Chicago News-Sun and local Lake County, Ill newspaper online. I get my Chicago area news straight from the sources. I don't go to chicagoreader.com for those stories. Sandy Eggo is no different. It's like getting news out of New York City from The Reader's Digest just because it's offices are 300 miles away.

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SDaniels Jan. 18, 2010 @ 10:21 p.m.

Point taken about getting news from the wrong sources. I do not consider the Reader to be my major or national news source by any means. I'll twist your analogy only slightly, Pete, and say that the Reader is like a compilation of those neighborhood papers with a few larger features. We can't expect it to fulfill the entire diet, and what it does best is report on very localized news. Stringers are great for local news so I think they are unfairly criticized for the most part, but aside from micro-local news, they shouldn't do much else unless they are doing it in neighborhood blogs.

This is where I understand what CityBeat folk are saying about some of the features--I agree that music and film are much better left to the pros--some of the man-on-the-street takes on music, those "As I Here It" or "Everyone's a Critic" are the worst I've ever read. For food, there is a wonderful blogger called Mango who deserves to be hired for those little restaurant snapshot reviews, but I wouldn't want him/her to replace Naomi, whose writing is a pleasure to read, aside from what there is to learn from her advanced palate.

I do NOT want to read random bloggers about film, either, as they tend to concentrate on the superficialities of storylines and plot developments, rather than the complex polylogue of parts to whole that knowledge of theory opens film up to reveal. So let's not replace Duncan--or Jayallen and the other music critics, for that matter--with 'stringers,' right? CityBeat has got better writers on clubs and events, I think. The Reader doesn't have anyone to write about events in general, sort of what Brizz's "TGIF" column would seem to be, just at a glance...and there is Jerry Schad for outdoor stuff...

I'd say we could add an alcohol critic--someone who tastes wine, but also beer and spirits. We could also use better arts and events reporting in general, since we've gotten rid of the guy who wrote on museums and art? That's unfortunate--he was good.

Yeah, someone who does alcohol reviews. ;)

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SDaniels Jan. 18, 2010 @ 10:22 p.m.

...and what am I saying!? Someone to review books. Books of all kinds--not just this "What are you reading?" crap, along with the occasional "What are you writing?" Local writers should definitely be favored, but someone who reads voraciously, and likes to talk about it. Hmmm, we don't know anyone like this, do we...;)

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PistolPete Jan. 18, 2010 @ 11:42 p.m.

I'm more into spirits than literature my dearest SD. ;-)

I see where you're coming from regarding the Reader as more of The Foxxy Shopper(Midwest Penny Saver)/Penny Saver type of "newsletter". I like the Reader even if it isn't my cup of meat all the time. I'm actually kind of shocked the print version survives but the breast augmentation and medical marijuana ad revenue keeps it afloat. The free weekly I like(Gay & Lesbian Times) isn't available up here and I have WAAAAAAAAY too many websites to peruse daily as it is. The GLT is part Reader, part CB and alot more fun. :-D

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SDaniels Jan. 19, 2010 @ 2:42 a.m.

Yes, imagine getting paid to explore the spirit world, and I 'aint talkin' some lame-o Travel Channel program! What a job it would be to be paid to detect flower fields in Alpine-derived hops...

Not only has the print version survived, it now has a sort of "spine." (Read that in at least two ways ;)

Foxxy shopper? Add one more "x" and you have another thing altogether, where the breast augs aren't priced.

GLT is cool. Haven't kept up on it, though. So much reading, so little time ;)

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CuddleFish Jan. 19, 2010 @ 7:06 a.m.

I nominate SDaniels for Reader book editor!!! She's just gotta speak English every once in a blue moon so I can understand what she wrote!!

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SDaniels Jan. 19, 2010 @ 10:43 a.m.

Awww, you know I passed my ESL class, Cuddle. Do I have to pull out my certificate? ;)

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David Dodd Jan. 19, 2010 @ 4:51 p.m.

"You not the boss of me."

Pot, meet kettle.

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