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An ex-Union-Tribune reporter who left the paper to become a top aide to GOP mayor Jerry Sanders is now working for the nonprofit group making plans for a megamillion-dollar corporate-sponsored 2015 celebration of Balboa Park's centennial.

Gerry Braun, who left the city at the end of the Sanders administration in December, is charged with coordinating "media outreach" for the Balboa Park Centennial Committee, according to Ben Clay, the retired lobbyist who along his wife Nikki co-chairs what is hoped to be a $40 to $50 million effort to stage a giant exposition here in 2015.

As a contract worker for the non-profit, Braun is being paid approximately $6,000 a month, Clay said in a phone interview this morning.

Braun's job is set to last through the wrap-up of the committee's work in 2016, Clay added.

Braun, a one-time U-T columnist, was director of special projects under Sanders. In that role, he served on the centennial celebration's steering committee and presented the memorandum of understanding with Balboa Park Celebration Inc. to the city council in October 2011, according to council agenda records.

He also conducted media relations work on behalf of the Republican mayor, in one case presenting a mayoral proclamation to a weekly newspaper.

According to a posting on the website of Collaborative Services, a consulting firm, Braun was closely involved in the now-abandoned Irwin Jacobs's Plaza de Panama traffic and parking makeover of the park.

Our team included the urban planning and landscape architecture firm Civitas, Inc; the historical preservation firm Heritage Architecture; Rick Engineering; MJE Marketing; Estrada Land Planning and many others. And throughout this process we worked closely with the city’s Director of Special Projects, Gerry Braun, and the office of Mayor Jerry Sanders, in what was truly a public-private partnership.

The centennial is now going by the name Edge2015. According to an online posting of a request for proposal regarding consultant services for Balboa Park Celebration, Inc.:

EDGE2015 is anticipated to begin December 31, 2014 and run through December 31, 2015. It is intended to raise the profile of San Diego as an innovative, cultural, and dynamic city. It will boost the short, medium, and long-term economy of the San Diego region and be a significant event in the life of the City.

According to Clay, the group anticipates raising at least $40 million from sponsors to fund its ambitious agenda; monthly overhead of the group is currently about $25,000 and rising, he said.

City funding for the project briefly became a contentious issue under new Democratic mayor Bob Filner, but Clay says the mayor's office has expressed underlying support for the project. $40,000 has been supplied by the county of San Diego.

Advocates of the now failed Jacobs park makeover repeatedly argued that haste was necessary because its completion was required by the time of the 2015 event.

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Comments

Fred Williams Feb. 13, 2013 @ 10:02 p.m.

I think most San Diegans would agree that Gerry Braun has betrayed the community.

He gave up reporting on politics to take a swanky job with the Mayor...a move many suspect was payoff for not reporting all he knew about Jerry Sanders real record.

Now we finally learn he spent that taxpayer paid time shilling for Irwin Jacobs and his ugly guardrails and asphalt bypass bridge to paid parking.

As a reward for selling out, Braun now works as a "consultant" for a multi-million dollar extravaganza that is unlike to live up to the hype, or the promised community benefits.

Braun and his ilk need to get out of the way...honest citizens who love San Diego don't need fat paychecks to do the right thing. He brings zero value to the centennial celebration. This is the revolving door, where being an insider is all that matters.

Gerry Braun, in short, sucks. He should be ashamed of himself, but as part of the tight little group that runs the town, he is proud of his contribution to the sleazy reputation of San Diego. Does this political prostitute have a Qualcomm brand on his rear, showing who now owns him, or is he for rent hourly?

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rdotinga Feb. 13, 2013 @ 11:24 p.m.

Ah, a lecture on integrity from a guy with a fevered imagination who slurs reputations (and entire professions) without a drop of evidence. Well played, sir!

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Visduh Feb. 14, 2013 @ 9:05 a.m.

While it was sad to see Gerry go over to the dark side of the Sanders administration, I will cut him some slack. At the time he jumped the UT ship, it was slashing staff and getting rid of editors. His position for a time was that of writing coach, as I recall, and if anything was ripe for cost cutting, that was it. Then he was reassigned as a columnist, and that was no more secure--look at the Tom Blair situation. As is/was true for many of us, he needed a job and the income that went with it, and he took what he could get. Sometimes that means that we settle for a situation that isn't ideal. He probably determined correctly that the future with the UT wasn't looking all that great, and if you think of what has happened there in the past three to four years, it wasn't. Let's see what happens with him now. Sure, I was disappointed with him, but the whole mainstream news media picture in SD hasn't been a pleasant one.

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HonestGovernment Feb. 14, 2013 @ 9:10 a.m.

The city has a Memorandum of Understanding with Balboa Park Celebration, Inc.:

http://www.balboapark.org/sites/default/files/signed2011-10-06_mou.pdf

Has anyone seen the reports that the MOU requires? As stated in Section 3.03(b), the most recent report was due on February 1, 2013.

.

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EarthDayMom Feb. 14, 2013 @ 10:40 a.m.

We requested them via a Public Records Act request and they City has not provided a useful response. We are continuing to pursue.

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Fred Williams Feb. 14, 2013 @ 9:36 a.m.

Slur? Without a drop?

No Randy, it takes a few drops before I start slurring.

As to slandering Braun's reputation...he did that to himself, and continues to do so, by being a political hack for sale to the highest bidder.

At least he's gainfully employed...unlike some hacks we know...when you talk to your ASJA buddies, isn't the conversation mostly about how nobody is getting paid much and all are hoping to land a cushy government PR job?

I guess you're envious of Gerry Braun...and you should be. Even before he sold out he was twice the writer you are, and three times the researcher. Too bad he went over to the dark side and now does as he's told by his pay master...check for that Qualcomm brand on his backside next time you're down there.

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rdotinga Feb. 14, 2013 @ 10:21 a.m.

There's no reason for me to be envious of Gerry Braun. He doesn't have anything I want. And you haven't the foggiest idea what writers talk about.

In your fantasy world, every single one is deathly afraid for their job and desperately hoping to jump into p.r. That would be interesting if true, but it isn't.

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Fred Williams Feb. 14, 2013 @ 11:25 a.m.

Randy, since I've been writing professionally for decades, and since I train a fair number of writers, including former journalists, I bet I do know what writers talk about...because they tell me how desperate they are to escape from journalism.

I have seen the hundreds of articles written by your colleagues describing how bad a profession journalism has turned out to be. Claiming otherwise makes you look completely out of touch. Are you genuinely asserting that professional journalism is thriving today?

I don't think "every single one" is afraid. Some, like Matt Potter, Don Bauder, Matt Taibbi, Radley Balko, Will Carless, and others are doing good work and have job security and a solid reputation as a result. But the lion's share of hack writers, including yourself, are reduced to writing on spec, putting out morning news summaries, and have devolved into mere stenographers re-wording press releases written by former journalists who have jumped into PR jobs...like your buddy Gerry Braun.

I'm not happy about this...but I cannot think of people more deserving of this fate than the journalists in San Diego. With a few honorable exceptions (Potter, Bauder, Carless) it's a dead-eyed bunch of lazy, cowed, dull-witted slackers who think they're oh-so hip, plugged-in, and well-loved by the community. In fact, if most San Diego journalists never wrote again, few would notice, and even fewer would care. The quality of the journalism is so consistently poor that it makes no difference who is the stenographer of the week repeating what they've been told by a spokes-mouth.

Gerry Braun is emblematic of this trend...an over-praised under-achiever who sold out and became a tool for the wealthy and well-connected, feathering his nest at the expense of his professional dignity.

That's perhaps the smartest thing a mediocre journalist can do, given the dire circumstances you find yourselves in, but it isn't deserving of any respect. In fact, it smacks of cowardice.

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HonestGovernment Feb. 14, 2013 @ 1:28 p.m.

You are absolutely correct, Fred. You've summed it up perfectly. Braun feathered his nest, while being paid by us to sit outside Sanders' office in City Hall, tweeting away. He posted the RFP for BPCI, which is now paying his own worthy self $6000/month:

@GerryBraun San Diego 746 Tweets 320 Following 648 Followers ........... Nov 11, 2011 Gerry Braun Gerry Braun ‏@GerryBraun This year @MayorSanders is doing the heavy lifting on his State of City. I sit nearby, say stuff like "Needs more verve, sir!"

Dec 27, 2011 Gerry Braun Gerry Braun ‏@GerryBraun Balboa Park 2015 is seeking a PR firm worthy of the greatest celebration in San Diego history: http://www.balboapark.org/2015/employment

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Duhbya Feb. 14, 2013 @ 2:50 p.m.

Oh, my.....the phrase "hoist with one's own petard" comes to mind.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 14, 2013 @ 3:09 p.m.

Oh, my.....the phrase "hoist with one's own petard" comes to mind.

LOL! Must use that in future convo!

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 14, 2013 @ 12:54 p.m.

Hmmm.... me thinks Fred and Randy are not the best of friends.

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rdotinga Feb. 14, 2013 @ 3:10 p.m.

A correction: I do not write on spec. I don't know anybody who writes news articles on spec. That's not how freelance journalism works.

Also: Local journalists fight again and again and again with local government agencies, including the mayor's office (current and former) and the city attorney's office, over public records. The fights often get nasty. This is widely known, and you can find many news stories about these battles from the last few years. This reality does not fit with your narrative, so you ignore it.

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tomjohnston Feb. 14, 2013 @ 3:26 p.m.

I don't read VOSD, so I'm not personally familiar with your work, but I;ll ask you this anyway, just because I'm curious as to your answer. Why do you even give a flying f*ck about what Dan Bauder, Fred Williams, or anyone else for that matter, says about your writing. I mean really, Why? What possible difference does it make. A bunch of guys in a pissing contest on a blog? I don't really see it as anything else. To me it's even less of an issue that if they said it in person and going back and forth is just a waste of time. That's just my own personal opinion. If someone in a comments section want's to act like a douche, so what. I just don't care. Just my opinion. Opinions vary.

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Fred Williams Feb. 14, 2013 @ 9:33 p.m.

Hi Tom. The reason Randy gives a flying f*ck is that I'm touching on a sore place...journalists can dish it out, but cannot take it.

Randy is puffed up, proud of himself, but really he's a pansy. Look at what he writes professionally, and you can see that it's not very impressive. Yet he sets himself to be the standard, and goes straight to the ad hominem when anyone dares to point out the many flaws of journalism in San Diego.

Notice that nowhere has he contradicted anything I've written. He hasn't shown that journalism in San Diego is fine, a worthy career with a bright future. He's not countered anything I've written about sell-out Braun. He hasn't advanced any argument at all except to call me names.

And I think this is typical. Journalists today are not very bright, but are very full of themselves. They claim to be watchdogs, but are more often lapdogs, doing as they're told because they're afraid of being fired if they step away from the party line.

In San Diego, that party line is drawn by people like Manchester, or Jacobs, or the crew that elected Sanders. These folks have robbed the city blind, using public money for their private projects, stuffing their pockets...all the while the majority of San Diego journalists have been cheering them on.

Randy should know this, and express shame and remorse, even perhaps an eagerness to set things right by doing real research and writing what's actually happening instead of regurgitating press releases or, like Braun, jockeying for a government PR job.

This is why Randy gives a soaring high altitude f*ck when I write about his fellow journalists...he knows I'm right.

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rdotinga Feb. 14, 2013 @ 3:31 p.m.

Are you not familiar with how the Internet works, Tom? ;)

Yeah, I can't disagree with you. I'm gonna move on to other windmills to tilt at.

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tomjohnston Feb. 14, 2013 @ 6:57 p.m.

Yeah, I am. I just don't play that game. Admittedly, a time or two I have goaded someone just to see if I get them to react, kind of a let's see if you can take as much as you dish out thing, but that was just for my own personal amusement. I personally couldn't care less about anything that has ever been said to me or about me, good or bad on any site, at any time in the last 20 yrs.

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rdotinga Feb. 14, 2013 @ 7:24 p.m.

Reputations are important in my business. When someone makes stuff up to slur someone's professional ethics (mine, a colleague's, my profession's), I feel the need to respond. And, of course, it's fun to call someone out for being a fool when they are, in fact, a fool. But the bigger question is whether any undecided person is taking these slurs seriously. And then there's the matter of dealing with unstable people in any situation (family, work, etc.) and letting them and their dysfunction suck all the energy out of the place.

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Fred Williams Feb. 14, 2013 @ 9:34 p.m.

I've made nothing up...its all public record. Do some research Randy...

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nostalgic Feb. 14, 2013 @ 4:04 p.m.

Whatever happened to Andrew Donahue anyhow? He was a wonderful writer in his SD Daily Transcript days. VOSD has gone in a different direction since it started.

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rdotinga Feb. 14, 2013 @ 10:29 p.m.

Fred has mentioned in the comments before that he makes more than me.

Clearly, he's been in my house to look at my financial records, has a mole at the bank or access to IRS records. Listen to this man, people! He is watching you!

He says he knows what people say when they talk to each other or at writers conferences.

Clearly, he has listening devices cleverly installed at local pubs and at the sites of national writer events. Listen to this man, people! He is watching you!

He says local journalists are intimidated by the powers that be.

Clearly, he has ways of understanding how news organizations work. The call is coming from inside the house! Listen to this man! He is watching you!

He says I want a cushy government p.r. job.

Clearly, he is monitoring my every move, my every thought even, finding motivations and goals that have never existed. Listen to this man, people! He is watching you! And me! He sees all and knows all. Bow to him! Before it's too late!

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Fred Williams Feb. 15, 2013 @ 12:39 a.m.

Randy, you're funny...

Comparing our assumed earnings is simple. Go to any salary comparison database online and look at the average for journalists and the average for IT professionals.

I train technical writers, many of them are former journalists. I also correspond with professional writers around the world...journalists and non-fiction writers mostly. Again...are you seriously saying that journalism is a career with a bright future? All the journalists I speak with tell me the opposite.

That journalists are intimidated by the powers that be...well, you got me there. All I can do is look at the coverage of events, and note that the well-connected and wealthy are described with positive language, while those who "oppose" are "naysayers" who are described with negative language. Look at the reports of the Balboa Park judgement for examples.

Your desire for a government PR job? Well, as an admirer of Gerry Braun that's not a far leap...

So, Randy, since you're unable to come up with any coherent defense of your own position, you merely ridicule me as a person. You've suggested that I'm unbalanced or somehow uninformed, and now you're suggesting I'm buying into some conspiracy theory.

But the truth is I can back up everything I've written with plenty of evidence (this is why I teach technical writing...everything has to be testable). I've been paid for writing since before you lost your virginity, worked on my first political campaign before you were allowed to ride your bike around the block, and I've been developing software since long before you took the notion to describe yourself in your ASJA profile as a "technology" reporter (I'm going out on a limb to say that you made that up. Otherwise why don't you actually report on technology...but here's a tip: Lawful Intercept Module in Telco software...look it up, think about it for a few moments, write if you think this is a good or bad thing).

You continue to make yourself, and your fellow San Diego journalists, appear to be even worse than I'm suggesting...thin skinned, Randy? Looks like you're apoplectic to the point of exploding merely at the notion that someone doesn't think much of you and your absurd pretensions.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 15, 2013 @ 8:57 p.m.

I've been paid for writing since before you lost your virginity, worked on my first political campaign before you were allowed to ride your bike around the block, and I've been developing software since long before you took the notion to describe yourself in your ASJA profile as a "technology" reporter ..

Them are fighting words!!!!

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rdotinga Feb. 15, 2013 @ 9:56 p.m.

Not really. Them are "Hey-whippersnapper-I'm-much-much-older-than-you-so-shut-up-ow-my-sciatica" words.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 15, 2013 @ 9:57 p.m.

I have no dog in this fight, just hanging out being an instigator....

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rdotinga Feb. 15, 2013 @ 10:28 p.m.

That's sweet of you! You live to give. We all know this.

For the record regarding the ongoing spat, I don't think of myself as a "pansy." I'm more of a delicate hothouse orchid. Get it straight.

Speaking of getting it straight, it's delightful to hear the word in a non-horticultural sense from someone who's old enough to know "pansy" is a slur against gay men. An extra touch of class that caught an express train from 1943!

Perhaps the flexibility of my wrists will come up next? The lightness in my loafers? I know, my fondness for Joan Crawford!

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Fred Williams Feb. 15, 2013 @ 11:04 p.m.

In all sincerity, I used "pansy" mostly for alliteration.

"Randy is puffed up, proud of himself, but really he's a pansy. Look at what he writes professionally, and you can see that it's not very impressive."

Hear those popping "p"s populating the paragraph?

I might have used popinjay, but it doesn't really fit...I wanted something to denote shrinking weakness. Puerile might be preferable, but still not perfect. People who pander to the plutocrats...fragile petunias?

Pansy was the word and I stand by the choice. As to your surplus or dearth of gayness...not really relevant to your writing regarding politics, unless it gives you a boy crush on glory seeking toadies on the council.

Then again, is this the set up for your new distraction, the "Fred's a bigot and used anti gay language..." attack? It would be amusing to slap that one around. If I wanted to use gay language, I'd call you a "bottom" for your sugar daddies, or perhaps suggest that your knees are dirty and you need to brush your teeth after a visit with the local gentry.

But I didn't write anything like that. It would be fun, but irrelevant to the discussion.

Let's get back to the main point...mediocre San Diego journalists and insiders selling out to the oligarchs. Homo-erotic imagery aside, (disgraced City Manager Jack McGrory getting cornholed by John Moores) there is so much to cover in San Diego...real news that deserves to be reported.

But to preserve access to power, the journalists report what they're told...without checking up the facts. Take the example of the Convention Center expansion, and the City Auditor's report finding the projections of income are ridiculous, and dangerous to the city's financing plans.

Aside from Don Bauder, who is covering this?

If it is covered, why do you insist on being "fair and balanced" and then offering some insider's ridiculous response defending the erroneous estimates (I'm thinking Bob Nelson) as equally valid? Truth tellers and liars are equal in journalists eyes.

And as is evident from our amusing exchange, you decide who is telling the truth by demeanor alone. If someone is polite and charming, complimenting you and your tribe, they are believable. If someone is rude and treats you with disdain...they must be a liar, huh?

Some great reporting there, Randy...

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rdotinga Feb. 15, 2013 @ 11:55 p.m.

Judging by your comparison of your age compared to mine, you're at least in your late 50s and possibly older. You know what "pansy" means, you know it's a slur, and you know exactly what it means to me since you read my ASJA profile from 2004. You're too smart to use a word like that carelessly.

As for the convention center: we had this discussion before. Voice of San Diego has published story after story after story (VOSD is incessant) poking holes in claims by the convention center and its boosters. I linked to a slew of them last time.

Here's just two stories from an extensive list: a "Huckster Propaganda" Fact Check verdict: http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/fact/article_06a929dc-25e7-11e1-96e3-0019bb2963f4.html. Here's another: http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/fact/article_5f9a71f2-5901-11e1-b7d6-0019bb2963f4.html.

If anyone wants to find more, search for "convention center" in the VOSD archives. There are dozens and dozens of skeptical stories. There is no Kool Aid consumption here. Personally, I've linked to multiple stories in the VOSD Morning Report that question the rampant puffery surrounding the convention center industry. I love these stories and like to point them out.

VOSD has its flaws, plenty of them. I get in trouble from time to time for pointing them out. And you're right, journalists are thin-skinned. But the bias you imagine does not exist, and the proof is on the VOSD site in its skeptical coverage of politicians and boosters of every stripe and their projects, campaigns and boondoggles.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 16, 2013 @ 7:43 a.m.

Speaking of getting it straight, it's delightful to hear the word in a non-horticultural sense from someone who's old enough to know "pansy" is a slur against gay men.

Although the term may include gay men, the word was never, IMO, just a slur against gays.

But if it IS mainly a slur against gays thank you for informing me, as I would not want to use such a slur ignorantly not knowing it is offensive to a sector of society I was unaware of. Reminds me of a good friend from grad school who loved to use the word "prick", including in front of females, until I told him what a "prick" was.

pansy

A sissy, fag, fairy, or one that is generally unmanly.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pansy

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rdotinga Feb. 14, 2013 @ 10:30 p.m.

I thought I was out, but he sucked me back in.

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Duhbya Feb. 15, 2013 @ 5:58 a.m.

Does that make you the sucker or the suckee? Enquiring (sic) minds want to know.

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rdotinga Feb. 15, 2013 @ 4:02 p.m.

Good question! I'll go write a story "on spec." There's a first time for everything.

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Fred Williams Feb. 16, 2013 @ 12:14 a.m.

Randy reports to the Daily Planet early on Monday morning. Proud never to work on spec, he is eager for The Chief to give his orders:

"Randy, give me a thousand words or so on Batman and how he's destroying the moral fabric of Gotham. Be sure to be 'balanced' and quote both sides of the controversy. Oh, and get the Riddler's comments. Good boy. Go now."

"Right away, Chief!" Randy scrambles to his cubicle, cranks the random insult generator, and sets to work.

Hours later: "Holy Hemorrhagic Hagiography!"

"What is it Robin?"

"A hack is saying you're a no good so-and-so, and that you have bad breath too, and that you can't sing very well at all."

(With apologies to Bob Kane!)

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Sjtorres Feb. 16, 2013 @ 1:46 p.m.

I don't get.

Why is this newsworthy?

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BradleyFikes Feb. 16, 2013 @ 3:02 p.m.

Sjtorres, It's newsworthy enough to have attracted a long string of comments and, I suspect, many more lurkers. O Mon Dieu!

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Sjtorres Feb. 16, 2013 @ 3:17 p.m.

So "journalists" like rdotinga and gossipers like rachael Laing think it's interesting. Oh' it must be! Who cares.

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rdotinga Feb. 16, 2013 @ 4:43 p.m.

A reporter turned flak gets a new gig as a flak? That's not "interesting." (It's a shame when good journalists go to the dark side, and of course it's awkward when you go to work for an agency you covered. But it happens, and people, especially those with families, gotta make a living. Not newsworthy.)

I'd much rather hear about the latest rumor that Don Bauder heard (rumors=news, as we learned in Journalism 101) or a recap of public tweets from people who don't like Filner about how they don't like Filner. Where's Clark Kent when you need him?

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rdotinga Feb. 16, 2013 @ 5:03 p.m.

If anyone wants to learn the facts about the state of independent journalism, come to the annual writers conference of the American Society of Journalists & Authors: http://www.asja.org/for-writers/annual-conference/

I'm the chair of the conference.

While some freelancers are struggling, lots are doing quite well and even having their best years ever while producing fine journalism and preserving their integrity. Some (present company excluded) even have the willpower to avoid getting into endless online snits.

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BradleyFikes Feb. 16, 2013 @ 8:35 p.m.

Randy, in all fairness to Don, he labels rumors as such, and doesn't pass them off as confirmed facts. And Don is careful to distinguish between facts and opinions.

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monaghan Feb. 17, 2013 @ 4:41 p.m.

Working from the bottom up, thank you Bradley Fikes for noting the scrupulousness of Don Bauder's work. This is the second time Dotinga has misrepresented Bauder's writing as "rumor" and embarrassed himself in the process. Dotinga should knock it off.

Fred Williams, you also could take a chill pill. Gerry Braun WAS a writing coach at the U-T for a long time before he wrote a short-lived "column." He also had worked at City Hall as a U-T reporter earlier in his career, and he likely knew ex-top-cop and GOP Mayor Jerry Sanders from that time. You can't "sell out" by going from sidelined writing coach at a troubled daily to working for somebody you once knew who's now mayor of the city.

Maybe it's disappointing, but it also could be called "moving on to a better opportunity" in this business-based world of San Diego politics. And really, ditto for Gerry Braun's recent secretive move from Sanders' City Hall to working for the special interests behind the Balboa Park centennial. We are interested to know it's happening, but it's not such a steep fall from grace.

Also Fred Williams, VoiceofSanDiego's Will Carless does NOT belong your journalistic-integrity pantheon as Readerwriters Matt Potter or Don Bauder. Recently Carless egregiously failed to properly attribute authorship to a retired Detroit journalist who first broke the news about school districts' buying expensive capital appreciation bonds -- even as VOSD was touting the story nationally and taking full credit. The Detroit blogger was finally, grudgingly acknowledged by VOSD. Carless and VOSD stand alone for that shabby gaffe.

Finally, surely Randy Dotinga has better things to do on a long holiday weekend than engage in these ridiculously overheated conversations. I thought Dotinga has said he has a cat to look after.

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Fred Williams Feb. 19, 2013 @ 3:58 a.m.

Thanks Monaghan...didn't know about the Detroit writer.

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rdotinga Feb. 17, 2013 @ 5:57 p.m.

I don't think Braun was "sidelined." Working as a writing coach (back when newspapers had such things) is no demotion. It's a sign of respect for a journalist's talent. And, as I recall, Braun suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome that made it difficult for him to report and write on a daily basis.

(No, we're not tight. I'm not sure I've ever met him. I interviewed him some 15 years ago for a trade journal story about new dictation software that he was using. Lookit me writing about technology!)

I don't recall his column as being short-lived, but I could be wrong on that. I'm not sure why his current move is "secretive." Should he have sent out a press release? Bought a billboard?

Don Bauder does indeed report on some rumors that he hears. And yes, he does identify them as such. Make of that what you will.

My cat advises that I decline to comment about the VOSD bond story flap.

-Randy

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rdotinga Feb. 17, 2013 @ 6:14 p.m.

As I was saying:

Rumor: Papa Doug Buying U-T Don Bauder, September 29, 2011

This is strictly a rumor, but worth reporting.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 17, 2013 @ 6:19 p.m.

Rumor: Papa Doug Buying U-T

Don Bauder, September 29, 2011

This is strictly a rumor, but worth reporting

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BradleyFikes Feb. 17, 2013 @ 7:05 p.m.

SurfPuppy and Monaghan, Yes, that's precisely what I was getting at. Nothing intrinsically wrong with reporting a rumor a rumor. It's when rumors are reported as fact, or facts are misstated, that a journalistic fault has been committed. And over the years, I've noticed that Bauder's rumor reports have a pretty good track record.

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rdotinga Feb. 17, 2013 @ 7:20 p.m.

I respectfully disagree. It's rarely appropriate to report a rumor. That's a basic rule of good journalism, and it's a wise one for a whole bunch of reasons.

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monaghan Feb. 18, 2013 @ 11 a.m.

Ideas, notions, events that are founded on hearsay, cannot be fully and traditionally substantiated, and given the light of day by a reliable longtime journalist writing in the community's oldest alternative paper have news value.

In contrast, it is never "appropriate" to hide the names of financial angels who support your journal when you write stories in which those supporters play leading roles. Nor is it "appropriate" to put out misinformation and, when presented with documented accurate facts, to refuse to correct those misleading errors. Nor is it "appropriate" to amplify such flawed stories onto other platforms such as radio and television.

I consider an identified "rumor" from Don Bauder to have more news value than any story from VoiceofSanDiego which regularly engages in the inappropriate practices described above.

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rdotinga Feb. 18, 2013 @ 1:46 p.m.

The cat, as is his wont, urges silence on these matters. But he can't help but note that VOSD does list its donors here: http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/support_us/about_us/. Where, pray tell, is the Reader's list of its advertisers (by level of support) or its disclosure of its publisher's financial entanglements? He's a major funder of anti-abortion ballot measures among other things.

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BradleyFikes Feb. 18, 2013 @ 8:50 p.m.

monaghan, I couldn't agree more. It ill behooves anyone from VOSD to invite a comparison with Bauder on factual accuracy.

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Fred Williams Feb. 19, 2013 @ 4:02 a.m.

The more Randy writes, the more he proves my assertions about lazy, myopic, and sloppy San Diego journalists who are too cowed to be courageous. Notice how Randy won't write about the sole subject he might actually know something about...how VOSD slants its coverage to benefit its benefactors.

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Duhbya Feb. 19, 2013 @ 10:04 a.m.

Here's my favorite feature of the VoSD site:

"Please select your benefit level here and your donation amount. You may choose a recurring monthly or quarterly donation or a single contribution.

If this is your first donation, your annual membership begins today and will expire in one year. We'll remind you when it's time to renew.

If you're already a member and want to make a quick donation, click Donate Express."

Wonder what percentage of the proceeds go towards cat food.

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BradleyFikes Feb. 17, 2013 @ 7:46 p.m.

Disagreement respectfully noted. Bauder's accuracy speaks for itself.

And to clarify another subject, Fred Williams specializes in technical writing and documentation, which is far different from technology reporting. But you probably already knew that.

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